Get your best face serum guide here and make the smartest decision about choosing your own brand.
Our best face serum guide will provide reliable information about the most effective serums that address specific needs, from dull skin to aging skin with fine lines and wrinkles. Keep in mind that during the course of our discussion, the best type of face serum for Jane Doe may or may not be the best one for you due to several reasons. The most important factors in making the right choice in a face serum are your chronological age, your skin’s current condition, and your beauty program, a fact that we have emphasized in other posts here.
Best Face Serum Guide General Tips:
While face serums come in a wide range of formulations – many are water-based while a few are oil-based, for example – these share several common characteristics that consumers should be aware of. These characteristics include but aren’t limited to:
- These contain highly concentrated amounts of active ingredients so less is more when it comes to their application. We suggest using just a few drops, or a pea-sized amount, or half a pump of whatever face serum you chose.
- These should be applied based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Many face serums should only be applied in the morning while others are suitable for use in the evening only, but many more can be applied at both times. Many of these products may also be used daily while others are best applied three times a week for best results, especially when there are stronger ingredients.
- These should only be applied on skin that has been thoroughly cleaned and toned. Otherwise, the serum’s efficacy will be significantly reduced, aside from sticking to the accumulated dirt, dust and dead skin cells resulting in an increased risk for acne breakouts. When properly cleansed and toned using mild alcohol-free face cleanser and toner, the skin’s pores become more open and, thus, absorb the nutrients in the face serum better.
- These should ideally not be mixed with moisturizers into a single paste. Otherwise, the face serum’s efficacy will also be reduced, especially as these are water-based while moisturizers are oil-based. Wait for 3-5 minutes after applying the serum so that it becomes dry before applying any other skincare products.
- These must be used regularly for a period of 3-6 months to achieve the desired results. Within a month, fine lines and mild discolorations will improve in appearance but it will take a few more months to see younger and healthier skin. But even after seeing the desired results, the face serum should be still be used continuously to maintain the skin’s youthful appearance.
- These should be combined with a healthy diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and legumes. For even better results, sweet and salty foods should be largely avoided since these adversely affect the skin’s cells, which can show up as dull skin. The sufficient nourishment from nutritious foods is a must because healthy skin starts from within – truly, a cliché but true, nonetheless.
Aside from a healthy diet, the use of face serums should also be combined with a sensible exercise program and lifestyle habits. Even moderate physical exercise promotes blood circulation to the skin resulting in a radiant glow. Healthy lifestyle habits, which include getting sufficient hours of sleep, managing stress, and avoiding alcohol, cigarettes and recreational drugs, are also essential for good skin health. Even the best face serums will have little effect if your skin is subjected to these harmful activities, as well as to an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
Most important, be sure to choose a face serum based on your individual needs and wants in it! If possible, you should consult your dermatologist about it, especially when you have sensitive, oily, or acne-prone skin. You don’t need a doctor’s prescription to buy a face serum but it pays to get a professional opinion.
You may, however, also refer to our list of the best face serums for all skin types in a separate guide. You just have to read which ones are the most suitable for your skin type and make your choice. You may still undergo a trial-and-error method but once you get the right face serum for your needs, you can stick with it until your skin’s needs change.
Vitamin C Serum Guide:
In our best Vitamin C serum guide, we will discuss the basics of what makes it safe and effective, what are the reasons for using it, and what application tips can maximize their benefits. We want to emphasize that Vitamin C face serums may contain similar ingredients as other types of serums but these have higher concentrations of ascorbic acid.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has powerful antioxidant properties that primarily protect against oxidative damage (i.e., free radical damage). It is, in fact, a normal skin constituent found in relatively high quantities in the epidermis and dermis, the topmost layers of the skin; it’s higher in amounts in the epidermis than in the dermis.
But aging causes a decrease in the amount of ascorbic acid in the skin resulting in fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. Aside from the natural effects of aging, its levels can also be reduced by excessive exposures to pollutants like cigarette smoke and ultraviolet light, as well as a poor diet.
The importance of ascorbic acid in maintaining the skin’s good health cannot be overemphasized, too. Among its most important functions are:
Vitamin C in itself isn’t a shield against the sun –a sunscreen, if you will – because it doesn’t absorb ultraviolet light in both the UVA and UVB spectrum. But it limits the damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet light through its antioxidant activity, thus, its inclusion in sunscreens and serums.
The topical application of ascorbic acid, either alone or in combination with other ingredients like in a serum, may increase photoprotection for the skin in comparison with oral administration. Scientists believe that it may be because topical application is a more direct route of administration than oral supplementation.
- Photodamage particularly fine lines and wrinkles
The damage caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light can result to the buildup of oxidative damage to ascorbic acid-carrying proteins. Such damage, in turn, can result in changes to the skin’s structure including sagging skin from the decreased support and stability of the epidermis.
In several cell culture models, the supplementation with ascorbic acid has many positive effects in fighting against the damage caused by ultraviolet light. These include boosting collagen protein synthesis necessary for repairing damaged skin, increasing the fibroblasts’ proliferation rate, and stimulating DNA repair.
- Healing of wounds
Vitamin C levels have been shown to decrease in the site of wounds, a characteristic also present in people with scurvy whose wound healing capacity is compromised. For this reason, it is a common ingredient in oral and topical therapies for the treatment of pressure ulcers and burns; other ingredients include zinc and Vitamin E.
Other skin-related functions of Vitamin C are for the adjunct treatment of dry skin and for the reduction of inflammatory lesions in acne breakouts.
From these benefits, we can safely conclude that Vitamin C face serums are best for people who have the following issues:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Age spots, especially those caused by excessive exposure to sunlight
- Dull skin with uneven tone
The Vitamin C in these face serums will aid in reducing the unsightly appearance of these issues on the skin being treated. Within 3-6 months of proper and regular use, most of these issues will be significantly reduced or completely eliminated. But keeping reasonable expectations is necessary since even the best face serums aren’t designed to completely protect against environmental pollutants and contaminants, even against unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits.
A few things to remember when choosing and using a Vitamin C-rich face serum:
- Buy one packaged in either an airless pump bottle or an amber-colored tube or bottle. The design will aid in protecting the ascorbic acid from breakdown when exposed to air and light, both artificial light and sunlight. When Vitamin C starts to break down on a cellular level, its efficacy decreases so the face serum is nothing more than a glorified moisturizer.
- Buy a face serum with L-ascorbic acid since it’s the safest yet most stable and effective form of ascorbic acid.
- Store it in a cool and dark place, particularly away from sources of heat and light, which will prevent breakdown of its active ingredient.
- Use it within the prescribed period (i.e., expiration date). Otherwise, the active ingredients will not be as effective so you’re not getting the best value for your money.
- Avoid using a Vitamin C-rich face serum on skin that has been subjected to chemical peels and laser treatments. The peeled skin, so to speak, is more sensitive to exposure to acidic ingredients including ascorbic acid.
And be sure to buy the products from our face vitamin C serum guide, too. You have the assurance that the recommended face serums come from reliable manufacturers with a good track record. You will receive your orders in the best possible condition since the face serums have been stored and shipped with care.
Best Wrinkle Serum Guide
Undoubtedly, the most popular products in our face serum guide are the anti-wrinkle serums for many reasons. Men and women are concerned about the effects of natural aging on their skin, such as the increased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
While skincare products including face serums aren’t formulated to be the modern fountain of youth, these are formulated to slow down the effects of natural aging on the skin. Indeed, why will you prematurely age when you don’t have to in the first place?
The anti-wrinkle face serums come in several versions but all of them are formulated to reduce the severity of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. The most common versions are the following:
- Firming serums
These are typically used in addressing more advanced signs of skin aging, such as sagging and wrinkles, but these can also be used as a general face serum. Their active ingredients include retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A, and peptides. Both ingredients increase collagen levels in the skin that, in turn, keep the skin plump and prevent the formation of new lines.
- Antioxidant serums
These can reduce the damaging effects of free radicals in the environment, particularly those that cause photoaging. Their ingredients include several powerful antioxidants including Vitamins C and E, both of which have been shown to boost skin health.
- Exfoliating serums
These are formulated to gently peel off dead skin cells, thus, revealing the younger and healthier skin underneath. When the dead skin cells are removed, the skin pores become more open and more effective at absorbing the serum’s nutrients. The exfoliating effects come from ingredients like salicylic acid and glycolic acid, which are also used in acne treatments.
- Hydrating serums
These are specifically formulated to restore moisture to the skin and to aid in its retention. Basically, these work by binding water molecules and making them stick together, in a manner of speaking. These are best for dry skin that shows signs of premature aging, as well as for irritated skin that have yet to heal properly.
These serums typically have hydrating ingredients, known as humectants, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, among others. These ingredients are known for providing an extra layer of hydration and for soothing irritated skin. There are also other ingredients including rose hip, camellia, and sea buckthorn, which are light on skin yet heavy on the hydration.
- Brightening serums
These are formulated for fading hyper pigmentation (i.e., age spots) and, thus, making the skin tone more even. The common ingredients include exfoliates and kojic acid, both of which speed up the reduction of spots, as well as L-ascorbic acid and snail mucin. There may also be light-reflecting ingredients that provide instant results in terms of a brighter complexion.
Keep in mind that brightening serums are only half the battle in achieving a brighter, younger and healthier skin. The underlying causes, such as excessive sun exposure, smoking cigarettes, and insufficient sleep, should still be addressed. Otherwise, the issues of uneven skin tone will still be present even with constant use of brightening serums.
These are also suitable for use by people with acne-prone or oily skin. These serums are usually water-based so there’s little to no risk of oils becoming lodged in the pores and causing breakouts.
Many of the best face serums are also multitasking serums because of their multiple actions on the skin. These actions include combating the first signs of natural aging, adding an extra layer of hydration, and providing the skin with nourishing ingredients, as well as aiding in a brighter complexion. These are among the best choices for people with normal skin type or for those who want the general benefit of serum use (i.e., no special skin needs).
Our face anti-aging serum guide will be incomplete without mentioning the need for using daytime and nighttime face serums. Their ingredients and formulations are different in accordance with the distinct daytime and nighttime needs of the skin.
During the daytime, the skin requires the highest possible protection from environmental contaminants and pollutants, as well as from ultraviolet light. The former can include the dust, dirt and debris found in the air as well as cosmetic products like makeup.
These can speed up the oxidative damage caused by free radicals, thus, the best daytime serum contains a potent cocktail of antioxidants. The most powerful of them are Vitamins C and E, which are common ingredients in anti-aging serums.
During the nighttime, the skin is at its most active in terms of repairing the damage caused by the daytime contaminants and pollutants. Plus, the body is at rest, a time when most of its repair and regeneration activities happen. The ingredients in nighttime serums are then chosen for their renewal and repair properties, as is the case for retinols.
But there are also face serums that can be used during the daytime and nighttime. Be sure to check the label since it will likely have specific instructions for proper use, such as the number of times it can be used in a 24-hour period.
Best Eye Serum Guide
Our best anti-aging serum guide will be incomplete without mentioning best eye serums! These are especially formulated serums for use around the eyes, which are common problem areas for men and women. The issues includes crow’s feet, which are fine lines and wrinkles at the sides of the eyes, as well as under-eye bags that add to the aged look.
Did you know that the skin around the eyes is approximately 80% thinner than the skin on the rest of the face and body? Indeed, it’s the most sensitive part of the skin so it’s most likely to show the first signs of natural aging and oxidative stress! The appearance of fine wrinkles and wrinkles, as well as dark and puffy circles around the eyes will make anybody feel unattractive, too.
Fortunately, these skin issues can be significantly resolved with the proper and regular use of eye serums. These aren’t the conventional serums although many of its ingredients can also be found in the latter. These are specifically formulated to deliver on the following results:
- Reduce the appearance of under-eye circles including the puffiness
- Restore the elasticity of the skin around the eyes so it has a smoother and suppler feel
- Minimize the appearance of crow’s feet
- Boost the firm and even tone of the skin around the eyes
- Promote a younger-looking appearance
The last benefit is of particular importance as the eyes are known as the windows to the soul. But more appropriately, the eyes and the skin around it can be signs of an underlying medical condition, although it may also be a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle. Many men and women use eye serums without success because they failed to correct their issues in insufficient sleep, poor diet, and smoking.
The common ingredients in eye serums include:
- Retinol, an ingredient that stimulates collagen production and enhances cell turnover
- Hyaluronic acid, a humectant that aids in drawing in and soaking up moisture so that the skin becomes plumper and suppler
- Neuropeptides, which are simple proteins necessary for repairing the skin and for stimulating collagen production
Eye serums are also different from face serums in several ways. The former are typically more fluid and, thus, lighter than the latter so these are more easily absorbed into the skin.
These are also likely to leave a greasy or soapy residue behind although we must also say that the best serums leave a lighter feeling on the skin than moisturizers. These are also less likely to irritate the eyes, a must-have feature considering the eyes’ sensitive nature especially to cosmetics.
Just like with face serums, eye serums should be applied on clean and toned skin. Since the skin around the eyes is thinner, gentler movements should also be made when applying your choice in an eye serum. There’s no sense in rubbing, pulling and tugging on the skin either because these actions will only damage the skin, not make it absorb the serum’s nutrients better.
The best face and eye serums should be used with care even when these have numerous beneficial effects on skin. Even when these are made of safe and effective ingredients, which have been extensively studied by researchers before their inclusion, these can still result in side effects with improper use. For example, these should only be applied in tiny amounts since too much can cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin.
In time, your skin will have a healthier and younger appearance that will belie your age! Your family and friends will also notice, even praise, the change in your appearance, a way that you can increase your confidence in who and what you are. Your confidence, after all, can be closely associated with your physical looks and it starts with your glowing skin.
Please continue reading more serum stories in our skin serum guide so that you can maximize the benefits that come from using face and eye serums!