When serums arrived on the market, they started a little revolution in our skin care routine. With a serum, you are giving yourself a fighting chance to keep your beautiful, young skin.
The Sensory Genius of the Texture
Its texture is perfect for a cosmetic: it is thinner than a cream, penetrates the skin in the blink of an eye and leaves a silky finish. Its benefits don't stop there: this airy texture works with the skin and allows the active ingredients to move quickly towards the cells and do their job.
Even though it may seem this way, there is nothing magic about the benefits of serums; they just contain less water than a cream and more active ingredients. Serums are twice as concentrated as creams.
Although, when they first arrived on shelves, it was recommended to use serums as a cure (especially at the change of seasons), now they can be used preventatively and as part of our daily skin care routine.
Apply it to clean, dry skin and let it sink in, gently rubbing and patting your skin. Then, after a few minutes, finish off with a moisturising cream, ideally from the same skin care range for the perfect synergy.
You can repeat this in the evening, before your night cream.
Face Serum: For a High Performance Skin Regime
Having been demystified a few years ago (thanks to the Koreans, the leaders in the beauty industry), this complex skin care product owes its success to a high-quality formula which can contain either many ingredients or a high concentration of one agent. Serums therefore have a real added value for the skin, providing high performance every day. For a well-rounded skin care routine, you can start applying serum at 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 years old.
What's so great about serums anyway?
Militant about your moisturiser? Fanatical about your facial oils? Now, what about serums? (Silence.) Turns out, most of us have no idea why we need them so badly.
Let’s be honest, walk down your local high street and ask 100 women what a serum is and you’re likely to get a few blank looks. Serums have been a huge part of the beauty scene for a decade now, but we still seem to struggle with what exactly it is that they do and if they’re worth the pay cheque allocation. The short answer is heck yes! They’re anti-ageing powerhouses that treat all manner of issues, from uneven skin to pigmentation and dullness.
Why your skin needs a serum
Serum is essential to any good skincare regime because, whereas a moisturiser deals with the top layer of skin at the surface level, serums get to grips with the deep stuff. Serums are ultra light and bioavailable, meaning they’re so compatible with our own skin cells that they can get in among them and work in harmony. They get down to the deepest layers of skin where the new cells are forming. Why is this important? Well, if you can affect change right from the beginning of a cell's life cycle, you can get them behaving brilliantly from the start. Serum puts the hard work in when cells are babies so that they behave well as adults – like Supernanny for the skin, if you like!
Are serums worth the money?
It’s for this very reason that serums are jam-packed with essential fatty acids, vitamins and nutrients to combat uneven skin and anti-ageing at the core. These high-quality formulas are why serum often comes with a hefty price tag, when moisturisers are a fraction of the cost. You still need your moisturiser for good barrier protection and surface hydration, but think of it like this: your serum is like your magic support knickers that shape and sculpt you in all the right places so you could even wear a onesie and still look smoking. Put like that, we don’t know how we’d live without them.
A serum to suit my skin
Facial serums are turbo-charged, concentrated treatments, a must for every beauty routine. They're applied after cleansing, before face creams or oils. So why sing their praises? Because they can deal with a host of skin-related problems. Here's a closer look at how these bottles of liquid gold can help dry skin, brighten the complexion or turn back the clock.
Serum to brighten the complexion
Pigment spots, dull skin, tired features, small blemishes - typical signs of worn out skin that needs a brightening boost. Which is where skin-brightening serums come into play. Packed with active ingredients, they're designed to reduce pigment spots by regulating melanin production. And that's not all - they even out skin tone thanks to a blend of brightening and light-reflecting ingredients combined with antioxidants to give skin an instant glow. So they're perfect if your skin needs a radiant helping hand.
Serum to deeply moisturise
Your skin's feeling tight, your features look drawn and you've spotted lines caused by dehydration. What's more neither your day nor night cream are doing the trick. Time for a hydrating serum - a moisturising powerhouse to add to your daily beauty routine. They're gorged with moisturising active ingredients (natural origin or blended) and hyaluronic acid, a molecule that's able to harness and retain water in the epidermis.
Serum to slow down the signs of ageing
Anti-ageing serums are three to four times more concentrated than anti-ageing creams - perfect for mature skin. Nothing beats them when it comes to zapping wrinkles, plumping up skin, moisturising and reducing pigment spots. Global action anti-ageing serums should be applied before your day/night cream for an instant pick-me-up. Containing active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, retinol, antioxidants and peptides, they're an age-defying double whammy that also boosts skin cell renewal.
Serum Guide: Which Will Work For You?
Opt for serums rich in hyaluronic acid or LHA (lipohydroxy acid) to really give normal to combination skins an added moisture boost and help them glow. Hyaluronic acid hydrates parched complexions and can retain 1,000 times its own weight in water within the cells of the skin. LHA, meanwhile, reduces dark blemishes thanks to a gentle targeted exfoliating action and its ability to regulate melanin. It also brightens the complexion by reflecting light off on the surface of the skin.
Oily skin: A purifying serum
Oily skin still needs nourishment alongside some antibacterial action. Go for a serum that’s rich in antibacterial active ingredients and purifying essential oils: grapefruit, rosemary, lavender, geranium, thyme and tea tree are all good ones to look out for. Expect them to regulate sebum production, kill any nasty, zit-causing germs and even out skin tone. Remember, if you only get oily on your t-zone, you can just apply this serum there and smooth a hydrating serum on to your cheeks. Look out for formulations listed as non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog pores.
Dry skin: A nourishing serum
If skin is dry, it lacks sufficient lipids (natural oils, fatty acids) and needs help on the barrier front, so choose an oily formula that’s rich in nourishing ingredients to repair the hydrolipidic barrier. The most effective oils for this purpose are almond, avocado, apricot, mango, and argan. It’s also worth looking for products that contain vitamin E (an antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative damage) and niacinamide (AKA vitamin B3, which improves skin elasticity and increases ceramide levels in the skin). Use a serum containing these ingredients before applying your moisturising cream and dry, tight complexions will regain a soft, supple touch.
Mature skin: A mutli-action serum
Mature skin has to deal with a number of issues: wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, a loss of fat and a lack of plumpness. Serums for mature skin need to be rich in hyaluronic acid, retinol and antioxidants. To make up for a lack of lipids, look for serums that are enriched with omegas 6 and 9.
The Secrets of My Anti-Ageing Serum
The anti-aging serum is an essential part of our beauty regime, it is packed with active ingredients and wonderfully effective. What are the secrets of the serum?
# A dose of hydration
The first thing a serum does is load the skin with water and, as we all know, hydratationis the key to beautiful skin. Its richness in watery compoments makes the serum ultra light and allows optimal and fast absorption of active ingredients. Consequently, all other active ingredients in the moisturizing serum have to be hydrosoluble (they must dissolve in water). Serums have a high concentration of hydrating ingredients such as glycerin or high molecular weight hyaluronic acid. One dose of hydration = soft, supple, fresh skin
# Anti-wrinkle active ingredients and volume filler
Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, obtained by biotechnology, works its way through the skin layers. In the epidermis, it replumps the skin with water and volume, but also helps to synthesize native hyaluronic acid by epidermal cells, giving the skin a smooth, plumpy and firm appearance. Retinol (derived from vitamin A) helps epidermal cell regeneration. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxydant which neutralises free radicals. Anti-aging serums may also contain powerfull anti-oxidant resveratrol; in addition to its shielding role, resveratrol also possesses the ability to increase the skin’s natural production of antioxidants. Finally, resveratrol protects skin firmness by preventing deterioration of support fibres. As resveratrol is very photosensitive, you will need to use a sunscreen with it. Use pro-xylane for a total effect. It works on sagging skin, thinning skin, wrinkles and dry skin all at once.
# Dark spot correctors
Niacinamide or vitamin C regulate the production of melanin, LHA encourage the epidermis to peel, and all of them control the appareance of dark spots on the skin's surface.
These make our serums work immediately after application. Silicones smooth the skin surface allowing it to reflect the light. It’s a big family of molecules, some of them are pastes, other are powders, and when smartly combined some lead to “soft focus” properties. .They can hardly be replaced by pearls. The skin is left radiant and glowing.
Article supplied & written by Marie Claire, part of Hearst Communications, Inc.
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