How Important is a Serum to My Skincare Routine?
Last week we discussed a simple skincare routine which consisted of 3 steps. They were wash, tone and moisturize.
You may have noticed our recent post on social media promoting our face serum. And maybe you asked yourself, “wait, where does that fall in my three-step routine?”
If you remember from last week’s article, you want to apply face products from the least thick to the thickest.
Serum is just slightly thicker than toner, so if you intend to use both, you would apply the serum after your toner.
But do you need both?
Let’s look at the difference between a toner and a serum.
Toners are moisturizers good for dehydrated skin. They balance skin’s natural acidic ph making them good for dry and irritated skin. And they can exfoliate.
Serums give intense hydration and concentrated doses of herbal extracts, vitamins and chemical exfoliate. They target and treat skin issues like hyperpigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles.
So while they both are hydrating, you only need to add a serum to your routine if you want to solve a specific skin problem.
In general, serums contain topical antioxidants including vitamin A, C and E. They also contain topical retinol and ingredients that even out skin tone.
Everyone’s skin is different, so serum’s effects on the skin may be immediate or may take up to 7 weeks. The more dehydrated your skin is the quicker you will see results.
The results are best if used twice daily, am and pm, and on your face and neck. Serums get applied after toners and before moisturizer. If you are not using a toner, you should pat your face with a damp towel. Damp skin is more absorbent.
Serum can be expensive. Even reasonably priced serums come in tiny little containers. That is ok because when it comes to serums, you do not need to use too much. A pea size is about the right amount. Of course, everyone’s skin is different, but typically for serums, less is more. Serum is not meant to be slathered on.
Here are two ways to apply serum to your face and neck:
Pump serum into your fingertips to pat it on and then smooth it out.
Pump serum into your palms and rub together to warm. Then pat palms along face moving up and out.
A good serum will take no longer than five minutes to fully absorb into the skin. It should not feel sticky or oily.
What to look for when buying a serum
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for skin health. It aids in skin repair and helps with elasticity.
Retinol (vitamin A) serves as an anti-aging agent. It is exfoliating and it tightens the pores. It is also what helps reduce hyperpigmentation
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are naturally occurring acids in citrus fruits. They help exfoliating by removing dead skin cells and they keep pores from getting blocked
Vitamin E works to brighten skin and moisturize.
Botanical extracts and oils contain regenerative and nourishing properties for the skin. They are filled with amino acids, antioxidants, fatty acids, phytonutrients, and essential vitamins.
Marula oil is rich in amino acids, antioxidants and fatty acids that keep the skin moisturized and supple. It is best for dry, acne-prone and aging skin.
Ingredients to avoid
Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propy)
Serums help keep your skin young and radiant and beat those pesky dark spots. Adding a serum to your regular skincare routine allows you to wear your natural skin and look radiant!