Serums are a really important part of my personal skin care regime, there is no doubt that my skin benefits from using one. Since arriving in my forties I’m definitely feeling a difference in my skin and have had to change my skincare accordingly. This doesn’t mean having to have a complicated routine, but adding in some targeted skincare can be really beneficial.
What is a serum?
A serum is a concentrated treatment for your skin, packed full of active ingredients to help target specific skin concerns. Serums tend to be water based and lightweight in texture; they have a small molecule size so will penetrate deeper into the skin, taking all the active ingredients with them – serums go underneath your moisturiser and/or oil, which work on the top layers of the skin. It’s like a layering effect, all working together but on different parts of the skin. When layering skin care, always apply the lightest first and finish with the richer, oil based products.
So what’s the difference between an oil and a serum?
I like to think of oils as food for the skin, they nourish and feed; they can also help balance skin too – so good for all skin types. You can get oil based serums, but in general serums are the lighter water based textures. Think of a serum as a super charged supplement to amplify your skin care routine.
How do you choose which one to use?
Decide what your skin needs – what are your specific skin concerns? If you’re not sure of your skin type here is a post from last year that explains different skin types and conditions.
Does your skin need extra hydration for example – look for serums with hyaluronic acid… (sounds harsh but actually wonderful for skin and naturally found in our bodies)
Is your skin sensitive or are you trying to repair your skin barrier?
Does it need protection – look for serums full of antioxidants such as Vitamin C to help fight things like pollution. Vit C can also help brighten skin and boost collagen production.
Do you want something to target pigmentation, or help calm redness. Are you acne prone – there really is a serum for everyone. By deciding what you would like your serum to do, it makes it much easier to choose one.
Are you looking for something a bit more (dare I say it) anti-ageing – then maybe you’ve heard about retinol or Vitamin A. Retinol is often referred to as the best anti-ager but does come with its concerns – here’s a blog post talking more about it….
Some of my favourites
Nourish have a fantastic range of serums and all at £26 (although the Argan one is a little more). The Radiance Rejuvenating Peptide Serum is one I always rave about – it brightens, revitalises and hydrates – great if your skin is feeling a little lacklustre and needs a boost.
One I’m using at the moment is Naya Everyday Glow Serum. Suitable for all skins, this one is about adding hydration and illuminating skin. I’ve found that my skin is brighter and looks healthier. It has the most amazing green colour so you feel good just putting it on (the colour does disappear :)).
Personally my main concerns are dehydration and dullness so I tend to go for serums that are hydrating and brightening.
Other recent favourites include AEOS Realive Serum and Gherane Hydrating Serum – this really helped my stressed skin within a few days. My skin loved both of the serums by Ilody skincare as well as BYBI’s Super Charge Serum. Susanne Kaufmann’s Hyaluron Serum is beautiful to use and made a real difference to my skin.
Remember you don’t have to use the same skincare every night – listen to your skin and use products accordingly. You could use a different serum in the morning to the evening – choose when you use what depending on it’s properties, eg a protecting one in the morning and a nourishing one at night. If serums are new to you though, introduce one at a time, that way you’ll know what is working for you and what isn’t.
Some serums may seem expensive but these products are highly concentrated so you really don’t need a lot. Natural and organic beauty has a much shorter shelf life, so bear that in mind when buying new products – try to use other stuff up before investing in new ones.
What are you favourite serums? What should I try next??