If there’s one thing to invest in when it comes to your skincare routine, it’s a high-quality serum. Serums are the hardest working products that yield incredible results for all skin types. Serums contain high concentrations of potent active ingredients that work to target specific concerns such as fine lines, hyperpigmentation or dullness. There are thousands of formulations to choose from, differing in ingredients and levels of potency. If you’re unsure where to start, think of prevention during the daytime with hydrating and antioxidant formulations to shield against pollution and free radicals. Then, the evenings are for correction with ingredients like retinol, AHAs and botanical brightening extracts that can work safely overnight while you sleep.
Why are serums so important?
Serums are particularly effective due to their small molecular composition and thin viscosity, meaning they can penetrate deep into the layers of the skin where any antioxidants, acids or botanical agents can create a notable and lasting effect on the skin.
When do I use a serum?
There’s no need to overcomplicate things; one serum in the morning and one in the evening is more than enough. Depending on ingredients serums can be layered on top of one another however I wouldn’t layer more than two at one time. Serums should be applied after cleansing and before moisturising. Even though some formulas are focused on deep and lasting hydration, it’s important to always layer a cream on top to create a barrier that locks your serum’s active ingredients into the skin.
How do I choose the right serum for me?
When it comes to choosing the right serum, look for one that is aligned with the issue you’re trying to address. A few of our favourite formulas are…
Serums to target fine-lines
Retinol, a Vitamin A derivative, is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The body’s natural skin cell renewal process slows down as we age; retinol kicks it into gear to boost cell turnover and collagen synthesis. For those who find retinol too irritating or are pregnant or breastfeeding, bakuchiol is a gentler, natural alternative.
Serums to plump and hydrate
Given their ability to deeply penetrate the skin, hydrating serums can actually be more efficacious than even the thickest and densest of creams. Look for ingredients including hyaluronic acid (which can attract up to 1000 times its weight in water to the skin) and ceramides (fatty acids found naturally in the skin that help to retain moisture).
Serums to brighten a dull complexion
Vitamin C is your go-to if you’re looking for a glow-up. A superpowered antioxidant, it both supports collagen synthesis and slows the production of melanin, resulting in newfound brightness. Other favourites are niacinamide, azelaic acid and botanical extracts like licorice and bearberry.
Serums to even out texture and resurface the skin
Look for serums containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), or a combination of both (namely, lactic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid). These acids work to gently slough away dead skin cells and, when used in serum form, act as a mild leave-on exfoliating treatment.
Serums to shield against blue light
One of the effects of modern life is the degenerative impact that blue light has on our complexions. Time spent in front of our phones and computer screens can cause free radical damage that accelerates ageing and results in a lacklustre, devitalised appearance. Look for ingredients like olive fruit extract and micro algae to combat this during your workday.