Serums have taken over the skincare world, and for good reason! Don’t be fooled by their small size – these heavy hitters are packed with high levels of active ingredients. Since they’re made up of smaller molecules, they can penetrate the skin more deeply than other products, making them super effective at targeting specific skincare concerns from acne to wrinkles.
Read on for my five fast facts to boost your serum savvy – find out exactly how to use serums and discover one right for you! – Jeannie Jarnot
Serums are a treatment.
Serums are targeted to treat a specific skin condition such as rosacea, hyper-pigmentation, acne, dryness or age prevention. Due to ingredient concentration, the actives typically penetrate deeper into the skin, and can be used on their own or as a “booster” to your moisturizer. Because of this, they often cost more than a moisturizer – but they deliver a lot of bang for the buck.
As the founder & curator of Beauty Heroes, a clean beauty subscription box and online beauty store for green and natural products, these are my top 5 serums for:
- Rosacea: Laurel Anti-Inflammatory Face Serum
- Hyper-pigmentation: UMA Ultimate Brightening Face Oil
- Acne: Mahalo Vitality Elixir
- Dryness: SkinOwl Mangosteen Beauty Drops PM
- Age Prevention: Maya Chia Super Couple
Serums can be layered.
You can absolutely layer serums. I suggest applying one serum, waiting several minutes until it is absorbed, and then applying the next serum. However, I say this with the principle of “less is more” in mind. Since serums are so concentrated, a little goes a long way. Use more than one serum only if you are getting results from the combination; otherwise, use them on alternating days or at day/night.
Eye serum is just a fancy word for eye cream.
A good treatment eye cream has always been an eye serum, packed with active ingredients and targeted for a specific result. So yes, an eye serum is an eye cream.
Serums can also be used for hair and body – and they’re all good.
As we extend our skincare ritual and attention down our neck, décolleté, bust and body, a body serum simply means that the formula has been designed to target a specific skin condition, such as dry skin or loss of elasticity. A hair serum also targets a specific need and will be concentrated with botanical actives that smooth, de-frizz and protect your hair.
Apply your serum right after cleansing and before you moisturize.
Serums can (sometimes) replace your moisturizer.
You should apply a serum right after cleansing and before you moisturize. However, serums can sometimes dub as a moisturizer, depending on your skin and the ingredients. I personally like the consistency of a serum more than a moisturizing face cream, so I often use only a hydrating serum in place of a moisturizer.
Things to consider are the season and climate, your skin type, and if you are going with or without makeup. For instance, in the winter and when I am going to wear makeup, I will layer a moisturizer over a serum. In the summer and if I’m not wearing makeup, I will often use just a serum followed by sun protection.
Tell us if a serum is part of your skincare routine – we’d love to hear about which products you’re using!