What is a Face Serum?
Having a gazillion items jam-packed inside your skin care pouch can make you feel that you got everything covered — cleanser, toner, mask, moisturizer, sunscreen… the whole shebang. That’s a good kit, I’d say. But it’s one that can still use an upgrade. An upgrade called face serums.
If you’re sitting there reading this, chances are you need a little more info about face serums before you’re 101% sold to incorporating it into your girl scout pack. Well, you came just to the place. This power product is one of the most raved about “holy grails” of skincare — with its ability to slow down signs of aging, incorporate popular active ingredients (such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid) into its usual formula, eliminate dark spots, and provide overall smoother skin, the facial serum has quickly become a must-have.
Here, we list the things you need to know about face serums and why I like to call it “the Fountain of Youth in a bottle.”
What is the Use of a Face Serum?
Typically thinner than a moisturizer, face serums are composed of active and pure ingredients, such as glycolic acid, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid. The usual serum is made up of smaller molecules which makes it able to seep deeper into the skin and penetrate barriers to help give you the best results for your skin type.
Your usual face serum comes in different formulas: oil, light cream, gels, or the water-like consistency of an essence. The product itself is easy to use and is geared to help out with even the most stubborn skin problems.
Since a face serum is lighter, it is applied before your moisturizer, just right after you cleanse your face. This is so that the high concentration of powerful ingredients of the face serum will be the first contact on your skin, amplifying its potency.
To apply a face serum, simply get the recommended amount from the container (products usually suggest a pea-sized amount) and apply the serum to your nose, forehead, cheeks, and chin. The serum usually needs a few minutes to sink into your skin and provide you with the best face care.
Some of the benefits of face serums are:
- Deep hydration by penetrating your skin’s barrier
- Minimizes dark acne scars and dark spots
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
- Improves brightness of dull skin
- Plumps up the skin
- Helps in managing oily skin
- Exfoliates your skin and keeps it fresh
You can say that face serums are a single answer to numerous troubled skin care prayers. Plus, there are so many kinds to choose from depending on your skin’s needs. Here are a few things you should know about different kinds of face serums on the market:
Exfoliating Face Serum
This serum smoothes out our complexion by getting rid of stubborn dead skin cells, remove signs of sun damage, and return the color of the skin to its natural state. You can also use this serum to brighten your complexion as getting rid of dirt can actually brighten up our faces. If you struggle with dull skin and flakiness, you can give this serum a try.
Anti-Aging Face Serum
This serum variant is incredibly popular, and ultra-useful if you have been exposed to sun damage resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and dry skin. One of the most raved-about types of anti-aging serum is the vitamin C serum.
Most serums are incredible for hydrating the skin, as a typical serum contains molecules that are able to get into the deepest of the skin’s barriers, but hydrating serums are specifically packed with ingredients that target and repair dry, damaged skin. Use this type of serum to give the skin a moisture boost, which is sure to give great results when paired with a moisturizer.
Reparative Facial Serum
This facial serum is perfect if you’re someone who struggles with a damaged moisture barrier or has simply suffered a ton of heat damage on the skin. Whatever your woes are, you should definitely use a reparative serum if you’re looking for replenishing skincare products.
If you struggle with oiliness and acne, this is the product that contains antimicrobial properties fit to help your skin. Some of the most common ingredients found in this serum are AHAs and BHAs as well as citric acid and zinc.
What is the Difference Between a Serum and Moisturizer?
Actually, it shouldn’t be a ‘versus’. Face serums and moisturizers each help your skin in their own unique way. One is as important a piece to your skincare puzzle as the other.
They serve your skin differently — serums are more for skin troubles, such as dark acne spots, wrinkles, dull skin, etc. They are typically the pricier ones, but that’s because of the pure and potent ingredients they have. A serum typically contains more active ingredients than moisturizers, such as hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and vitamin C that help your skin fight signs of aging, maintain plumpness, and more.
Meanwhile, moisturizers, as the name suggests, are meant to keep your skin hydrated by providing moisture or preventing water loss. Moisturizers and face serums can be combined for more stubborn skin problems, because your moisturizer can actually help seal in the serum to your face, making it twice as effective.
Do I Need a Face Serum?
As great and versatile as they are, face serums aren’t for everyone because they have varying effects on different skin types. For people with chronic skin conditions like rosacea or eczema, the serum could penetrate too rapidly because of weakened skin barriers and cause skin irritation.
Meanwhile, it is a great match for acne-prone skin types. The best face serum for this skin type is usually the one that is non-greasy and contains no comedogenic ingredients. Its non-greasy finish is also perfect for those who prefer a light to weightless feel from their skin products.
The best face serum for dry skin, meanwhile, is a vitamin C serum or a serum rich in hyaluronic acid. A vitamin C serum is great for your skin if you’re looking for anti-aging properties, because vitamin C aids in your body’s natural collagen synthesis. So, a serum to keep wrinkles at bay would be on your dehydrated skin. The serum we recommend for dry skin types is also hyaluronic acid rich serums, which are great for locking in moisture for your face.
Which Serum is Best for the Face?
Don’t get overwhelmed with the plethora of serum types and brands. In choosing serums, it’s all about paying attention to what your skin needs, then matching it with the face serum that can get the work done.
If you need a recommendation to start your journey into the magical world of face serums, the Alpha Arbutin Serum by Precious Skin is a good place to start! It is perfect for Filipinas struggling with dark acne spots — which makes all of us — as it is infused with the purest form of collagen and arbutin. And that’s just one of the many wonders it will work on your skin, which you’ll find out as you go further into your face serum journey.
Want to know more tips to improve your nightly skincare routine? Read our guide here.
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.