Beauty Lessons: Serum

Woman Applying Serum

Woman Applying SerumSerum is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot in the beauty industry, and we’re often told that it’s a must-have, but it’s sometimes hard to tell what it actually does. It’s first important to point out that serum is an unregulated word; meaning, if a brand wants to call their product a serum, they can. That said, there are some impressive skincare benefits to be had with the regular application of a serum. There are some prescription serums that are available for more dramatic skincare issues but here we’re just going to talk about your run-of-the-mill drug or department store varieties.

Serums are generally water-based products that are oil and alcohol-free and contain a high concentration of active ingredients. The texture is usually a thick liquid or gel that glides onto the skin with ease. There are a few reasons why you would want to use a serum. The most common type is anti-aging but there are also varieties that work to brighten the skin, calm excess redness, chemically exfoliate, or firm it.

They are not a necessary step in regular skincare but if you do choose to use a serum, here is how you should apply it. Cleanse you skin as normal and apply toner. Damp skin is ten times more permeable than dry skin, so you want to make sure not to let your toner dry before applying your serum. The active ingredients can penetrate deeper on damp skin so you’ll see results faster. Apply a dime-sized amount and smooth it over your face and neck. Don’t use more than instructed because it won’t necessarily absorb and you’ll just be wasting what is usually an expensive product. Wait for a few minutes until the serum has soaked in then apply your normal moisturizer. If you want added benefits, keep your moisturizer in a cool place, or even in the fridge, because when you apply it your skin will contract with the temperature change and suck the product even deeper into the skin.