lotions and potions: all about serums
the bottom line
Serums are highly potent additions to your skincare regimen. What’s in them, how to use them, and why.
what is a serum, anyways?
Serums are highly concentrated, water-based preparations which are designed to be used after cleansing and toning. They provide a little boost to your daily regimen, and can be used just prior to your moisturizer, or in some cases in place of it. Serums have smaller molecules which can penetrate deep into the skin to deliver potent ingredients. The specific serum you choose will depend upon your skin’s particular needs.
why should I use a serum?
Serums can address specific skin concerns, such as pigmentation, dryness, or aging. They allow you to customize your regime and address your biggest pain points (with your skin, that is).
how do I use a serum?
We recommend using a serum once daily, usually in the morning, unless your serum contains ingredients which sensitize your skin to the sun, such as retinols. Use just a few drops and apply from the dropper to your fingertips or directly to your face (avoid your eyes!). Massage in gently and allow to absorb prior to moving on to your moisturizer. Don’t use too much – serums contain concentrated ingredients, and too much may irritate your sensitive skin. If you tend to be extremely sensitive or have multiple allergies, do a test on your forearm and wait 24 hours prior to trying it on your face. Allergic reactions are never fun.
Serums often look pretty in those cute little bottles, but don’t let them sit on your shelf for too long. They tend to have ingredients that may lose activity with time. Keep them tightly bottled in a cool, dry place out of direct light and enjoy them within 6 months.
what type of serum should I use?
You guessed it: it depends.
- dryness: look for a serum that will boost hydration. Ingredients to target include hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, niacinamide, aloe vera, algae extract, ceramides, glycerin…
- acne: retinols, vitamin C, and salicylic acid are powerhouse ingredients which help to diminish acne.
- pigmentation: there are fortunately a number of natural ingredients that target the steps in melanin production. Look for niacinamide, kojic acid, licorice root extract, hibiscus flower extract, plankton extracts, and citric acid, among others.
- aging skin: retinols, resveratrol, and ferulic acid fight free radicals and promote cellular repair.
do I need to add a moisturizer after using a serum?
Check your ingredients. If your serum contains moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or ceramides, you will find that your skin feels hydrated. Lotions and creams in particular are significantly thicker and provide an additional layer of moisture to your skin. An essence, which has been popularized by K-beauty regimens, is a very watered-down serum and will likely require an additional moisturizer. In general, if your skin tends to run dry, add a moisturizer. If your skin is on the oily side, as ours tends to be during the summer months, a serum alone may be enough.
a little plug: One of our most popular products is our Jasmine Serum, which contains hyaluronic acid for hydration, panthenol which improves the barrier function of the skin, sweet almond oil to sooth and condition skin, and sandalwood and jasmine essential oils to soother and moisturize.
All this and more at www.anokhaskincare.com .
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