What Exactly Are Serums?


Years ago, I remember not having a clue what serums were. I used to date a guy who’s mom worked on Harley Street and used to get loads of samples of serums and other products. Boy do I wish he was still around! But anyway.. There is a big difference between moisturisers and serums, and I don’t think alot of people know those differences or the benefits of adding serums to your daily skincare routine. So I thought I would do this post for those people that might not be too sure. Serums have become increasingly popular over the last few years and continue to remain so.

So what is the difference between moisturisers and serum?
Anyone that has used a serum will know that the big difference you first notice is the consistency. Moisturisers tend to be thick and creamy, where as serums are light, fast absorbing liquids. Another difference which isn’t so easy to spot (unless you look at the ingredients and understand them) is their active ingredients. Serums are specifically designed to penetrate and treat various skin conditions, such as redness, dehydration or lack or firmness, wrinkles, dark spots or to brighten the skin. Moisturiser will only penetrative your first layer of skin, where as serums nourish your deeper layers. Serums are designed with smaller molecules to easily penetrate all three layers of skin, and deliver potent doses of active ingredients, such as vitamins and antioxidants. They are pretty much designed to give results. Moisturisers have larger molecules, which means they can only penetrate the first layer of skin, allowing them to only hydrate and seal in moisture.

So what are the benefits of serums?
The main reason for wanting to use a facial serum is to get added nutrients into deeper layers of your skin that a regular moisturiser is not able to reach. There are many serums that are specially designed to battle your common beauty complaints, you just need to pick the right one for your problem! Alot of people who have oily skin prefer serums to moisturisers because serums are very lightweight and don’t have the thicker, heavier ingredients. Another great thing about serums is that you don’t need to change your current skincare routine, they are easily incorporated. You also don’t need to use alot. Serums can be expensive due to active ingredients being more expensive then thickeners, but when applied properly, a container of serum should last months. Many brands come in pump bottles or have medicine dropper applicators to dispense just the tiny amount you need.
So how so I pick the right one for me?
There are so many choices of serums these days for all different skin conditions, but the most important thing is to keep in mind your skin type, whether you have dry, oily, combination or sensitive skin. You need to sit down and think what problems you want to work on, and find products that contain ingredients to combat these issues. For aging, you need products with antioxidants, retinol which is commonly referred to as vitamin A. Some skin serum ingredients are useful in fading dark spots, so you need to look out for Hydroquinone if that’s your problem, and for dry skin, look out for hyaluronic acid which is a natural protein used to absorb moisture and reduce edema, promotes resistance to compression of the cells. The key is consistency with any skincare product. Try a serun for a month before giving up on it. It can be trial and error, but eventually you’ll find the best face serum for your needs.

So how do I apply serums?
If you have dry skin, apply the serum while your skin is still damp. This will help lock in as much moisture as possible. If you have sensitive skin, wait 10-15 minutes after washing your face before using your serum. When your skin is damp, applying a water bases product is more likely to lead to irritation with sensitive skin. Allow your skin to completely dry. After applying your serum, you can apply your staple moisturiser.

So that’s everything I think to need to know! If you would like to know more, and I have an answer, I’ll do my best to answer you!

What serums do you use? Let me know!