Friday, April 15, 2011

Face Serum: What You Need to Know

Skincare products can be confusing to navigate with all the little tubes and jars and bottles full of promises.  Should you pick retinol or vitamin C?  Sun protection or paraben free?  Scrub or mask?  It can get pretty mindblowing, even for product addicts like myself.  One type of product in particular I've always been curious about is face serum.  What exactly is it, what does it do, should I use one?!  I'm willing to bet a lot of you have wondered the same thing!  So here's the deal:

While moisturizers absorb into your skin to keep it hydrated, the smaller molecules of serums allow ingredients and nutrients to absorb even deeper into your pores for more effective treatments.  Think back to high school biology class for a second: remember how your skin has three layers?  A moisturizer will only absorb into the top layer of your skin, but a serum can absorb through all three layers.  If you've got a skin issue that really needs to be addressed, such as fine lines or an uneven skintone, a serum is definitely the way to go.  If hydration and protection is all you need, a moisturizer is your best bet.

Serums work best when applied at night on slightly damp skin.  It should be applied after toner (or after washing your face, if you don't use toner) but before your moisturizer.  Some serums provide all the hydration your skin needs, so you won't even have to use a moisturizer!  If not, though, wait at least five minutes to allow to serum to really soak in before applying anything else.  Applying it right before bed allows the serum to absorb overnight for maximum effectiveness. 

There are many different kinds of serum to target different skin issues, but here are a few standouts to keep your skin glowing and gorgeous whether you need aging protection or general skin improvement.

Best Overall:
Peter Thomas Roth Radiance Oxygenating Serum ($65): I'm obsessed with oxygen-related skincare products. Even though there isn't a whole lot of scientific evidence to back it up, my skin always feels incredible after I use oxygen products.  I can't think of anything more amazing than oxygen soaking deep into my pores.

Best Natural:
By Elizabeth Dehn The Serum ($48): Elizabeth Dehn (AKA Beauty Bets) is my beauty blogging hero.  Her skincare collection just launched this week, featuring luxury products with all natural ingredients!  The Serum contains eleven different plant-based oils to target any skin complaint you can think of AND smells like roses.

Best Bargain:
Boots No. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum ($23):   Seventy percent of reviewers on can't be wrong; they all saw noticeable results, and eighty five percent saw an improvement in skin texture.  These reviews almost exactly reflect the company's clinical trials, so if you want a great skincare bargain, look no further.


  1. Thanks for the explanation - I never have been too sure!
    Def going to look into finding one for me I think :) xxx

  2. You are so welcome Daisy, I'm glad it helped! Ooh, let me know what you end up getting!