8 Ways Serums Can Transform Your Skin
In the wider world, Fall is the season of all things pumpkin spice. But here in the land of skin care, I like to think of it as serum season.
Once the carefree days of summer are at an end, we see an influx of folks visiting us in search of skin products to help undo the damage of long days outdoors, a few too many drinks at backyard barbecues, and exposure to drying salt and chlorine. Others are looking to get back into a full healthy aging skin routine after paring back to basics during vacation.
No matter the reason, if you’re looking for targeted skin care solutions, you can usually find what you’re looking for in a serum (or two).
Serums are typically more concentrated than moisturizers and are excellent for helping you reach specific skin care goals without adding weight or feeling greasy. They’re typically more of an investment up front, but because you’re only using a few drops at a time, they will last quite a while (when stored properly, away from heat, humidity, and light).
(Pro tip: Before you read on, it will help to know your skin type so you can determine which serums would be best for your skin. Not sure what your skin type is? Take our quiz.)
Here are eight ways serums can transform your skin.
They Can Add More Moisture to Dry Skin
If you have dry skin, a moisturizing serum can be a game changer. Dry skin doesn’t produce enough sebum (ie. oil), which causes it to flake and itch. A moisturizing cream may not be enough to bring relief - if that’s the case, try adding an oil-based moisturizing serum to your routine in addition to your moisturizer.
They Can Rehydrate Parched Skin
Dehydrated skin is usually caused by environment and habits, such as cold weather, pollution, caffeine intake, and diet. The skin becomes depleted of water and feels tight and looks dull or irritated. Any skin type can become dehydrated, even oily skin.
Dehydrated skin will benefit most from a water-based serum that attracts moisture from the air to the skin (most of these serums contain hyaluronic acid, which can attract and hold up to 1000 times its weight in water).
They Can Soothe Irritation
Skin that’s irritated can find relief from serums containing calming, antioxidant-rich ingredients such as rosehip and cloudberry. Note that irritation often indicates that the skin’s natural barrier has been compromised, so you want to avoid serums with actives such as retinol or glycolic acid until the irritation has resolved.
They Can Smooth Rough Skin
As we age, our skin cells turn over at a slower rate, which can cause dead skin cells to build up and result in a rougher texture. Certain health conditions can also cause skin to become coarser, such as hypothyroidism.
Provided your skin isn’t also irritated (see above), using an exfoliating serum at regular intervals can help restore the smoothness you crave. The frequency will depend on the concentration of actives in the particular serum, as well as your skin type.
They Can Brighten Dull Skin and Hyperpigmentation
Almost everyone will see improvement in the appearance of their skin by adding in a Vitamin C serum. Skilled formulation is key with Vitamin C, because it degrades quickly when exposed to air. Choosing the right concentration to help you meet your goals is also important.
Pro tip: Vitamin C (in the morning) and retinol (at night) make an excellent team to optimize your skin for healthy aging. And don’t forget SPF so the sun doesn’t undo the benefits of your skin routine.
They Can Reduce the Appearance of Wrinkles
When it comes to wrinkles, retinol is the gold standard. Higher concentrations require a prescription and can cause irritation. A 1% retinol formula is a nice way to ease it into your routine, and can also be an ideal solution for sensitive skin that doesn’t tolerate stronger options.
Note that use of retinol-containing products is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
They Can Clear Blemishes
While many AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) can irritate sensitive or angry skin, mandelic acid does not. This, and the fact that it’s antibacterial and also helps to brighten skin affected by post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, makes it the ideal choice for blemish-prone skin.
Other excellent choices for breakouts are niacinamide, Vitamin B3, and zinc, which also work together to help soothe and reduce the appearance of blemishes and dark spots.
They Can Protect From the Elements
The skin encounters two major nemeses throughout the day that accelerate the signs of aging - sunlight and pollution. Serums are a great way to create a protective barrier on the skin without feeling heavy. Because they’re so lightweight, you can easily layer two serums for a full range of protection.
Still not sure which serum or serum combo is right for you? Get personalized, professional advice by booking an in-person private shopping appointment or a virtual skin care consultation with our aesthetician, Melissa. Appointments are available this week! Click here to book now.
P.S. You can read more about serums in our blog post Why Serums Are One of the Most Important Parts of Your Skin Care Routine.
Debra Purdy is the owner of ShopEco, a beauty and self care boutique located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Her mission is to help you thrive through self care you can feel good about. For more self care tips delivered to your inbox and a special birthday treat, click here to subscribe.