Why Serums Are the Most Important Part of Your Skin Care Routine
If you follow ShopEco on social media, you know that there’s a treasure trove of information in every Instagram and Facebook post.
From valuable tips and tricks like how to turn your foundation into a light-tinted moisturizer, to product recommendations for longer lashes and cleansers for all skin types.
Whether it’s a video of owner Debra Purdy dishing on the store’s newest arrivals or a masterclass on mask-ne from ShopEco’s aesthetician, Melissa Menard, there’s always something new to discover - including the bold statement below:
But cleanser is the first, foundational step in a skincare routine! Isn’t washing my face critical to having other products be more effective? If I don’t spend as much on a cleanser, am I settling for a sub-par product?
Those are all rational thoughts, but cleanser really is the least important part of your skincare routine. Serum is where the long-lasting effects are at.
Though cleanser is usually the first product customers choose for its affordable price point, the impact it will have is limited since it’s rinsed off after a few seconds.
If you’re afraid of spending your hard-earned dollars on a serum that you’re not sure you’ll like, read on to learn more about ShopEco’s skincare philosophy from Debra and Melissa.
You’ve been known to say that cleanser is the least important part of your skincare routine. Why?
Debra: Because a cleanser is only on your skin for a short time (20 seconds maximum, in most cases) and then gets rinsed off, results are going to be very limited as compared to a serum or moisturizer, which stays on your skin throughout the day or night. Also, the primary function of a cleanser is to clean the skin, so any anti-aging or brightening functions are going to be secondary.
By now, ShopEco customers, facial clients and Beauty Hive readers know that a solid skincare routine consists of a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and more often than not, a serum. How would you rank a serum’s importance over the other products in a skincare routine?
Melissa: As an aesthetician, I believe that all the steps in a skin care routine are important and serve a role. If you don't cleanse you leave bacteria, pollution, and free radicals on your skin that will contribute to inflammation, clogging and congestion, and premature aging. If you don't regularly use SPF your skin is subject to hyperpigmentation and premature aging. Serums are definitely important, and since they do so much heavy lifting, this is the product worth splurging on.
Cleansers are "wash aways”. Do select a cleanser that works for your skin type, condition, and lifestyle, but if you have a limited budget, don't blow it on a cleanser. Lay your cash at the altars that best serve your skin: serums, moisturizers, and eye creams.
“Do select a cleanser that works for your skin type, condition, and lifestyle, but if you have a budget, don't blow it on a cleanser. Lay your cash at the altars that best serve your skin: serums, moisturizers, and eye creams.”
Can you explain why the high concentration of ingredients in a serum is so beneficial to skin?
Melissa: True serums are like power shots for the skin. They generally have a higher concentration of actives designed to target specific skin conditions and concerns. The ABC's of skin care are cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Those three products serve as your basic foundation to healthy skin. Those products are still selected based upon your skin type and needs, but they are not as targeting and specialized in action as a serum.
Serums behave like boosters for moisturizers and can impart a large dose of skin-quenching hyaluronic acid, cell-renewing lactic and glycolic acid, or a megadose of vitamin C to brighten and even skin tone. A moisturizer locks in moisture, but a serum helps fight your skin care battles.
More often than not, ShopEco customers hope to see big changes in their skin’s appearance fast. Would you say that the consistent use of a serum is the most effective way to see major improvements in a short amount of time?
Melissa: Consistency is key with all aspects of a skin care routine. You cannot judge a product or skin care routine for at least one skin cell renewal cycle (30-90 days), which is dependent upon your age range. If you want to see brighter skin, better tone and texture, a reduction in fine lines and wrinkle depth (wrinkles won't disappear with skin care, hence depth), you need to jump on a serum with the right actives.
If your skin is parched, even with the use of a good moisturizer (we're looking at you, chapped and dehydrated winter skin), you need a nice hydration serum. If you have a good core skin care routine, a serum will be like hiring a personal trainer for your workout routine; your regimen is improved and your results get a boost.
“A moisturizer locks in moisture, but a serum helps fight your skin care battles.”
Though a serum seems like a large investment for a small amount of product, do you think you get more bang for your buck?
Debra: Absolutely. First of all, with most serums, a little goes a very long way. Most only require a very small pump to cover the entire face, neck, and decolletage. You can help it spread by applying your serum to damp skin rather than completely dry skin.
Secondly, that small amount is delivering active ingredients in higher concentrations than your moisturizer. Similar to the purpose of a cleanser that I mentioned before, any functions other than moisturizing are going to be secondary. A serum’s main purpose is to deliver specialized active ingredients to your skin in concentrated amounts. Its anti-aging, brightening, or acne-fighting powers will be that much stronger.
So, are you ready to enlist your very own "skin trainer" to see results?
Shoot us a message and we’ll help you figure out which serum is right for you. Plus, we’ll arrange a take-home sample for you to pick up in-store or curbside.
Ready to start looking for your perfect match? No problem. Browse our entire selection of serums, here.
Anastasia Barbuzzi is a freelance journalist, the Digital Editor of Style Canada, and a writer for Yahoo Canada. She's a bookworm and a lifelong shutterbug, and you'll find her reporting on beauty, fashion, life, and style on the web and in print. A brand with a clean, green attitude and an almond milk cappuccino are a couple of her favourite things.