Beauty Benefits of Using a Skin Serum
To get the best results for gorgeous-looking skin, along with your cleanser, toner and moisturiser, add a face serum to your daily skin care routine. The specialty of this elixir lies in the fact that it is formulated to target specific skin problems. So whether you want to reduce fine lines, smooth out wrinkles, get rid of dark spots, prevent acne, reduce pores or brighten up your skin, serums come in a variety of formulas. All you have to do is zero down on one suitable for your skin — and you’re going to be spoilt for choice!
What are serums?
Loaded with nutrients, ceramides, glycerin, natural ingredients (cucumber, aloe vera etc.) and vitamins like C, K, E, skin serums are oil or water-based products, that have the ability to penetrate deep within the layers of your skin, so that you get phenomenal results. Unlike other skin products, these have a higher concentration of active ingredients and usually come in a creamy gel form. In fact, new age serums use silicones, which allow your skin to receive the supplements, without the grease.
Applying it the right way
For best results, incorporate the serum in your daily beauty routine. Use only a dime size of the product.
> After cleansing your face, use an alcohol-free toner and leave it damp on the skin before applying your serum. This way, the ingredients will penetrate deep within the skin.
> Wait for a few minutes until the serum is fully absorbed by the skin before applying a moisturiser.
> Keep your moisturiser in the refrigerator as when it is applied cold, it pushes blood away from the skin and in the process, creates a vacuum effect to pull the potent serum ingredients deeper within the skin.
Each face serum available in the market may be aimed at solving a specific skin problem, so the benefits vary. Dr Navin Taneja, director, National Skin Center says, “Since this highly concentrated treatment contains high levels of nourishing ingredients, all of them help restore moisture and elasticity to the skin, while regulating oil production.” The most common benefits include hydration, increased nourishment, brightening of the skin, and acne prevention. They also help in strengthening skin cells. While other face creams contain only 5 to 10 per cent of active ingredients, a face serum can contain up to 70 per cent! No wonder these potent products are able to deliver a much greater concentration of nutrients, deeper into the skin.
…. and the pitfalls!
Always use serums according to the instructions and as per the prescribed amount because excessive use of serums can cause irritation, rashes and itching to the skin. Also, never use two serums at a time. Dr. Kiran Lohia, dermatologist and founder of Cosmedic Skin Solutions, says, “Firstly, it is time consuming to add another product to your existing skin care regimen. Because of the active ingredients they contain, serums can be expensive. Next, given the heavy content of these products, clogging of pores is a common side-effect, especially if the serum isn’t non-comedogenic. Finally, they can make your skin feel greasier and look oilier, particularly in summers.”
How are serums different from moisturisers?
> The molecules in serums are smaller than those in your regular moisturiser; thus they penetrate deeper into the skin and give better results. A moisturiser has larger molecules, and so it works only on the first layer.
> While serums deposit highly concentrated active nutrients, vitamins and minerals, which are essential for treating various skin conditions, moisturisers provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
> The efficacy of serums is more as compared to moisturisers. The results acquired are quick and satisfactory, unlike the latter.
Choosing the right serum for your skin
Whether you’re blessed with a good complexion or have problematic skin, the sheer variety that you have in serums can be a conundrum for even a beauty junkie. To ensure that you find one that will suit your skin, begin by picking a serum as per your skin type — dry, oily, combination or sensitive. There is no such thing as the best face serum for everyone. You can determine the right product for you according to your age and needs. Also consider what other skin care products and techniques you are using. Dr Taneja warns, “If you use chemical peels regularly, be careful if you are adding an anti-ageing serum to your routine. The Vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acids in these serums are very acidic and can irritate freshly peeled skin. Be careful with other forms of exfoliation when using anti-ageing serums.” Get the best results from most skin care products by using them consistently. This is especially true if you are trying to remove wrinkles and age spots. Try a serum for at least a month before you give up on it. It can take some trial and error, but eventually you’ll find the best face serum for your needs.