Skin serum: What it can and can’t do
Jun 12, · A skin serum is not a moisturizer, like a lotion or cream, says Dr. Abigail Waldman, instructor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School. Rather, they are highly concentrated formulations that are designed to sink into the skin quickly, delivering an intensive dose of ingredients that can address common skin complaints. Serums are rich in nutrients that are good for skin. Most are water-based, so your skin absorbs them quickly. They usually don't have heavy ingredients like petrolatum, mineral oil, or other oils.
You are not alone in having no earthly idea what a serum is. Even if you're whzt proud owner of several serums, it's not a particularly clear product on it's surface. Think of the contradictions: It's moisturizing, but you still use moisturizer.
It can be oily, but it's not necessarily face oil. It can be watery, but is it essence? So many questions and we haven't even gotten to ingredient lists yet! Skincare should never stress you out that would sort of defeat the purposeso we pooled our collective knowledge, did a bit more research, and compiled a cheat sheet of derum.
There's not going to be a test, but study up anyway. We hear skincare talk makes great party ice seum. What is serum? Serum is a skincare product you can apply to your skin after cleansing but before moisturizing with the intent of delivering powerful ingredients directly into the skin.
Serum is particularly suited to this task because it is made up of smaller molecules that can penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients. This makes them a great tool for targeting specific skincare concerns, like wrinkles.
Goodbye, signs of aging! Is serum a moisturizer? Yes and no. Serums can be chock-full of moisturizing ingredients hyaluronic acid, ceramides to help skin retain moisture. But, that doesn't make them moisturizers in the traditional sense. Face lotions and creams are richer and create a barrier on top of the skin to keep all that good stuff in.
How often should I use my serum? Well, this all depends on the serum. Read the label, but once a day will probably cover your bases. What's the difference between serum and face oil? Good question. Traditional serums are water-based. Though, as the face oil trend grows and there are more and more oils on the marketmore oils are marketed as 'serums. Use whichever zkin your boat, with What is serum skin care Bicaj's soothing voice in your head, saying these words: serumm have the water-based serums and the oil-based serums.
Water-based serums go under the cream and they are so important. They nourish the inner layer of the skin because the molecule is very small so it penetrates—because of the P50of course. The oil-based serums go on top of the moisturizer because they have a bigger molecule.
They're supposed to keep the cream and whatever you put underneath moist during the entire day. What about essence? Is essence serum?
Based on where they come in the routine after cleansing, before moisturizing and what function they serve targeted skincare needs besides simple hydration serums and essences are very similar. If anything, they differ in texture; Serums are gooier and more concentrated, while essences are watered-down with a more fluid texture ex.
Yes, serums tend to be on the pricier end of the skincare spectrum. But for a pretty decent reason! Remember that bit about being super concentrated and potent? You are getting your bang for your buck here Doesn't serum expire really fast? Certain potent ingredients often found in serum can become unstable once they come in contact with air.
Ascorbic acid vitamin Cfor instace, can oxidize and lose efficacy over time. But thanks to science, modified versions of the ingredient that are water-soluble, etc. Best rule of thumb is to store your vial in a cool, dry place obviously and use it up within six months to a year. Is serum right for your skin? Get to know your ingredients first. If you're Dry : Cade for vitamin E an antioxidant, protects cells from oxidative damageniacinamide improves skin elasticity, increases ceramide levels in skinglycolic acid gently exfoliates and lightens discolorationand hyaluronic acid retains moisture.
Feeling dull : How to get married on the beach for antioxidants like green tea extract, resveratrol, ferulic acid these combat free zkin, increase effectiveness of sunscreen by day, and promote cellular repair and healing by night. A word of caution: Because serums are super potent, more is not always better. Be careful before piling it on.
Powerful ingredients can sedum sensitive skin. Always patch-test accordingly. Do you have any recommendations? Why certainly. Here's what our team swears by:. Create new Glossier account.
Create a Glossier account to xkin your Into The Gloss profile and save what is 0. 55 hectometers expressed in decimeters favorite stories. By signing up, you agree to receive updates and special offers for Into The Gloss's products and services. You may unsubscribe at any time. I already have an account.
As in, your inbox. Sign up below and we'll bring you the top stories from ITG every week. The very best of Into The Gloss, delivered weekly right to your inbox. Share Tweet Pin Copy. Research by Michaela Waites. Enter here to win! You know the drill—enter your email for a chance to win free skincare and makeup. How to use a pc keyboard on a mac what you see? Sign up for our newsletter. More: Skincare serum.
Log in to ITG. Log in with my existing Glossier account. Let us come to you! Interviews, product reviews, and more The very best of Into The Gloss, delivered weekly right to your inbox.
Search Harvard Health Publishing
Serum is a skincare product you can apply to your skin after cleansing but before moisturizing with the intent of delivering powerful ingredients directly into the skin. Serum is particularly suited to this task because it is made up of smaller molecules that can penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients. Sep 15, · Serums are lighter skin care formulations than moisturizers. The thinner viscosity allows the serum to be absorbed more easily into your skin. .
Many things improve with age; unfortunately, your skin is not one of them. Wrinkles, brown spots, and general dullness often start to creep in as the years tick by. To reverse these problems many women are turning to a skin serum. Serums are light, easily absorbed oil- or water-based liquids that you spread on your skin.
They typically come in small bottles with a dropper, and you only need a few drops to treat your whole face. A skin serum is not a moisturizer, like a lotion or cream, says Dr. Abigail Waldman, instructor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School.
Rather, they are highly concentrated formulations that are designed to sink into the skin quickly, delivering an intensive dose of ingredients that can address common skin complaints. Serums are typically applied to skin after cleansing but before moisturizing, says Dr. Maryam M. Asgari, associate professor in the department of dermatology at Harvard Medical School.
Some serums have one main ingredient, while others, including those that target the signs of aging, are combination formulas. Other good skin serum options to target wrinkles are those with antioxidants including tea polyphenols and resveratrol.
Retinol, which reduces inflammation, is another good option, as is niacinamide. If you are looking to fight blotchiness and discoloration, look for formulas that can brighten and lighten dark patches, including kojic acid and glycolic acid. If your skin is dry, tight, and flaky, find a skin serum that contains vitamin E, niacinamide, and glycolic acid. Also look for ceramides, which are fatty molecules that help hold the skin together and keep moisture from escaping. Other good options are serums that contain hyaluronic acid, or those with collagen peptides, epidermal growth factors, or stem cells.
Not all serums work the same. How well they work depends on the active ingredients, the formulation, the vehicle, and the stability of the compound, says Dr. More important than price are the ingredients in the serum — so the best practice is to read labels to find the best formulation for your needs. For example, your skin may get irritated if you use a serum with vitamin C which is acidic and as well as a retinol cream, or if you use a retinol serum along with a prescription retinol cream.
Thanks so much for this post. It is very helpful!! Of course I would love to know about brand names, but I understand it is not possible. Thanks again and, please, keep posting this kind of information! Beckett makes a good point. We all run behind having a skin that looks gorgeous. We religiously follow a skin care routine, which includes cleansing, toning and moisturizing.
But sometimes, we forget to include a very important component — serum. How do these serums work? How long does it take to see results? Lots of questions that were not explained in article. Recommended brand names??? I agree with previous comments that express concern about which serums accomplish what and what scientific evidence supports these claims.
I, for one am interested in serums that support the development of collagen. What are the proportions of which ingredients have been shown in clinical trials to accomplish this?
Looking for recommendations? I have used 2 different C serums over the last 20 years — Cellex C one of the first, a product made in Canada and Obagi C serum.
I get compliments from many people about my skin. It looks 20 years younger than me! The Obagi comes in 3 strengths; start with the mildest. Tretinoin is also great! Obagi alo has this. I think you canget it on the internet now. I plan to try it. Phytoceuticals is a reputable serum line. Owned by chemist Dr Mustapher Omar.
Dr Omar holds that patent on stabilizing L ascorbic acid vitamin C. What does a cream containing quinones do for the skin and what are the dangers of using it?
I have been using serums for years and to tell the truth I bought this hell made from berries and what a difference it made to my skin! I use it in conjunction with a serum has caviar, torricellum and gold. An anyone comment? I too would like to learn brand names that have close to the formulations you discuss.
For the article to be helpful, I would need more specific direction, would not expect only one specific brand to be recommended but certainly a list of possibilities. The idea of the reader checking formulations with all the product out there is not really practical.
You could make a disclaimer to cover liability. Otherwise your good information is not really helpful. I would be SO SO grateful if you would share the name of the serum and how to get samples of it. My email is judyspiegelman gmail. Some time ago, I read that tretinoin and l ascorbic acid are the only two ingredients in skin products that are evidence proven. What evidence is there for any other ingredients?
This article would have been much more helpful if it had pointed to brand names that follow the recommendations. My next stop is to see whether Consumer Reports has an article on skin serums. It would be nice to see a list of name brands that work for each condition. Serums with the right ingredients may not have the correct proportions to be effective. Trial and error can be both time and cost consuming. I support the comment made by Dr. I have received samples of the products.
I have no interest in plastic surgery but would like to trust the products that I buy for my aging skin. Beckett is correct in requesting specific scientific documentation for claims of beneficial therapies. Not only does this promote chaos in the cultural memetic going forward, but when infiltrated into actionable medical praxis, poses a potential danger to individual well-being- and thus to society at large.
It would be helpful to cite blinded controlled clinical trials showing efficacy for even one of these products, and in fairness citing studies which have failed to show a beneficial effect. Related Information: Skin Care and Repair. Related Posts: Scrubbing your hands dry?