During the dry winter months it’s important to step up your skincare routine with these three facial serums you need to attain flawless skin--at any age. Lots of people skip serums because they think they’re expensive (some are but not all, and a bottle can last a long time); they don’t know much about them; or they think if they use a good moisturizer with SPF then they're good to go. Maybe right now, but the goal is to protect your skin so as you get older you won’t develop lines, wrinkles, age spots, and the other tell tale signs of aging. That’s why it’s best to start now--the sooner the better.
Here’s some more advice. Start with one type of serum and do a patch test to see how your skin reacts. Serums can be potent, so it’s best to not go overboard applying all of them at once, and they all have different benefits. To get the most out of them, it’s best to apply one in the morning and one at night. Wash your face and while your skin is still damp (which makes it easier to absorb) apply about a dime size amount onto your finger, blend onto your face and neck, and let dry. Follow up with your favorite moisturizer.
Below are the 3 basic serums you can start off with, and we’ve chosen 8 of our favorite products for each type.
Best for: Acne prone, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, sensitive skin
What is it?: An oil and water based liquid that delivers high concentration of Vitamin C.
What it does: Overall, Vitamin C serum helps fight the signs of aging and protects the skin against sun damage. This natural ingredient has so many healing benefits and can even be used for those with sensitive, and acne prone skin. As we get older collagen production is lost. Vitamin C serum rehydrates and stimulates the skin preventing signs of aging, such as wrinkles and smile lines.
For certain skin tones, sunspots can start popping up in your early 30’s, leaving you to have an uneven complexion. Vitamin C serum helps to lighten them as well as brighten your complexion, revealing a more even and luminous skin tone. For those that are left with purple acne scars, good news--with regular use the scars will start to fade.
After about a month of applying Vitamin C serum, you will start to notice the benefits. Another thing to remember, if you’re using a cream with Vitamin C, it’s different in that serums delivers a stronger dose of higher concentrations than creams.
When to use: In the morning
When choosing a serum with Vitamin C, be sure to choose one with L-Ascorbic Acid as an active ingredient, and a bottle that isn’t clear. The colored glass helps the serum to stay stable and not oxidize (turning a brownish color). If that happens throw it out and replace it.
Best for: Acne prone, dull, oily, aging skin
What is it?: A powerful anti-aging ingredient that increases cellular turnover.
What it does: The benefits of this potent anti-aging serum include reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and fading age spots. It slows down the skin's oil production, which will help in the fight against acne, and can even make pores appear smaller. Studies have shown that some people who use retinol regularly have been able to completely eliminate fine lines, wrinkles and skin discoloration.
Retinol also has an exfoliating effect which can lead to a mild peeling. Exfoliating regularly can leave skin smoother and brighter. The benefits of exfoliating also lead to fewer breakouts because it keeps your pores clear.
One of the side effects of retinol use is dry skin. If you suffer from dry skin or are on a prescription acne medication you should skip using retinol or talk with your dermatologist. You should always use sunscreen, but even more so (SPF 50 or above) when using retinol because the exfoliating benefits can cause the damaging UV rays to be absorbed into your skin at a faster rate.
When to use: At night
Best for: All skin types
What is it?: A serum that revitalizes the skin's outer layer so that it appears plumper, brighter, and smoother.
What it does: Hyaluronic acid enhances moisture in the skin creating a more youthful and healthier complexion. When people get injections (lips, smile lines), a lot of times the doctor users a hyaluronic filler like Restylane or Juvéderm--so it’s similar in the sense that both goals are to plump up the skin. With a serum you’re applying it at a topical level. One of the many benefits is that it’s gentle and suitable for all skin types, even extremely sensitive skin. Another huge benefit is the moisture-binding characteristic. As we age our skin holds less water, which makes our skin start to sag, and create wrinkles. Regular use of Hyaluronic acid improves firmness and helps your skin to look plumper.
When to use: Twice daily. In the morning and at night time. Apply after cleansing while your skin is still damp (it absorbs better). Then apply your moisturizer.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is based on our research, speaking with professionals, and from our own personal experiences. Please be advised that we are not medical doctors or experts in the field.
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