From smoothing out wrinkles to reducing breakouts, facial serums tend to come with a host of benefits that have made them a welcome addition to any well-stocked beauty supply. But if you’re still figuring out why the stuff is worth a spot in your skincare regimen – especially considering the often hefty price tag – then here’s everything you need to know about the product.
What is serum?
Kind of a like a weird mix between moisturizer, face oil, and essence, facial serum is a skin care product that is most valuable because of its ability to penetrate deeply into the skin and make the absorption of beneficial nutrients and ingredients a lot easier. The main factors here are serum’s super lightweight makeup (this means that there aren’t a lot of the same heavy components keeping the serum from really being absorbed into your skin) and its small molecules (these make absorption a lot easier on your skin, too, and allow for a major concentration of active ingredients per small dose of serum).
How is it different from moisturizer?
The real difference between a serum and a moisturizer is the consistency. Because moisturizers are traditionally thicker and heavier, they aren’t really absorbed into the skin as much as a serum. This means that moisturizers end up creating a kind of layer on the surface of the skin that locks in moisture more effectively than serum could. That’s not to say that serums aren’t still moisturizing, though – thanks to ingredients like ceramides, serums can totally help solve issues with dry skin. They simply won’t always offer the same long-lasting moisture that a real moisturizer could.
How do you use serum?
Adding serum to your beauty routine is as simple as slipping it in between cleansing and, well, everything else. All it takes is a small bit of serum to replenish nutrients in your skin after washing your face, and then once you’ve applied the serum, you can go about your moisturizing and makeup regimen as usual.
How should you store serum?
Since you don’t need to use a lot of serum every time you apply some to your face, it’s important to store the stuff properly to get the most use out of it. For the most part, serums have a shelf life of about six months to a year because they’re chock-full of active ingredients that have pretty solid expiration dates. To keep your serum fresh and potent for as long as possible, be sure to store it in a cool, dry place. For the best results, you may even want to pop it in the fridge.
What’s the best serum for your skin type?
The serum that you should use – or even whether you should even be using serum at all – all comes down to your skin type. For acne-prone skin, try something with salicylic acid, like InstaNatural Vitamin C Skin Clearing Serum. To fight wrinkles, try something like Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Regenerating Serum. For dry skin, try something with aloe like Skinfix Moisture Boost Serum. Then if you’re looking for something to even out your complexion, try Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Serum. Whatever serum you choose, you’ll want to be sure to give it a bit of time to work before writing it off as ineffective.