A basic skincare routine will include a cleanser, a toner, and a moisturizer. But is that all you need for the best skincare regimen?
Nope! You’re forgetting one crucial ingredient: face serum. Never heard of face serums, or just doubtful that you need one for your skincare routine? Let's dive into the world of serums and explain everything you need to know about these effective products. Chances are you’ll be convinced by the time we’re done!
What Is a Serum?
Let’s start with the basics: what is serum and why should you use it?
Lots of people confuse serum with moisturizer, but the two products are distinct. While serum shares some moisturizing capabilities with a designated moisturizing lotion, serums also provide extra benefits. In short: serums penetrate and moisturize the skin and deliver beneficial active ingredients to its lower layers. Think of it as supercharging your skin and providing it with extra elements for its health, appearance, and protection.
Lots of high-quality serums will be made with a water base, a little bit of alcohol, then the extracts or oils from flowers and other natural ingredients. All of these compounds combine into potent mixtures that provide your skin with plenty of powerful benefits. Serums are designed to be penetrating and are composed of small molecules with high concentrations of their beneficial ingredients; this means you only need a small amount of serum for your entire face every day.
Used correctly, serum can:
- make your skin look younger and healthier
- provide your skin with a smoother and firmer texture
- make your pores appear smaller
- increase moisture levels
- help your skin recover from blemishes or injuries more quickly
- prevent wrinkles from accruing as much over time
Is It Better Than Moisturizer?
Serum isn’t better than moisturizer: the two products are used for different things. Moisturizers are primarily used after you’ve finished cleansing your skin, and especially after you have recently used a toner. Toner and other cleansing agents have a habit of drying out the skin, which can make it look older or wrinkly during the day. Dry skin comes with other health complications, like a tendency to flake, extra itchiness, and possibly even extra oiliness when your skin tries to compensate for the lack of moisture. That can then snowball into more acne, as well.
Moisturizer takes care of all those issues by replenishing any moisture taken away from the cleansing process and sealing that moisture into your skin’s lower layers. This makes it more difficult for your skin to lose moisture throughout the day, too.
Serum, while providing some limited moisturization effects, is not mainly used as an aftercare product for toner users, nor is it a solution if you have naturally dry skin. It's an extra step to the main skincare routine of cleanser + toner + moisturizer. So framing serum and moisturizer as products in direct competition with one another isn’t the way to go.
We’d still recommend grabbing a good face serum because of all the benefits that it can bring to your skincare routine.
Do You Really Need Serums?
Serums aren't strictly necessary in any skincare routine. But they're a great ancillary product to add to your routine if you have the time and want to make your skin look the best it can. There’s no denying that skin that receives the treatment and benefits of serum will look better than skin that does not.
This can be a much better bargain than you think. Lots of women use high amounts of makeup to cover skin impurities and finalize their aesthetic. But what if your skin didn’t have as many impurities or you didn’t have to use as much makeup? Serum could be a path to having better, younger-looking skin all the time!
Then you might not have to use quite as much makeup, meaning you won’t have to cleanse as deeply or as often. Furthermore, you’ll save time in your morning routine since you want to put on as much makeup as before. Plus, your skin’s youthful appearance will last longer. Stay back, wrinkles!
This benefit even translates to cost. Serum can be pricey (although some products are very affordable). But you might even save money by having to buy less makeup thanks to serum’s effects.
What Ingredients Are in Good Serums?
Naturally, there are excellent serums and some subpar serums. The best serums will have a handful of quality ingredients derived from natural sources:
- Antioxidants are common in many of the best serums. Antioxidants are compounds that can protect your skin cells from free radical molecular damage, which accelerates aging and makes it more difficult for your skin to look and feel its best. You can tell if a serum has antioxidants by checking the ingredients list. These are things like vitamin C, grape seed extract, pomegranate extract, and more. Antioxidants are excellent because they can help protect your skin against sun damage, too
- Anti-inflammatory agents are another thing to look out for. These are ingredients like aloe vera, goldenseal, arnica, and zinc. All of these can help prevent more inflammatory cell damage and can even help your skin retain its natural color. If your skin tends to get red spots very easily, you'll want anti-inflammatory ingredients in your face serum
- Hydrating ingredients are very important, of course. While serums won't achieve the same level of hydration as a full-on moisturizing product, they can still do a good job of making your skin feel less dry over the course of a day. Look for ingredients like certain amino acids, essential fatty acids, and ceramides. All of these can help your skin's moisturization barrier strengthen by rebuilding cell membranes. As a result, your skin will lose hydration less frequently, meaning even dry days won’t be as much of an irritation as before
What Are Some Excellent Serum Examples?
Suki Skin Care provides some of the best facial serums you can find no matter what your skin type or skin concerns. Take their Purifying Face Serum, for example. This top-quality product can do a lot for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin, including reducing redness and flareups across the skin and lowering the incidence of blemishes and breakouts no matter the type. It can also balance bacteria production and sebum across your skin – sebum is a natural type of waxy facial oil that shouldn't be totally eliminated, lest your skin gets too dry again.
Furthermore, this serum can purify your complexion and clarify your skin tone. It can do all of this because of its excellent ingredient composition, which includes water mixed with rosa centifolia extract. Alcohol derived from sugar cane and denatured with lavender oil provides it with effective purifying power. Other ingredients like willow bark extract and fruit oils round out its composition. All in all, it’s a fantastic-feeling face serum that’s perfect if you want the healthiest and cleanest skin you can get.
Suki’s Radical Results Youth Serum is focused more on tackling the signs of aging like fine lines, dark spots, dullness, and wrinkles. It’s a perfect fit if you have mature skin, as it can strengthen, firm and tone your skin by jumpstarting collagen production and improving elasticity. Collagen is the anti-aging compound your skin needs to retain its youthful shape and firmness.
The facial serum works well, too, because it can prevent the cycle of unhealthy aging from beginning in the first place. It’s almost always better to stop wrinkles from accruing over time than it is to tackle wrinkles that have already cropped up. But you do already have some wrinkles that are creeping into place, this serum will do a great job of reducing their size and impact. A natural ingredient list including lavender oil, maltodextrin, seed extracts, and rosa centifolia flower water ensures that this face serum feels great to apply and hydrates the skin.
You might also like the Even-Tone Brightening Serum. This serum is great for people of all ages and is primarily focused on helping you even out your skin tone. If you have splotches of color or hyperpigmentation in certain areas, it’s an ideal solution. It can brighten your overall complexion as well without making your skin appear bleached. Basically, it can help flush your skin with color in a natural, great-looking way.
As with all Suki products, this serum is derived from quality dermatology ingredients like citrus lemon peel extract, hyaluronic acid, lavender oil, retinol, glycolic acid, green tea, and songyi mushroom extract. Using ingredients like this ensures that your skin gets the best treatment possible and never has to handle harsh synthetic chemicals in your quest for a better skincare routine.
So, should you pick a face serum to add to your collection of skin care products? We'd wholeheartedly say yes. While serums don't moisturize nearly as well as dedicated moisturizing lotions, they provide irreplaceable benefits by giving your skin the ingredients it needs to repair itself and look great over the long term. Chances are that, if you use face serum while you're young and make it a staple of your skincare regimen, you'll experience a much gentler aging curve than someone who doesn’t.
In the end, the choice is simple: do you want the best possible skin you can get? If so, grab a serum and enjoy!