Facial serums can be a little intimidating with so many different types spanning various use cases available on the market. There are tons of serum variations out there! It can be very easy to get confused about what type of serum you should opt for, depending on your skin concerns. Winter is officially here and you might be wondering if your current skincare products will suffice when it comes to the colder days ahead. Now is the best time for you to start looking for serums that will help you maintain healthy skin during winter, but first, you should take some time to learn the basics.
What are facial serums?
Serums are basically lightweight moisturisers that are more potent and highly concentrated. They usually have active ingredients that penetrate deeper into your skin compared to traditional moisturisers. Most of the time, it is recommended that you use serums in conjunction with other products (this also includes a separate moisturiser). Most serums are also packed with antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins that help your skin look more vibrant and healthy.
During the colder months when the air is much drier, your skin might feel significantly more dehydrated compared to how it feels in summer. If this is the case for you, your favourite lightweight moisturiser may not be enough to keep your skin healthy and as hydrated as it needs to be. By adding serums to your skincare routine, you are targeting specific concerns and at the same time hydrating your skin 24/7.
What is the difference between traditional moisturisers and serums?
Yes, both provide hydration and some moisturisers also offer additional benefits such as anti-ageing effects and the reduction of sun damage. However, the main role of a moisturiser is to “seal” the hydration of the skin. On the other hand, serums are formulated to penetrate and address specific skin issues. They are often absorbed deeply into the skin to reverse signs of ageing, repair the skin’s structure, increase the skin’s glow and radiance, and much much more.
Here’s a simple breakdown of the difference between what’s actually in moisturisers vs. serums:
The main difference here between serums and moisturisers is that serums don’t do the “sealing”, because they lack ingredients such as petrolatum and other mineral oils that moisturisers have. So, why could a serum be more effective in treating your specific concerns?
Here is a more detailed breakdown of the difference between the two:
• Serums - Even though serums are lightweight, they are clinically designed to repair the skin on a cellular level. Most of the time, they even provide a wide range of solutions to numerous skin problems in one bottle. Serums are best used when your skin is damaged or scarred. It is the best option if you want to improve your skin overall when it comes to smoothness, firmness, and radiance. For mature skin, this is also recommended as most serums contain anti-ageing ingredients that can really help your skin look younger and plumper with regular use.
Serums contain little to no fillers and other lubricating ingredients. They are mostly pure and potent ingredients that work twice as effective on your skin when it comes to absorption. The molecules are smaller compared to moisturisers, so serums are much more effective when it comes to penetration and maximum efficiency.
• Moisturisers – Moisturisers are a hydrating emollient that help form a physical barrier to keep the skin hydrated. Thus, acting as a “sealant” to all the vitamins, nutrients and other actives that you have applied beforehand. Moisturisers have larger molecules compared to serums, thus making them less efficient for penetrating to a deeper level than the epidermis. A moisturiser’s main purpose is to seal and lock in moisture- simple.
Do you need a serum or a moisturiser?
Serums and moisturisers both play different roles in your skincare regimen. It does not mean that you need one more than the other. This is where layering comes in! Often, many of us will need both in order to maximise the effects and see better results.
Using a serum alone would mean that you would not be able to seal all the hydration, vitamins, minerals and active ingredients your skin needs to the extent that a moisturiser would. It is also not a bad idea to double up your hydration to help your skin cope up with the change of temperature and harsh drying winds.
Serums can be used in the morning and at night, depending on the product that you are using. Ideally, facial serums also boost the effectiveness of your entire skin regimen—therefore making it a critical and very important step in your routine. Especially for those who are 30+ years old, the use of serums that focus on anti-ageing will drastically improve your skin and help slow down the skin’s ageing process.
Why do you need facial serums in your skincare regimen?
Not only do they provide the added nourishment you need in winter, but they offer a whole range of benefits far beyond just moisturising your face.
Here are some of the benefits that you should expect to experience from using a serum:
• Reduces visible fine lines and wrinkles
• Repairs damage caused by the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun
• Keeps your skin firm and smooth
• Actives and acids included in the serum can help exfoliate the skin to reveal more radiant skin
• Calms redness due to skin sensitivity
• Clears and prevents blemishes
• Fades hyperpigmentation, acne scars and unevenness of skin tone
5 Serums That Will Give You Healthy Skin This Winter
1. Obagi Elastiderm Eye Complete Complex Serum – This highly effective formulation has the added benefit of caffeine. It is well-known for its antioxidant properties that help keep the cells healthy and rejuvenated. It helps in tightening the delicate skin around the eye area as well. The Elastiderm Eye Complete Complex Serum wakes up your eyes by reducing puffiness. It also has a bi-mineral complex that helps in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Not only that, but it also has Malonic acid that helps in stimulating the production of healthy skin cells around the eye area for healthier looking skin .
2. Obagi Professional C Serum 10% - If you have dry and sensitive skin, this is perfect for you. It can help prevent signs of premature ageing, including fine lines and wrinkles. It also protects your skin against future damage due to external factors. It helps in stimulating the skin’s collagen production to promote firmer and more resilient skin. The Obagi Professional C Serum contains 10% concentration of L-ascorbic acid that helps in brightening the skin and revitalising it. It penetrates deep into the skin to slow down and work towards reversing the signs of ageing. It helps your skin remain plump and hydrated for younger and firmer looking skin .
3. Obagi Professional C Serum 15% - This higher concentration of L-ascorbic acid is ideal for all skin types just like the 10% version of this product. It also neutralises free radicals and slows down the ageing process. It offers a high concentration of antioxidants that offer greater benefits to your skin
4. Obagi Professional C Serum 20% - Despite having the highest in concentration, it is still considered gentle. It also helps fight visible signs of ageing and hyperpigmentation. It has a non-greasy formula that is easily absorbed by the skin for that maximum effect.
5. Obagi Professional C Peptide Complex – A strong, yet gentle serum that contains ingredients that effectively fade signs of skin damage. It contains Vitamin C that helps in brightening the skin and defends the skin from further damage. It aids in skin repair for a softer and smoother appearance. It has Kinetin and Zeatin that works harmoniously in reducing visible signs of skin ageing.
What is the correct way of applying serum and moisturiser?
It is highly recommended that you apply skin care products immediately after washing your face. The reason behind this is that your skin is 10 x more permeable when the surface is moist.
After cleansing and toning, apply the serum to the entire face (or designated area, e.g. like when it comes to eye serums.) Apply a small amount of your serum, preferably with 2 of your fingers and gently massage and press against your skin. Always remember that applying more doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be twice as effective. With serums, less is actually considered more. Proceed with the rest of your skincare and apply moisturiser as the last step before your SPF to lock in all the moisture.
All in all, serums are a great addition to your skincare routine. It’s not just about adding more complexity to your routine, but adequately protecting your skin when conditions get harsher during winter. Serums help your skin to heal, cope, and be protected when the temperature drops and will keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.