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How to Choose a Face Serum

Face serums have abundant benefits tailored to your individual skincare needs and routines. Yet, navigating through the different products available in the market can be daunting. But that’s where the Skinstation Experts come in! Let’s explore the different facial serums available and help you decide which one will be right for you.

What are Facial Serums?

What do serums do? Face serums often provide a lightweight way to manage specific skin concerns and give a natural, luminous glow. They can penetrate deeper than many other skincare products and typically have a higher concentration of active ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid and vitamin C) than most moisturisers.

So, what does a serum do for your face? If you are looking to target fine lines, pigmentation, or other concerns then a serum with a specific formula could be a better option, in many cases, than a more generalised moisturiser that helps to lock in other products and seal in hydration.

Different Types of Facial Serums

There are various types of face serums with individually tailored formulas for many different skin types – from face serums for glowing skin to serums for skin texture. Knowing what each face serum offers is the first step to selecting the ideal one for you.

Anti-Ageing Serums

Designed to target the visible signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles, these serums promote collagen production for plumper, firmer skin. Often with active ingredients, like anti-oxidants that protect against free radicals, anti-ageing serums are ideal for those who want to achieve a more youthful look with even skin texture and tone.

Vitamin C Serums

Renowned for its robust antioxidant properties, vitamin C helps mitigate the effects of free radicals, which are unstable atoms in the body that can cause damage to the skin.

It can also assist in combatting oxidative stress induced by environmental aggressors such as UV radiation and pollution, vitamin C can boost skin’s radiance and reduce pigmentation. It has a wealth of positive effects to help brighten and lift the skin’s appearance, these serums can help bring back a natural vitality to lacklustre skin.

Exfoliating Serums

Removing dead skin cells, exfoliating serums can help with dullness and can improve skin texture. Often containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), they can rejuvenate skin for a fresher, more vibrant look.

Assisting with the visible appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, exfoliating serums may help with a more youthful and even appearance. Offering an alternative to manual exfoliators, they can be easily added to your skincare routine.


Hydrating Serums

Giving your skin an extra boost of hydration, hydrating serums are ideal for dry skin that requires that extra bit of care and attention. Often used alongside moisturisers to lock in nourishment; they replenish skin and reduce flakiness.

Tired, dehydrated skin can benefit from extra moisturisation with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid: one of the most hydrating ingredients used within skincare products, it draws moisture into the skin and holds it there, easing dry, flaky skin.

Brightening Serums

Packed with many extracts and antioxidants, like vitamin E and vitamin C, brightening serums not only give a natural glow but can also help target dark spots and uneven skin tone for rejuvenated, healthy skin.

One of our favourite brightening serums is the MZ Skin Brighten & Perfect 10% Vitamin C Corrective Serum which helps to reinvigorate dull skin. It works to fade dark spots, plump the skin and create a gorgeous, glowing complexion.

Spot Fighting Serums

Whilst most skincare products take a reactive approach to fight breakouts, serums designed for blemish-prone skin take both a proactive and preventative approach: preventing the build-up of bacteria that lead to blemishes, as well as helping in treating current breakouts.

With micro-ingredients that go beneath the skin’s surface and help unclog pores, they go beyond what many creams can do, and help reduce inflammation. Niacinamide and salicylic acid are key ingredients when exfoliating the pores for smoother, clearer skin.

Designed to target the visible signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles, these serums promote collagen production for plumper, firmer skin. Often with active ingredients, like anti-oxidants that protect against free radicals, anti-ageing serums are ideal for those who want to achieve a more youthful look with even skin texture and tone.

How Do I Use Face Serums?

It’s possible to incorporate facial serums into your skincare routine even when you’re short on time. Maintaining the fundamental skincare steps (cleanse, exfoliate, moisturise, SPF) can amplify the benefits derived from facial serums. Use your serum all over the face (excluding the mouth and eyes) as well as the neck and décolleté after cleansing. 

1.  Begin with a thorough cleansing routine: Remove any impurities, makeup residue, and excess oils with a cleanser to ensure your skin is a blank canvas for your skincare to absorb into. Consider utilising a toner at this stage to restore the skin's natural pH balance post-cleansing.

2.  Apply the serum: Follow the application instructions on the serum’s bottle, dispensing the recommended amount onto fingertips. Gently massage the serum into the skin, paying particular attention to areas of concern.

3.  Allow the serum to soak into the skin and seal with moisturisation: If you can, allow the serum a few minutes to fully absorb the skin before applying a moisturiser. This step serves to lock in the serum's active ingredients whilst supplying essential hydration to the skin.

4.  Incorporate SPF protection: Shield the skin against harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and environmental stressors by finishing your skincare routine with a sun protection factor (SPF). This measure not only safeguards the skin but also enhances the efficacy of your beauty routine by mitigating potential damage caused by sun exposure.

What type of serum will work for me?

If you find yourself asking “What face serum should I use?”, the first step is to understand what your skin needs. Are there specific skin concerns you want to target? Or are you looking for serums for your skin type, such as the best serum for combination skin?

Begin by picking out what you need from a skincare routine and then find something designed for those concerns. Once you think you’ve found something that may work, we recommend slowly introducing it into your routine by phasing in application 1-2 times a week, increasing the frequency as your skin becomes used to the product.

Using an abundance of products may be too much for the balance of your skin. Finding the right ingredients that work for your skin will help you to see the best results and will assist the health of your skin for years to come.

What Serums are Better for Oily, Sensitive, Acne Prone, Dry and Combination Skin?

Finding which serum is best for your face starts with understanding what type of skin you have and, therefore, what ingredients your skin will benefit from. 

If you have oily skin, you want to try and combat excess oil, so a lightweight serum is an ideal starting point. For sensitive skin, gentle, anti-inflammatory ingredients that are hydrating and moisturising, will be a top priority.

Blemish-prone skin benefits from products that don’t contain oil and typically have exfoliating ingredients like salicylic acid. Dry skin requires moisturisation and ingredients that bring brightness to your face. Combination skin is skin that has dry patches as well as oily areas, the ideal product needs to address both concerns. Products that hydrate without clogging pores offer a plump, dewy finish without excess oil.

Can I Layer Face Serums?

Serums are often created to target specific skin concerns, making them the ideal product to layer to address your skin’s unique needs. It’s important not to use ingredients that interfere with each other at the same time: such as an exfoliating acid and a retinol. You can, however, spread out the application of these ingredients throughout the week by ‘skin cycling’

It’s always best to start low and slow with new skincare products, allowing your skin to adjust to each product one at a time before adding anything new. So, if you’re interested in layering face serums, make sure your skin is comfortable with one before adding another.

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