How serums can do wonders to your skin

How serums can do wonders to your skin

By Injeel Firoz Moti, beauty blogger

Published: Thu 22 Feb 2018, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 23 Feb 2018, 1:00 AM

Does the term 'serum' sound alien to you? You are not alone. Serums have had a lot of mystery around them - are they oil-based or water-based or a combination of two? Do you use them in the day or at night, or both? Here's everything you ever needed to know:
What is a serum?
You can apply serum after cleansing but before moisturising with the intent of delivering powerful ingredients directly onto your skin. Serum is suited for this because it is made of smaller molecules that penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver a high concentration of active ingredients, thus targeting specific problems such as acne, fine lines, wrinkles, etc.

Serum or moisturiser?
The biggest difference between a serum and a cream is what the former's formulation doesn't include. Serums leave out occlusive, or airtight, moisturising ingredients such as petrolatum or mineral oil that prevents water from evaporating. They contain fewer lubricating and thickening agents, like nut or seed oils. Most serums are water-based, eliminating oils altogether.
How often should you use serums?
There are day and night serums available in the market today, but they are mostly marketing gimmicks. All you need is one good serum packed with active ingredients that can be applied once in the day and once at night. One thing to bear in mind is that your skin needs to be fully clean prior to application.
The cost factor
Serums are one of the most expensive products in any skincare line, so much so people often tend to skip it out of their routine altogether. Because active ingredients are more expensive than thickeners, serums end up being very costly. However, if applied properly, a one-ounce container of serum should last for months. Many brands come in pump bottles or have medicine-dropper applicators to dispense just the tiny amount you need. Those few concentrated drops are super-efficient and pretty much all you need.
Is serum for you?
Identifying this is the first step before jumping onto the serum bandwagon. Get to know your ingredients first. If you're suffering from.
a) Acne: Look for Vitamin C-infused serums (it increases collagen production, enhances skin's repair process and reduces inflammation), retinol (also an antioxidant, reduces inflammation), zinc (soothes irritation, regulates oil production), and salicylic acid (unclogs pores).
b) Dryness: Look for Vitamin E (an antioxidant, it protects cells from oxidative damage), niacinamide (improves skin elasticity, increases ceramide levels in skin), glycolic acid (gently exfoliates and lightens discoloration), and hyaluronic acid (retains moisture).
c) Dullness: Look for antioxidants like green tea extract, resveratrol, ferulic acid (these combat free radicals, increase effectiveness of sunscreen by day, and promote cellular repair and healing by night).

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