Last updated: September 1, 2021

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In this day and age, you’ll find it hard to find many women that don’t follow some sort of beauty and personal care routine. We can confidently say that women today, devote at least a few minutes a day to care for their skin. Little things like maintaining good hygiene, ensuring proper hydration and providing it with the right nutrients, are a few of the ways in which we can ensure our skin is healthy and glowing.

A traditional facial care routine includes basic products like cleansing gel, toner, and moisturizer. In the last decade, however, another product has emerged to become a necessity in many of these routines: face serum. This new-ish invention has become popular thanks to its impressive moisturizing and nourishing capabilities. Do you want to reap the benefits of this product but don’t know where to start? Just keep reading, this article has everything you need to know about facial serums.




Summary

  • Face serums are cosmetics designed to provide ultimate hydration to the skin. Serum formulations can vary considerably in terms of their ingredients and properties. Anti-ageing, antioxidant and sebum-regulating are just a few of the most popular types of face serums.
  • Face serums have a much higher concentration of active ingredients than normal face moisturizers. For this reason, their action and effects are much stronger.
  • Face serums have a much more fluid consistency than moisturizers, it makes it easier for the formula to be fully absorbed, and reach the deepest layers of the skin.

The Best Face Serum: Our Picks

In this section, we have prepared a list of some of the best face serums currently available. With this list, we want to show you some of the key features and characteristics that make up a good facial serum. You can compare between them, or mix and match to create a personalized care plan for the specific needs of your skin.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Face Serums

In order to find the best facial serum for your skin and lifestyle, you should start by understanding the key aspects and functions of these products. To help you navigate this information, in this section we include all of the most relevant facts about face serums. We have also taken the time to answer the most frequently asked questions among buyers, in hopes it will help you better understand what your needs are.

Facial serum is made to be fast and thoroughly absorbed.
(Source: Mandrikova: 52484745/ 123rf.com)

What is a face serum?

Face serums are lightweight moisturizers made to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin to deliver active ingredients. Its main function is to provide intense hydration and increased nourishment to the dermis. Moreover, depending on each individual formulation, serums can include anti-aging, antioxidant or skin illuminating properties. Serums are particularly thin and can come in the form of gel, fluid or emulsion.

The light texture of these products doesn't just optimize its absorption, it also allows for the ingredients seep through, thus providing great moisture to the skin from the inside out. This results in fresh, hydrated, oil-free skin. Aside from their moisturizing agents, most face serums also include a high concentration of active ingredients that help treat a number of other issues of the skin, allowing the effectiveness of the formula to be enhanced.

Who should use a face serum?

The main allure of facial serums is their extraordinary moisturizing properties. For this reason, face serums are recommended especially for when the first signs of aging begin to show, or for those with very dry skin. The use of this product can help you treat expression lines, dull and lifeless looking skin when used as an anti-aging treatment.

As you know, there are hundreds of serums with varying properties and ingredients that make them great to treat specific skin conditions. Meaning, it will be easy to find the right products to target and treat any specific issues. For instance, you’ll find products made specifically to help you treat skin blemishes, acne, or peeling.

How to apply face serum?

All you need to remember when it comes to the application of facial serum is that is applied after cleansing the face and using toner, and before applying a moisturizer. This is because, in order for the serum to work best, it needs to be in direct contact with unobstructed skin. So, if the skin is not clean, or still has impurities when you apply the serum, it will lose its effectiveness.

This next image shows the sequence of steps in a simple and complete facial care and beauty routine:

The makings of a proper facial serum application.
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In terms of how much to use, half a penny size is often more than enough. Because it's so light and fluid, a little really goes a long way, and you can easily distribute throughout the skin. Keep in mind that using more than the recommended amount will not increase its benefits. In some cases, it may even bring about some unwanted effects and you’ll end up wasting your money.

Lastly, remember that the serum should be applied to the face, neck and collar bone. Afterward, it is often recommended to leave it on for as long as possible before applying any moisturizing cream.

How often should face serum be applied?

The benefits of face serum don’t just show with every single application. In order for the product to work, it requires patience and consistency. Most products are advised to be used twice a day, morning and night. The timing can be flexible, but you must always apply the serum on a clean face before using moisturizer.

If twice a day is not practical for you, we would suggest using it a night. This is the period of maximum cellular regeneration. So it is during this time that your skin will benefit most from this product. Just keep in mind that it is always better to use the face serum in the morning and at night, especially if you’re over the age of 30. Remember that serums don’t replace moisturizers.

Face serums don’t protect against free radicals from the sun, this is one of the main reasons a face serum cannot replace a moisturizer with protection against the elements.

Is face serum more effective than moisturizer?

It all depends on what effects you are comparing. In terms of hydration, for example, we can say that the effectiveness of the facial serum is greater than that of the cream. This is due to a higher concentration of active ingredients in its formulation. Moreover, serums often leave out sealing ingredients such as petrolatum or mineral oils, which moisturizers often use to keep moisture from leaving the skin.

In addition to this, face serums contain fewer fillers, thickeners and lubricating agents. For this reason, serums have a light consistency that makes it easy to absorb, allowing the product to penetrate into the deepest layers of our skin. In contrast, moisturizing cream acts on the most superficial layers of the dermis.

Nevertheless, it should be remembered that a face serum will not include protection from free radicals and the elements, and moisturizing creams often do. For this reason, the serum should not be used as a substitute for facial cream, but as a complement to it. The following table represents the main differences between face serums and moisturizers:

Serum Cream
Moisturizing +++ Moisturizing ++
Acts in deep layers of the skin. Acts in superficial layers of the skin.
Watery texture Oily texture
Increased absorption Lower absorption
More concentration of active ingredients. Less concentration of active ingredients.
Very small amount needed. Requires higher quantity of product.
Lacks sunscreen protection. Often includes sunscreen.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a face serum?

To understand the advantages of any given face serum, you must look at its composition. Its watery and fat-free consistency allows greater absorption, acting on the deepest layers of our skin. This and its higher concentration of active ingredients make the moisturizing effect of the serum superior and more advantageous than a moisturizing cream.

This light texture also favors optimal use of the product, very small quantities of serum are more than enough to achieve the desired effect. Its application is also very easy and can enhance the effect of subsequent treatments, such as a day or night moisturizing cream. However, facial serums cannot be used as a sunscreen, as it does not contain any SPF protection.

The list ahead summarizes the pros and cons of face serums:

Advantages
  • Increased absorption
  • Easy application
  • Acts in deep layers of the skin
  • Greater concentration of active ingredients
  • More effective
  • Non-greasy texture
  • Effective with small amounts
  • Optimizes subsequent treatments
Disadvantages
  • Contains no sun protection

Buyer's Guide

Due to the delicate nature of facial skin, it is important to make sure that the products we put on it are top quality. This next list includes an important set of purchase criteria you should consider from each product before purchasing a face serum. Keeping these things in mind will help find a good product that will give you the results you’re looking for.

Quality

Just like with any other product on the market, not every face serum will be of good quality. For this reason It is very important - especially when dealing with cosmetics - to make sure that the product you chose is made with high quality standards and ingredients.

Remember that serum is applied to your face, a very visible and always exposed area of the body. Opting for quality products will help you avoid suffering any undesirable adverse effects. Make sure to check the label and list of ingredients before you commit to buying the product.

Beneficial properties

As mentioned throughout this article, in the United States today, you can find a large selection of face serum formulations, with different effects and benefits for your skin. For instance, you can find products with antioxidants and age-defying properties. You can also find serums with the main purpose of regulating sebum and correcting acne, the options are many.

So, before you choose one serum over another, make sure to determine exactly what you’re looking for in a facial serum. This will guide you to the properties you need in the product you choose, which will guide you to the ingredients the formula must contain to fulfill your needs. The time you take to research the product will pay off when you get the perfect face serum.

Composition

This aspect is also of huge relevance when looking into cosmetic products, especially if you suffer from allergies, sensitivities or other negative reactions to certain components. This is another reason why it is important to consult the list of ingredients before buying a product. This step will help you discard any products with compounds that could be harmful to your health. It is the single best way to avoid any adverse reactions that could harm your skin.

Face serums with pump containers are ideal for rationing the right amount of product.
(Source: Chattranusorn: 45114032/123rf.com)

Price

There are so many brands and manufacturers including face serums in their facial care lines. This means that you will find great diversity not only in the products available but also in their prices. As always, keep in mind that a more expensive product is not always better. Make sure to evaluate the characteristics of each face serum and choose the one with the best value for money.

Summary

To summarize, face serums are lightweight and powerful moisturizers designed to reach and hydrate the deepest layers of the skin, making them highly effective. Its high concentration of active ingredients allows them to include added benefits such as antioxidant, and age-defying properties. Because of its texture and composition, a very small amount goes a long way in helping you achieve the desired effect.

The continued use of face serums contributes to the repair of the deepest layers of your skin, providing comprehensive care. Apart from products with intense hydration benefits, in the States today we can find face serums with a plethora of other beneficial properties. Just keep in mind that these products should not replace your moisturizer or your sunscreen. With all this in mind, it is no wonder that more and more women have added facial serums to their daily habits. And you, do you want to try it?

If you found the information in this guide useful, don’t forget to share it with your friends so they too can benefit from the powers of face serum. Alternatively, you can also leave us a comment with your thoughts!

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