Serum: my skincare saviour

Casual, mature woman relaxing at home, She loves her down time

How does this sound? Fresh, dewy, youthful skin with a lustrous appearance.

Casual, mature woman relaxing at home, She loves her down timeGimme gimme gimme.

In this world of get the job done better, quicker, easier, and with real results, I’d like to share one of my anti-ageing maintenance tips. Face serums.

I have been using them as part of my regular skincare for years, simply because they work. I love it because I can see and feel the results.

Here’s the serum lowdown…

As we age, our skin has a slower capacity to repair itself.  It needs a boost and a helping hand from us. And we need direction of where to go and what to do for maintenance (my word for beautification and health).

In the past, I have assumed that face serums are for dry skin or combination skin as I have. Wrong. Through this research, I found out that people with oily skin can also benefit.

What are they?

A face serum is a type of moisturiser that is lighter and penetrates deeper by providing a high concentration of active ingredients.

  • Face serums are beneficial for many skin types, but not for everyone.
  • If you have a chronic skin condition like eczema or rosacea, then first talk with a dermatologist.
  • Remember, when it comes to serum, a little goes a long way. More is not better because a serum is very concentrated.
  • A serum does not contain a sunscreen.

 Why use a serum?

Face serums:

  • Form a great line of defence.
  • Pack in more antioxidants than any other skincare product.
  • Improve your skin’s ability to retain moisture.
  • Strengthen the skin.
  • Protect against fine lines developing.

When should I use a serum?

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A face serum can be used morning and night. It all depends on your skincare regime.

  • Layer the serum under your moisturiser.
  • Or, the serum can be used as an alternative to a moisturiser.  I do this several evenings during the week
  • Don’t use at night if you are already using a retinoid, as this is too many combinations of products.

Serum dripping from a pipetteWhat ingredients are found in serums?

Antioxidants. These help to reduce the damaging effects of external factors on your skin, such as pollution and sun exposure.

Peptides. These are amino acids which help to promote collagen production, helping your skin look smoother.

Hyaluronic acid.  The name may be a bit scary but do not fear this. Hyaluronic is a favourite of mine. It is a substance that occurs naturally in the body and is found in our connective tissue. The skin-identical molecules found in hyaluronic have the ability to retain moisture and this is a good thing. Because skin moisture relates to youthful skin with firmness.

Hyaluronic acid is helpful for all skin types and not only for a youthful dewy skin. It repairs the skin barrier to minimise issues of sun damage, acne, sensitivity, and rosacea.

You may have heard of Restylane. This is an FDA-approved dermal filler made of a biodegradable, non-animal stabilised hyaluronic acid (NASHA) – making it a vegan version.

What do the experts say?

I have more than 20 years’ experience as a spa expert working with products globally and with aestheticians worldwide. But I decided it was time to go to the source of pure medical advice. So, I asked one of my respected colleagues to weigh in on this subject.

Dr Andre Berger is a triple board-certified physician and the founder of Rejuvalife Vitality Institute. For over 30 years Dr Berger has been a leader with a passion for anti-ageing and non-surgical cosmetic techniques.

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I put a few questions to him:

What are a few choice ingredients to look for when purchasing a face serum? 

Dr Berger:

  • Antioxidants such as vitamin C
  • Grape seed extract
  • Pomegranate extract
  • Hydrators such as essential fatty acids and amino acids and ceramides. They improve skin dryness and fine lines.
  • Growth factors
  • Peptides
  • Anti-inflammatories such as aloe vera, arnica, goldenseal and zinc

Do vitamin C, green tea, pomegranate, or resveratrol (the compound found in red wine) really work?  Are they in sufficient concentrated quantities or is this a marketing gimmick?

Dr Berger:

“Face serums generally contain a much higher proportional concentration of active ingredients. Vitamin C and grape seed extract are antioxidants that help protect against damaging free radicals and sun damage which is the primary cause of what we see as skin aging. Resveratrol is unlikely to have any significant benefit in serums due the inability to deliver adequate concentrations via face serums.”

What basic advice to you give your patients on using face serums?

Dr Berger:

“Serums can be both a primary skincare treatment or can be used as an add-on to your daily skincare routine. Applying it under your moisturiser of choice is great for most but it can cause irritation to those with certain sensitising skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea, because they make the skin barrier less effective against quickly penetrating serums. Older women or those with dry skin may benefit more with serums as an add-on.”

How to use a serum

  • Cleanse regularly and include your neck.
  • Pat your skin dry.
  • Take a pea-sized amount of serum and pat over your skin. I sometimes only focus on my eye and lip areas.
  • Allow time to absorb if you’re applying normal moisturiser over the top.
  • Cleanse from the inside. This means drinking plenty of water during the day.
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You will notice that most face serums are fairly expensive.  Yikes. However, I assure you that serums are well worth the cost. A small bottle will last much longer than you think.

Why do I like them so much?

They work. Sometimes after applying a serum, my skin will feel tighter immediately and I enjoy that sensation.

If I’ve had a tiring day, I make certain to do skin maintenance that night to ensure the next day my skin will not show the effects of stress. It is all about knowledge, positivity, and action.

You also wake up and your skin will feel and look as if it has been taken care of. A fabulous confidence boost to start the day…

Find out more…

About Shirley Meerson

I’m a writer, spa expert and happiness engineer. Being a nomad lady and a cultural aficionado my bases are Riyadh, Kuala Lumpur and San Francisco – depending on projects. My passions include health, aromatherapy, beauty care, living well, healing technologies, travel and much more.