What are serums
Serums are skin care products designed to deliver a high concentration of specific active ingredients to the skin to feed the skin for optimal health and appearance. There are many different types of serums that perform different jobs, ranging from hydration to skin brightening, and they are a significant factor in the results of your daily skin-care routine and, quite possibly, the most important part of your routine.
Serums are made up of very small molecules, so the skin absorbs them quickly and deeply. A good serum is light, has a weightless feel, absorbs fast, and does not leave behind any oily or sticky residue. Serums are typically clear, liquid, or gel-based, and are less thick than a moisturizer. The molecules can truly penetrate the skin and hydrate on the deepest level.
Serums contain a high concentration of active ingredients, including:
- Antioxidants: Aid in protecting the skin by reducing the amount of free radicals, which can damage healthy skin cells
- High-dose vitamins: Essential nutrients that prevent and reverse common signs of aging
- Peptides: Peptides are created by chains of amino acids, which are the building blocks of skin proteins, namely collagen
- Unique botanicals: Plant-derived extracts that support the texture, integrity, and overall health of your skin
- Stem cells: Plant-derived stem cells promote the growth, function, and repair of skin cells
- Growth factors: Aid in division of cells, growth of new skin cells, and creation of elastin and collagen
- Anti-inflammatories: Help soothe redness, flakey patches, puffiness, and broken capillaries in skin
- Hydrators: Strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, increases retention of moisture, plumps, and protects the skin
- Exfoliators: Gently sheds away buildup of dead skin cells and helps treat large, clogged pores, dull skin, wrinkles, and dryness
- Ideal for targeting a wide range of specific skin concerns and goals
- Smooths fine lines and wrinkles and tightens skin
- Creates a firmer, smoother skin texture
- Brightens and rejuvenates dull looking skin
- Increases moisture levels for plumper, more hydrated skin without leaving you greasy or shiny
- Repairs sun damage
- Evens skin tone and treats hyperpigmentation and discoloration problems such as brown spots
- Treats acne and fights future breakouts
- Reduces and fades acne scarring
- Manages oily complexions
- Speeds skin cell turnover and collagen production
- Exfoliates and gently dissolves away dead skin cells
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory and calms puffy, red skin
- Reduces the size and appearance of pores
Because active ingredients in serums are more concentrated and serums contain a high percentage of these ingredients, they tend to be a more expensive but highly effective product. When applied properly, a one-ounce container of serum should last months.
How much to use
A pea sized amount should go a long way since the consistency is liquid or gel. Allow the skin to absorb the serum before applying the next product, such as moisturizer.
When to apply
Serums should be applied after cleansing your face. Ideally, you should use a serum all over your face and neck twice daily, once in the morning and again in the evening, before applying other products. Depending on your goals, you may find it beneficial to use one type of serum in the morning and another type of at night.
When you will start seeing results
Everyone’s skin is different, but on average, you should give it about seven weeks to see how your skin responds to a new serum routine. Depending on the serum and the current state of your skin, you may start to notice some results in just a few days.
Common serum ingredients
Here are the most important ingredients that are in serums and the specific benefits of each.
- Hyaluronic acid: Specializes in replenishing moisture to dry, parched skin. As we age, we naturally lose the ability to retain moisture in our skin. Moisture is needed for a supple and youthful look and feel. Without an adequate amount, our skin begins to lose plumpness and firmness. Hyaluronic acid can absorb up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. Since it’s so absorbent, it’s able to draw in water and lock in moisture.
- Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from damaging free radicals caused by stress and common environmental factors. It aids in cellular repair, wound healing, fighting inflammation, and promotes collagen production. This leads to more elastic and resilient skin and fewer fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C brightens skin tone and reduces the appearance of discoloration from sun damage, acne scars, and age spots. This vitamin works hard to repair, protect, and revitalize your overall complexion and fights the signs of aging. Two especially powerful forms of vitamin C used in face serums are L-Ascorbic Acid (water-soluble vitamin) and C Ester (fat-soluble vitamin).
- Retinol (vitamin A): One of the most clinically proven anti-aging ingredients available today. It stimulates the production of collagen, which leads to firmer, plumper skin. Retinol has exfoliating properties that encourage cell turnover and helps shed dead skin cells. As we age, our skin’s natural exfoliating functions slow down and we produce less collagen. This results in dull, tired looking skin that can be dry and flakey. Retinol is also able to tighten pores and reduce hyperpigmentation by evening out skin tone. This vitamin leaves you with a fresh, vibrant glow and visibly softer, firmer skin.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): AHAs are natural acids that are derived from fruits like lemons, grapefruits, and oranges. They work in numerous ways to greatly benefit your skin. These acids are chemical exfoliators that keep your complexion clear and vibrant by removing the buildup of dead and damaged skin cells. They also keep your pores from getting clogged and help prevent acne breakouts. By exfoliating the skin, they clear dead skin and debris to make your facial products work better and absorb more efficiently. AHAs lighten and brighten the skin by correcting discoloration and hyperpigmentation due to scarring, age spots, and sun damage. You’ll commonly find these natural acids listed as lactic acid, glycolic acid, sugar cane extract, triple fruit acid, and malic acid.
- Vitamin E: This vitamin is another potent antioxidant that works well in conjunction with vitamin C. This essential nutrient minimizes free radicals and reverses the signs of aging. It also moisturizes the skin, leaving you with a soft, luscious complexion. Vitamin E works to brighten and even skin tone and texture.
- DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol): DMAE is often referred to as a “facelift in a bottle.” This nutritional substance has been clinically shown to lift, firm, and tighten the skin. It works wonders for anti-aging and helps reverse drooping and sagging that naturally comes with time. DMAE minimizes both deep and fine lines and evens out the color and tone of your complexion. This powerful ingredient offers youth educing results and quickly!
- Peptides: Peptides play a crucial role in the strength and structure of skin. They consist of amino acid chains that are the building blocks of protein (namely collagen). Peptides encourage cellular repair of skin and increase collagen production. This bolsters and firms the skin and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.
- Glycerin: Glycerin has been clinically shown to significantly improve the hydration of skin. It also benefits by restoring and enhancing the body’s natural protective barrier function. Glycerin helps the skin attract and retain moisture, keeping it supple and noticeably soft. All of these qualities give the skin a youthful appearance and minimizes signs of aging.
- Green Tea: A super antioxidant that has strong anti-inflammatory effects that promote skin health. Green Tea protects against the damage of free radicals that’s due to poor diet, pollution, UV rays, and smoking. It also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Green Tea rejuvenates the skin, evens out complexion, and lessens dark spots and hyperpigmentation. This antioxidant encourages the exfoliation of dead skin cells, which improves the overall radiance of skin.
- Stem Cells: The work of stem cells is rather remarkable. Stem cells are able to repair every type of cell in the body. They stimulate cellular renewal, proper cellular function, and increase the overall production of collagen. Stem cells completely rejuvenate and protect the skin. These cells are usually derived from plants such as lilac, grape seed, edelweiss, and swiss apple. However, sheep placenta extract (as crazy as it sounds) is also another beneficial form used in face serums.
- Growth Factors: Aid in the division of healthy cells, growth of new skin cells, and production of collagen and elastin. This greatly helps the appearance and texture of skin. Complexion is visibly evened out, enhanced, and healthy. Growth factors can be synthetically made or derived from plant, animal, or human sources. A few examples are plant-based Kinetin, secretions from a particular snail (Cryptomphalus Aspersa), and colostrum from a mother cow.
- Resveratrol: Resveratrol is a particularly potent antioxidant that’s found in the skin of grapes. This natural compound protects the skin and neutralizes damage from free radicals. Free radicals affect the production of elastin and collagen, two key players in the health and vitality of skin. Resveratrol acts as a strong skin revitalizer and helps restore a youthful contour.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): This ingredient is quite a mouthful, so the abbreviation MSM is often used. MSM is a sulfur compound that’s present in our bodies and in some plants. It’s been referred to as “nature’s beauty mineral” because it promotes the production of keratin and collagen. MSM enhances cellular respiration, which allows cells to utilize oxygen and function properly. It also brightens complexion, treats acne and breakouts, and enhances the absorption of nutrients into the skin.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): ALA is yet another active ingredient that exhibits numerous beauty benefits. It’s a remarkably potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-ager. ALA is considered the “universal antioxidant” because it’s water-soluble and fat-soluble. This allows ALA to be incredibly absorbent and efficiently penetrate the skin’s lipid layers. It also does defensive work in the watery centers of cell plasma membranes where it fights off free radicals. The anti-inflammatory properties in ALA reduce any redness, puffiness, or swelling. It tones the overall complexion and visibly shrinks the size of pores. In a nutshell, ALA also helps ensure that the skin is receiving adequate blood flow, creating a healthy, radiant appearance.
- Botanical Extracts and Oils: There’s literally an endless amount of beneficial ingredients that can be used in face serums. This makes it nearly impossible to fully cover all of the different combinations. Botanical oils and extracts naturally contain some of the most nourishing and regenerative properties that we could give our precious skin. They are packed with amino acids, antioxidants, fatty acids, phytonutrients, and essential vitamins. These incredible qualities give them the ability to diminish wrinkles and fine lines, brighten overall complexion, fade acne scars and age spots, balance oil and moisture levels, smooth and soften the skin, fight free radicals, and repair, protect, and revitalize skin cells. By rehydrating the skin, it smooths and plumps the surface, while dramatically reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
- Serums are specialized solutions that deliver powerful ingredients into the skin.
- They are formulated with only the most essential nutrients and leave out anything that weighs it down.
- They are made of very small molecules, allowing ingredients to seep deep into the skin.
- Serums are made up of the most active ingredients including antioxidants, peptides, vitamins, hydrators, stem cells, botanicals, growth cells and more.
- It’s truly quality over quantity and a few drops daily are all it takes to start seeing major skin results.
- Serums target and treat skin concerns such as wrinkles, aging, discoloration, scars, acne, and dull, dehydrated skin.
- Serums are one of the quickest and easiest ways to get that youthful glow you’ve always wanted.
Read our article on the best serum that targets all the signs of aging, FACTORFIVE Regenerative Serum.