The Skinny on Serums

3:32 PM

As someone who's been obsessed with skin care and beauty for as long as I can remember, I was bothered by my lack of knowledge about serums. Often quite pricey, these products were always touted as the best from every brand's skin care arsenal so I decided to do a little research to find out why.

Serums are highly concentrated, often water-based liquids that quickly and easily absorb deep into the skin to effectively treat an array of skin care woes. "Think of serums as your high tech 'issue' specific treatment. More targeted, more focused! [For] any age!" David Leigh Delport (ambassador for REN Skincare, @REN_Davidd) said. 

High tech indeed, many of these complicated serums have decades of research dedicated to their development and use complex acids and peptides in their formulas. That's why serums are often packaged in air-tight containers with pumps or dark glass bottles, exposure to light can degrade the efficacy of these powerful ingredients.

Serums fall into your routine just after cleansing and toning. Because they are so powerful, and don't contain petroleum or oily moisturizing elements like lotions and creams, you need very little product. One pump, or 3-5 drops is plenty; I place the product in my palm and use my fingertips to tap the product into my skin until it has disappeared. Oily skin types can choose to skip moisturizer altogether, but for my combination skin I like to follow with my usual moisturizer. Since I started using a serum, I've been much happier with my skin.

Here are my top 3 serums for AM, PM, or anytime...

For Day
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid ($80)
This day serum is packed with Vitamin C and Vitamin D to brighten and firm the skin. In conjunction with a great SPF (like Drunk Elephant's Umbra Defense Sunscreen) it's is formulated to fight and repair sun damage. Great for all skin types.

For Night
M-61 Jet Glow Serum with Red Seaweed and Goji Berry ($98)
Don't let the simple glass packaging fool you, M-61's Jet Glow Serum is a complex and cutting edge. With goji berry to improve elasticity, red seaweed to firm and smooth, and anti-aging glycolic acid, this serum does it all while improving skins clarity. Best for mature skin (also available as a cream).

Clarins Doulble Serum with 20 Pure Plant Extracts ($85-115)
I think this serum may be my favorite of the bunch. Great for either day or night, it visibly brightens skin while improving texture and minimizing the visibility of pores over time. While it contains many anti-aging properties I recommend this serum for all ages and skin types.

Do you use a serum in your beauty routine? Which are your faves?

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