All you need to know about face serums
With a booming beauty industry that is valued at billions and a staggering number of beauty products available to choose from, it isn’t surprising that a large number of women are at a loss at what to buy and use. This often results in the trial and error method — use a product and see whether it works for you or not. Recent times have seen a phenomenal rise in the popularity of face serums that claim to turn back the hands of time by targeting specific problems to leave you with firmer and smoother skin, diminish pores and improve your skin’s moisture levels.
Dermatologist Dr Soma Sarkar says, “The beauty of a serum is that most of the fluid is eliminated, so what you’re left with is a high concentration of active ingredients. Serums contain the most potent dose of anti-ageing ingredients — antioxidants peptides and skin brighteners. Just a few drops work wonders because serums comprise tiny molecules, which are easy for your skin to absorb. On the other hand, creams are heavier, which makes them difficult to penetrate your skin as easily as face serums. While that is effective for locking moisture in the skin, it can also lock active ingredients out. Without these hindrances, the active ingredients in a serum penetrate your skin faster and more effectively.”
Adds consultant dermatologist Dr Shefali Trasi Nerurkar, “A face serum can also be beneficial because of its moisturising characteristics. Some serums contain hydrating essential oils that help regulate the skin’s natural oil production. Others could contain hyaluronic acid, a hydrating ingredient common in skin care products that helps moisturise your skin and improve its suppleness and elasticity. Simply put, serums have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties that are great for your skin.” Serums contain active ingredients, which makes them costlier than other skin care products. A small vial though can last you for a long time because you need to use only a very small quantity everyday. The only time when you need to be careful about using serums is if you suffer from a skin condition like eczema or rosacea. Talk to your dermat before using a serum because the concentrated formula may cause nasty flare ups.
“The variation between a serum and a cream/ lotion is that the former contains fewer lubricating and thickening agents. They are also water-based, which means there are no oils in serums. Thus, they work well on people who suffer from oily skin or those who prefer to apply extremely lightweight skin products. Serums should be avoided if you have acne. For mature or dry skin one needs to ask their dermat for a serum along with a barrier cream to restore their skin hydration,” explains Dr Sarkar.
“The advantage of using a serum over a regular moisturiser that contains essential oils or hyaluronic acid, is the fact that serums absorb into the skin quickly and are able to reach deeper into the lower layers of skin that creams and gels can miss. Some people may find that a face serum alone provides enough moisture for their skin. However, in cases of very dry skin, a serum can be applied before a moisturiser,” ends Dr Shefali.