Should I be using a Serum?

This is a commonly asked question in my skin care clinic. The answer is yes. I routinely tell my clients if you only had money to spend on one product, spend it on a serum.

The reason is simple: serums create the most change in the skin. This is because serums contain high concentrations of active ingredients. These active ingredients are often formulated in a low molecular weight or lightweight base. This allows the product to absorb readily into the skin and penetrate deeper than a heavier weight formulation, such as a moisturizer.

There are many different types of serums offered by skin care manufacturers. They are created to prevent the skin from damage, protect the skin from damage, and/or correct damage.

"What is the best serum?"

The answer depends on what concerns you have for your skin. Serums are made with specific ingredients to address specific concerns. For example, if your concern is acne, you may opt for a serum with an exfoliating active ingredient such as salicylic acid to encourage quicker cell turnover. However, if your concern is hyperpigmentation, you would want a serum with known brightening properties, such as licorice root extract.

"How do I use a serum?"

No matter what serum you buy, you must always use it directly on clean skin (immediately following cleansing). This allows the product to absorb into the skin. Otherwise, it will sit on top of the skin and won't be effective. How often you use the serum depends on the manufacturer's instructions for use. Applications may be once or twice a day.