While novelists in their works force the heroes to look for the «elixir of beauty», the leading chemists and cosmetologists of the world create it. This is how serums appeared — cosmetics with amazing properties.

A bit of history

The first facial serums were developed for the fair sex with aging skin. In the eighties of the last century, they were introduced by the giants of the cosmetic industry Estée Lauder and Clarins. Other brands soon followed suit. And today, cosmetic serums can be found in the line of every self-respecting brand of cosmetics, and not in a single version.

The biggest problem for a girl or woman who decides to try their effect on herself is to choose the right serum to help her skin, not harm it.

What is whey

The serum is a concentrated liquid rich in active ingredients. All of them are designed to solve a specific skin problem, usually a narrowly focused one.

Serums are considered extra care. They increase the effectiveness of basic tools and solve those tasks that the latter simply cannot perform.

The molecules of this cosmetic product are very small, so that the skin absorbs them better. And this is reflected in the result. Serums restore the skin, stimulate its regeneration processes, erase age spots, fight wrinkles and slow down the aging process.

Let’s talk about composition

Let's talk about composition

The most common serum ingredients proven to be effective are antioxidants (vitamins C and E), glycolic acid, caffeine, and peptides. “These components provide high levels of these substances directly into the skin,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, dermatologist. “Because serums are 90% water, they do not leave the skin greasy.”

Did you know?

Serums for professional use are different from mass market cosmetics. This is because when creating a product for millions of consumers, the cosmetic brand strives to make it as versatile as possible, hence the more gentle formulations.

How to use

Serum should be used on clean, dry skin. The procedure for cleansing and toning the skin is an important step before using the concentrate.

Wait until the skin absorbs the remaining tonic lotion, and apply a pea-sized drop of serum to the face. Spread the serum over the skin with gentle massaging movements, paying attention also to the skin of the neck. Let it absorb the beneficial substances of the concentrate and only then apply the cream.

Morning or evening?

“When developing a beauty routine, you need to go from the easiest remedy to the hardest,” says Dr. Neil Schultz, creator of his own brand of cosmetics. — As for the time of day of using the drug, there are serums that are ideal for each of them. For example, antioxidant serums are best used before bed so they work better without «competing» with sunscreen. Serums with glycolic acid and retinol should also be used at bedtime as they can make the skin more sensitive and can contribute to pigmentation during sun exposure.”

Late is not early

Since serums are additional care products, a natural question arises, from what age is their use justified?

“Antioxidant serums can be used at any age,” says Dr. Neil Schultz. “They prevent free radical damage to the skin and help repair the damage already done.”

Serum or cream?

Serum or cream?

“Often a serum moisturizes the skin more effectively than the richest nourishing cream. Its molecules penetrate deeper into the skin, while the ingredients of the cream most often remain on the surface, says beautician Keri Hayes. “However, serums will not replace a moisturizer, but they can enhance the moisturizing effect of a cream.”

On a note!

Creams designed to moisturize the skin often contain «heavy» ingredients: mineral oils, petroleum jelly. Serums of these components are deprived.

Cheap or expensive?

Dr. Carlos Charles, medical director of the dermatology clinic, says that in the beauty market there are effective serums in the budget segment, which contain the same substances that are present in expensive preparations. However, the ingredients in the latter are better purified and are contained in a higher concentration.

Temperature Matters

Most serums are sold in dark opaque bottles or tinted glass bottles. This is because the active ingredients have a limited shelf life, which will be even shorter if the product is exposed to direct sunlight or stored in hot, humid conditions.

The ideal environment for serum storage is dry, cool. So, you can keep serums on the refrigerator door.

Serums are not for everyone

Serums have to be chosen by trial and error. To reduce the number of attempts to a minimum, it is worth contacting a dermatologist.

Without fail, this must be done for those whose skin suffers from acne, eczema, vitiligo, rosacea. With these violations, the sensitivity of the skin increases, the protective barrier is weakened. The wrong choice of serum in this case will only exacerbate the problems.

How to choose the best concentrate

How to choose the best concentrate

The ideal serum for a person is one that solves the problems of his skin. Each concentrate should be used in a course of 1-3 months, and two serums should never be used at the same time.

To understand what serum you need right now, think about what your skin is missing. And look for a product that will fill her needs.

Anti-aging serum

It will help turn back the clock and slow down the aging process of the skin. Contains ingredients that fight the formation of wrinkles & fine lines. According to Dr. Debra Jaliman, dermatologist, such serums are useful for all skin types.

Proven Ingredients: retinol, caffeine, green tea, proteoglycans and hyaluronic acid.

Moisturizing Serum

As the name implies, this serum helps infuse the skin with vital moisture, complementing the action of a day or night cream. Suitable for all skin types, but especially important for sensitive, oily and combination skin.

Proven Ingredients: hyaluronic acid, peptides, plant extracts.

Antioxidant Serum

One of the main enemies of the skin are free radicals, which it is exposed to on a daily basis. They damage cells and speed up the aging process.

Antioxidant serums are designed to counter them, maintain the beauty and radiance of the skin. It is important that they do not contain fragrances, sulfates and dyes.

Proven Ingredients: vitamins A, C and E, resveratrol, niacinamide, melatonin and L-ascorbic acid.

Serum that evens out skin texture

Serum that evens out skin texture

This is a complex preparation that performs several functions at once: it can even out skin tone, lightening freckles and age spots, smooth enlarged pores, and make fine lines and wrinkles invisible. They have a pronounced brightening effect, work like exfoliants.

Proven Ingredients: phytic acid, vitamin C, arbutin, kojic acid, azelaic acid, L-ascorbic acid and glycolic acid.

Expert comment

Alexander Sannikov, freelance make-up artist, teacher

Serums have a high concentration of ingredients and substances that are beneficial for the skin and health in general. Today you can find serums containing: seaweed (moisturize, condition, tighten the skin), hyaluronic acid (moisturizes, makes the skin supple and elastic), vitamin B5 (an antioxidant that prevents premature aging), retinol (anti-aging component), caffeine (used in serums for the area around the eyes, against dark circles).

Due to the light texture, the serum is absorbed quickly enough, which allows you to immediately proceed to the next stage of care, and then apply makeup.

After applying the serum, you should use a cream (moisturizing in the morning, nourishing in the evening, unless otherwise recommended by the beautician). The cream in this case contributes to the retention of moisture in the skin and a prolonged moisturizing effect.

It is not recommended to use a serum without a cream, because when it evaporates, it will take away the moisture that it gave to the skin, while the cream prevents this “reverse” process, literally “sealing” the moisture in the skin.

Expert comment

Amina Berdova, cosmetologist, plastic surgeon

In the cosmetic market, serum has become a real breakthrough. The whole point is not only in the good work of marketers, but also in the effective features of the tool itself. Experts have long advised serums as a mandatory part of daily care, often especially relevant for age-related skin changes. Why are face serums really useful, and how to choose the right remedy.

Serum is a liquid that is designed for additional facial skin care. The peculiarity of serum as a cosmetic product is that it contains a significant portion of useful elements. A regular cream or gel cleanser typically contains from 5 to 15% active ingredients, while serum contains an average of about 70%. At the same time, they must be used in combination with a cream, they will moisturize the skin of the face to a lesser extent.

There are several types of face serums. Most often, they become a mandatory component of anti-aging care, but are selected individually, in accordance with skin problems and its type.

Antioxidant Serums

They contain vitamins C, A and E, extracts of numerous plants. Basically, they fight free radicals that negatively affect the skin and provoke its premature aging.

Anti-age face serums

Anti-aging products that help to overcome mimic wrinkles work against lethargy and lack of skin tone. Most of them contain retinol, products with this component can only be used at night. Lifting serums also contain antioxidants, collagen and ceramides.

Moisturizing Serums

In combination with a moisturizing cream, such products provide additional saturation of the skin with moisture, relieve irritation, and soothe. These serums are suitable for dehydrated skin, whether it is dry or oily.

Exfoliating Serums

A gentle way to rid the skin of dead cells. As a rule, these are night serums containing glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid.

Serums for oily and problem skin

These serums do contain a high concentration of substances and components that regulate the functioning of the sebaceous glands, as well as various antiseptics. First of all, these are AHA and BHA acids, zinc, aloe vera, mucin and propolis.

Brightening Serums

Used for skin with hyperpigmentation. Contains brightening agents. The composition also contains reflective particles that help to achieve instant results. Such serums are suitable for any type of skin, but it is better to use them in the evening.

Serum is definitely worth investing in. Firstly, this is an effective tool, and secondly, their consumption will be much less than any other product. Literally a pea is required, since the serums are very concentrated. Carefully study the composition and type of your skin before buying this product.

Expert comment

Oksana Orlova, MD, PhD, researcher at the St. Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology, laboratory of aging bioregulation, cosmetologist

For a complete home facial skin care, as well as to maintain the result obtained in an aesthetic clinic, it is important to choose the right cosmetics. The key point is its bioavailability. Due to the multi-layer structure of the skin and its barrier function, not a single large foreign protein molecule will pass through this «armor».

For penetration into the skin and inclusion in treatment and prevention work, it is important that the substance has a very low molecular weight, or has a high degree of hydrophilicity, solubility in water.

In the first case, the funds are called endocosmetic. Because they have the size of a molecule — one billionth of a meter. Under such conditions, the elements easily overcome all tissue barriers, including cell and nuclear membranes. At this level, small building proteins — peptides — work, since their effect is associated with incorporation into the structure of the genetic apparatus of the cell — DNA.

But there are other barriers to benefiting from cosmetics. For example, some valuable components are able to dissolve and remain stable only in water, and not in fats. In addition, do not forget about the comedogenicity and the ability of oil bases to provoke inflammation of oily skin. In this case, the degree of hydrophilicity of the cosmetic product matters. Interestingly, a moist, open-pore surface enhances the digestibility of foods. Here we come close to the meaning of serums: they are suitable for oily skin, they contain valuable substances that dissolve only in water.

There are serums for different age categories and skin types:

20-35 years old — serums with AHA-acids, they are also fruit — provide exfoliating, regenerating, anti-inflammatory, whitening, sebum-regulating and pore-constricting effects. They are organically woven into the solution of any cosmetic problem, but are especially good for oily skin.

35 years and older — Serums with antioxidants, designed to bind free radicals. Antioxidants include grape seed resveratrol, green tea superoxide dismutase, coenzyme Q10, ascorbic acid, peptides, phospholipids.


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