What’s In A Face Serum?

Whenever I hear a comment about my skin looking great…or that I look younger than I am, I think about my ‘not so secret’ weapon. Face serums. This always leads to this conversation, “Do I really need to use a face serum? But, I use a moisturizer… what’s the difference?? Isn’t a serum just a more expensive moisturizer??”

To answer..”you should be using a serum and a moisturizer, since they provide different benefits and result in fantastic looking skin. Something we all want!”

What is a face serum? 

A serum has more concentrated ingredients for deeper-penetrating effects, which tends to result in it being higher priced than moisturizers. While the benefits are numerous, a serum typically does not moisturize. The reason being that it has a lipid-soluble base that allows the active ingredient to actually penetrate into the epidermis. Moisturizers have a base that allows them to stay on the surface.


This is your go-to for a better complexion. Serums can revitalize your skin’s appearance by improving your skin tone, minimizing pores, jump starting collagen production…leading to radiant skin. They also can boost cell turnover and stimulate your skin’s own ability to produce antioxidant production  to protect from free radicals.

How To Apply

Use primarily at night since oxygen and UV rays can cause the serum to oxidize. Apply a pea-sized amount to your clean face and neck and wait three to five minutes before applying a moisturizer. The reason to wait, is due to the higher pH generally found in moisturizers, which may decrease a serum’s effectiveness.

Ingredients to look for

  • Antioxidants – Because of their efficient delivery system, serums can infuse the skin with antioxidants. Example: Coenzyme Q10 is one that works very well in serums.
  • Vitamins – Vitamins A, C and E are in many serums, mainly for their antioxidant properties.
  • Vitamin C – I single this one out since it is an anti-aging powerhouse! It repairs, boosts collagen production and protects. You NEED this!
  • Skin Brightners – You can expect to find natural skin brighteners like willow bark and rose extracts to address dull-looking skin.
  • Hyaluronic Acid – In addition to hydrating, hyaluronic acid allows serums to penetrate deeper and stimulate new cell growth.
  • Peptides + Growth Factors – Since both are water-soluble and revered for their ability to ward off signs of aging, they can be delivered more potently and effectively in liquid form.
  • Exfoliators – AHAs like lactic and glycolic acid remove dead skin. (don’t use if it irritates your skin.)

Serums To Try

ARCONA Youth Serum ($87) – My pick for the high vitamin C percentage (20%!!!) and it’s overall awesomeness. This is one of my beauty must-haves.

AMOREPACIFIC ‘Moisture Bound’ Rejuvenating Serum ($100) – Intensifies the moisturizing benefits with high concentrations of bamboo sap to help delay and correct the visible signs of premature skin aging.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum collagen booster ($48) – This high powered vitamin C complex helps smooth out lines and wrinkles and prevents further damage. Also loaded with antioxidants to fight off environmental aggressors and moisture-binding ingredients to keep your skin nourished and protected.

Omorovicza Gold Flash Firming Serum ($215) – This serum is on my list to try. I hear it’s a gold mine. Literally. Besides brightening, this serum contains colloidal Gold to heal damaged skin and Vitamin C to boost synthesis of collagen and elastin.

2 Responses to What’s In A Face Serum?

  1. caroline says:

    I always use a serum and I agree that they are indispensable to healthy looking skin!

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