Skincare Matchmaker: Serums

Our skin is as unique as we are. What works for some, will not work for all, which is why we’re taking a “Skincare Matchmaker” approach to picking skincare. This month, those mysterious wonder products known as serums have center stage. We spoke with Dr. Leslie Baumann, founder of Skin Type Solutions and Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute and have everything you need to know. (P.S. If you’re just tuning in you can catch up with the rest of the series here.)

What’s So Great About Serums?

Dr. Baumann says, “Serums are great because they are usually the one thing in your regimen that treats special concerns like acne, hyperpigmentation and rosacea with antioxidants. Antioxidants can calm down inflammation, speed up the exfoliation process, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and repair sun damage.” Lucky for you, the hardest part is figuring out what concern to address and you’ve already got that covered.

Skin Types & Concerns

Sensitive/ Rosacea:

To fight irritation and calm redness, Baumann recommends looking for products with soothing ingredients such as grape seed oil, feverfew, soy, resveratol, caffeine, and green tea. Avoid ingredients that may react poorly with sensitive skin like glycolic acid, citrus, lactic acid, and hydroquinone.

Oily/Acne Prone:

Unlike your sensitive friends, you can afford to use serums with a bit more punch. Baumann says to look for serums with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, willow bark, fever few and soy, which will treat acne and keep skin hydrated, not oily.


Because resistant skin can be hard to treat, serums are particularly useful. Baumann suggests looking for ingredients that are known to have skin-lightening properties, such as vitamin c, kojic acid, licorice root, hydroquinone, and glycolic acid.

Dry/Sun Damage:

For the most anti-aging and moisturizing impact, Baumann says, “non-sensitive types can use serums that include vitamin c, hydroquinone, idebenone, CoQ10, or glycolic acid.” On the other hand, “Sensitive types should look for ingredients that are anti-inflammatory like feverfew, soy, grape seed oil extract, green tea, caffeine, and resveratol.”

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