What It Is
Face serum is a water-based, liquid concentrate of active skincare ingredients. Depending on the product, this could include antioxidants, peptides, and skin brighteners. Many tap proteins to extend the life of cells and minimize aging, while some work to fortify the skin against pollutants and UV damage. Whatever you seek for your skin, serum distills into a tiny, uber-efficient little package.
What Its Not
Face serum is not moisturizer. Prioritizing nourishment over hydration, it doesnt contain the emollients found in lotions and creams (think petrolatum, mineral oil, and natural lubricators like seed oils). While they have their own benefits, those formulas can block the absorption of other active ingredients.
Why You Need It
While you should supplement it with a solid moisturizing routine, serum alone is one of the most efficient ways to nourish your skin from the outside-in. It allows key ingredients to penetrate much more deeply and efficiently than your standard skin product. Serum is also lightweight, quick-absorbing, and never greasymaking it a seamless addition to even a lightning-fast routine.
What to Do with It
Always cleanse your face first to provide a clean slate for absorption. After a few minutes (waiting longer if you have sensitive skin), dispense just a few dropsno more than a pea-sized amount, totaland pat it all over your face using the tip of your forefinger. Moisturize after applying serum so as not to block penetration. To maximize results, apply morning and night.
Based on the size of most serums, you may expect a lot more bang for your buck from a traditional face cream. But the latter usually includes thickening ingredients that dilute the power players. Serum exemplifies quality over quantitya 1-oz. bottle should last you several months, and the benefits will far exceed that.