The Skinny on Serums

Concentrating on Serums.

The other day I scheduled a post on Facebook with an image of my morning routine.  I was so excited for the feedback I received from it and thought this would be a perfect place to expand on some of the questions asked.

After all, if one person has questions, it is likely more people do, too.

This is also a great time for me to drop in here that if you are reading this, and you have questions on anything skincare related, let me know! I'll answer you back personally and then will create a blog topic about it for any other person interested in the same topic!

 "I noticed you seem to be applying two serums based on this picture....what is the purpose?
I thought you can only do one at a time? Maybe I'm wrong, lol"

My short answer on this is that you technically can apply as many serums at one time as you'd like based on what condition you are looking to target that day.  Most of the time, I use a multi-purpose serum like Bioelements Age Activist Clinical Youth Serum (day and night) which helps to smooth, hydrate and brighten my skin. Though I am 36, I already see signs of aging and while I am not afraid to age, I just want to have skin that ages gracefully with my time here on earth.

I have several different serums that focus on a multitude of issues and I select the one that speaks to me so after I apply the first serum, I select my second serum based off of what I feel my skin needs more of that day. Layering provides a broader approach to your concerns.

What is a serum and how does it work?

Serums are a liquid skincare product that consists of higher concentrations of product ingredients meant to address one or more concerns. It may be directed at delivering antioxidants, retinoids, collagen or tightening agents to the skin in high doses of ingredients. They are typically very thin since their molecular structure is quite lightweight which makes them easier to absorb into your skin. These go on your cleansed skin before your moisturizer or night treatment. You will notice once your serum has had as little as 30 seconds to soak into your skin, you already may need the next serum or it may be time to apply your moisturizer.

Is there anything to look out for?

You'll want to make sure you are not applying multiple topical retinoids. Look for words such as Vitamin A (palmitate, ester, etc), Retinol, retinal, retinoid, retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, tretinoin .... are all ways these can be listed on the product packaging. Always remember, if a product or combination of products seems irritating, decrease use first, don't use the combination so you can figure out which product is creating the issue if the irritation continues then stop using the product. Always be sure to tell your esthetician which product you used irritated your skin so they ensure the selection of proper products based on previous irritation.

Should I change serums seasonally?

You sure can! For instance, summer is a perfect time for an anti-oxidant serum to help build the skin from damaging sun exposure. When the seasons change and we want to combat the hyperpigmentation we accumulated over the last few months, we can switch to a brightening serum to reduce the appearance of any brown spots that have popped up.

Basic routine when incorporating a serum:
cleanse (removes makeup and environmental residue from your day)
second, cleanse (actually cleans the skin)
toner (rebalanced pH levels)
exfoliate (2-3x a week max depending on your skin type)
eye cream or gel
{  this whole process takes literally 3 full minutes - I timed it  :)  }

So that's the jazz on serums.
I encourage questions if you have them - I'd love to hear from you!