SERUMS DECODED

Updated: Feb 3

The world of skincare offers a diverse range of products to choose from and the options can be overwhelming. More so with new product categories for which only limited information is available.


One such category is “Serums”. Here is some information to help you understand this most talked about skincare product.


WHAT ARE SERUMS


Serums are skincare products designed to deliver high concentrations of specific high-performance ingredients and nutrients to the skin. With their lightweight texture and small molecular structure, they penetrate deep into the skin to deposit powerful actives like peptides, antioxidant-rich vitamins, glycolic acids, etc in the deeper layers of skin for more targeted results. No wonder they are a vital step in every skincare routine.

Are serums moisturisers? This is a question I am asked most frequently. The answer is yes, and no. Some serums may be full of ingredients that provide deep hydration to the skin. However, these serums cannot replace moisturisers as moisturisers create a barrier on top of the skin to seal in the actives and help skin retain moisture. So, layering a serum with a moisturiser is an important step.


WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SERUMS


Serums typically may be categorised as

- Water-based (Gel or Liquid or Emulsion or Bi-phase) serums and

- Oil-based serums (Facial Oils or Pressed Serums)

Water-based serums may be thin watery liquids, fluid gels or in the form of creamy lotion-like emulsions. Oil-based serums are waterless formulations of light oil blends or made with oils, butters and waxes into a semi-solid balm-like consistency.

All of these are designed to deliver actives to the skin, but in different ways. Each has its advantages and can be used separately or layered to work together. The fundamental difference between an oil-based serum and a water-based serum is in the high-performance ingredients it contains.


WHICH FUNCTIONS DO SERUMS PERFORM


Depending on the ingredients, serums may perform different functions like anti-ageing, soothing & calming, moisture boosting, firming & toning, nourishing, skin-brightening, repairing, rejuvenating, resurfacing/exfoliating, oil-balancing, anti-pollution and more.


HOW TO CHOOSE A SERUM


The choice of serum ideally should be made based on skin type and skin concern.


Choosing Serums by Skin Type:


OILY OR ACNE-PRONE SKIN will benefit from serums containing Vitamin C (increases collagen production, enhances skin’s repair process and reduces inflammation), retinol (also an antioxidant, reduces inflammation), zinc (soothes irritation, regulates oil production), and salicylic acid (unclogs pores).