Have you ever wondered how serums work or if you even need to use one? Understanding how serums affect the skin and choosing the right one can be confusing, given the multitude of products available. However, applying a serum is an essential step in achieving your skincare goals. Let’s take a deeper look.

What are serums?

Serums are products containing a high concentration of ingredients targeting specific skin conditions. This makes them extremely important in both spa treatments and in-home skin care.



Serum comes in different formats and textures and its packaging is normally elaborated according to the ingredients it contains. As an example, serum containing photosensitive ingredients might come in a jar made of dark or frosted glass to protect it from light exposure, while another serum, whose ingredients are not sensitive to light might be presented in a clear glass or plastic container.

Whatever the packaging, serums are all the same. That is to say, their formulations are packed with highly concentrated ingredients that provide the skin with a powerhouse treatment.


What are serums used for?

Serums are formulated to treat many skin conditions such as excess sebum, acne, loss of skin tone or wrinkles, making them suitable for people of all ages. A younger person who doesn’t have a pronounced skin condition might not need to apply serum regularly. However, as our skin matures, we should apply these concentrated formulations regularly.



  • Oily to acne-prone skin

To treat oily to acne-prone skin, there are several factors to consider. Ultimately, we want to minimize oil secretions to allow for a complexion that appears mattified. Lipoamino acids and cinnamon extract offer an anti-seborrheic activity. They, therefore, are often contained in serums targeting oily skin. Probiotics applied to the skin form a protective shield that prevents harmful pimple-causing bacteria from reaching the skin, aggravating the immune system and triggering inflammation. Studies show that they also strengthen the skin’s immune response, so there’s less redness and swelling during the healing process.



  • Dry skin

Dry skin requires an infusion of lipids and moisturizing ingredients, as the compromised barrier increases the transepidermal water loss (TEWL) which can, in turn, increase dehydration. Many lipids can restore dry skin. Ceramides are beneficial, as they are part of the lipid barrier and the skin’s defence system. Argan oil, rich in fatty acids, Omega 3-6-9 and natural tocopherols, will nourish the skin, help to restore the hydrolipidic film and strengthen the cutaneous barrier.


As these lipids will reduce TEWL, it is also necessary to provide the skin with hydrating ingredients to eliminate dehydration. Hyaluronic acid, in both medium and low molecular weights, is beneficial as it brings moisture to the upper and lower layers of the skin. Dehydration is not specific to dry skin. All skin types can be affected by dehydration. Therefore, it is always beneficial to ensure the serum used contains one or more moisturizing ingredients to keep the skin plump and quenched.

  • Aging skin

Aging skin has many requirements and the wonderful thing about serums is that we can intensely treat expression lines, fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of skin tone. In order to garner the best results, we would generally focus on one condition at a time, switching from one formulation to another, throughout the year.

Expression lines are usually the first to appear on the skin, as we tend to mimic the same expressions over and over again. Neurotransmitter peptides, such as Argireline and Myoxinol, provide a myo-relaxing action to reduce the appearance of expression lines and wrinkles, making them the first choice to topically address this concern.



Should we decide to treat in order of priority, we would next address fine lines and wrinkles appearing from aging caused by, but not limited to, free radical damage, glycation, stress, and exposure to the sun’s rays, to name a few. Formulations containing a combination of peptides have various beneficial actions on the skin. Retinol and vitamins C & E are also great ingredients with youth-restoring actions.


Unfortunately for women, skin atony is often accelerated with the hormonal disruptions of menopause. Estrogen plays a role in the structural integrity of the connective tissue. Therefore, when estrogen diminishes during menopause, skin atony results. Look for serums that contain ingredients targeting components in the skin that specifically assist with structural integrity.  

When and how to you use serums?

A serum is normally used morning and/or evening, for one month, as an intensive cure and should be applied after the skin has been cleansed and exfoliated. Applying a toning mist prior is a good habit, as moisture on the skin will allow for better absorption of ingredients contained in the serum.

Considering everything, serums are more than worth the investment needed to complete your daily skincare regime and keep you looking refreshed.