Navigating the world of skincare products can be a little bit intimidating for someone who is new to choosing a serum for skincare routine — because there seems to be an endless list of different skincare products out there to choose from, I mean all kinds, such as: serums, gels, moisturizers, Tan, creams, sunscreens, and essential oils, each for a different purpose, condition, and skin type.
FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
For people with sensitive skin, it’s even more intimidating, confusing and overwhelming—especially when you see some skincare products that claim to be perfect for all skin types, yet it gives some people irritation or breakout.
If you’re doing everything right, I mean —cleansing, exfoliating, SPFing, moisturizing —and you’re not getting your desired result, it’s high time you try a face serum, it could be exactly what you need because “Face serums contain active ingredients that are highly concentrated, and they penetrate the skin faster than the common skincare products like moisturizer, creams etc.
BENEFIT OF FACIAL SERUM
The specific benefits of any serum depend on the active ingredients used in the formulation, but all are meant to tackle one skin concern to another, such as dullness, wrinkles, fine lines, discoloration, dehydration, dark spot, acne, dryness etc.
The good news is facial serum can easily be integrated into our skincare routine. “And they are most effective when you apply it after a cleanser to enhance quick penetration, and before a moisturizer to seal the serum in the skin,” says Illinois-based board-certified dermatologist Jessie Cheung, M.D.
METHOD OF APPLICATION
Method of application usually depends on the serum maker, if it comes with an applicator or pump use it to apply 2 t0 3 drops on your face and massage it into the skin, whatever skin concern you’re trying to address, follow the recommended solution, for protection, use antioxidant serums mostly in the morning (e.g. Vit. C serum) and for your repair and regenerate use retinol serums at night.
Antioxidant serums protect your skin from environmental damage, also known as free radicals that cause aging. These free radicals are unstable molecular fragments that’s commonly generated by air pollution and Ultra Violent Rays that attack cells through the process called oxidation. Antioxidant ingredients neutralize the free radicals and prevent them from doing damage to your complexion.
Below is the best antioxidant serum certified by an experienced dermatologist and other skin experts, the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum
Below is a comprehensive list of common skin concerns and their corresponding potent ingredients in formulating the serum to deal with the problem.
If wrinkles are your major skin concerns, it’s recommended to focus on facial serums that’s highly concentrated in ingredients like Retinol, Glycolic acid, growth factors, and Bakuchiol because they will help you build collagen and improve skin texture, says Melanie Palm, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and clinical professor at Scripps Encinitas Memorial Hospital in California.
Below is the best Wrinkle serum certified by an experienced dermatologist and other skin experts, the Olay Regenerist MAXWrinkle Serum with Peptides
Hyaluronic acid is a major skin Hydrating serum, or Ceramides serum, will also keep the skin plump, hydrated and reduce fine lines and wrinkles throughout the day. Hydration helps to reduce irritation, wrinkles and give you a youthful-looking complexion all day.
The following is the best Hyaluronic acid serum recommended by dermatologists and other experts, the SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier Serum.
FOR DAILY PROTECTION
If your primary purpose is to protect the skin all day look for a serum that contains potent ingredients that are antioxidants, such as vitamin B3 (niacinamide), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (tocopherol), Resveratrol Polyphenols, and Green tea, all of the antioxidant acts an anti aging ingredients in any serum they’re formulated with.
The following is the best serum recommended by dermatologist for daily protection. The Nourishmax advanced vitaminC+B+C FerulicSerum
These active ingredients act as a shield and protect you against environmental stressors, free radicals, and lifestyle elements such as UV rays, air pollutants, alcohol, smoking that are capable of sucking the life out of your face.
FOR DARK SPOTS AND UNEVEN SKIN TONE
If you’re looking for a serum to treat dark spots and uneven skin tone, then go for Antioxidants serums like vitamin B3 (niacinamide), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (tocopherol), that brighten up your skin and at the same time protect you against environmental factors.
The Skinceutical Discoloration defense is the best serum recommended by dermatologist and expert for dark spots and uneven skin tone.
Apart from antioxidants other active ingredients that can help you get rid of dark spots and uneven skin tone include kojic, glycolic, and lactic acids, as well as licorice root, mushroom extract, and botanical extracts, like soy, they’re capable of correcting your skin color.
If you consistently experience dryness on your skin, then I would advise you to go for a serum that contains Hyaluronic acid for hydration, it draws water to the skin, Niacinamide a natural component of the skin barrier to enhance Ceramide levels, and vitamin E to soothe and protect your skin from environmental damage, says Dr. Ramya Kollipara, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology.
The recommended serum by dermatologists and experts for dryness is the drunk elephant b-hydra intensive hydration serum.
Hyaluronic acid is the active ingredient that helps you keep the skin hydrated, apart from dry skin, it also can benefit other skin types—from sensitive to oily and acne-prone, because it helps to reduce irritation a side effect from stronger actives that can be too harsh on the skin.
Oily skin is a result of the your skin to produce excess oil, if this is your skin concern, you need to look for facial serum that’s capable of removing excessive oil from your skin, and also add a face scrub to your routine and unclog pores.
The recommended serum by dermatologists for oily skin, the Sunday Riley good genes all-in-one lactic acid treatment
Dark circles are as a result of lack of sleep, if you’re experiencing dark circles look for the right eye cream to help you neutralize their appearance, most eye serums formulated to reduce the look of dark circles also brighten up the skin around the eye area, which can result to overall healthier-looking complexion.
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for dark circle is the Olay eyes lifting serum
FOR REDNESS AND INFLAMMATION
If you always have redness, irritations, and inflammation, that indicate you know you have a sensitive skin, you can still use most of the serums available, but with a little bit of caution, “Sensitive skin types should look for a serum that have anti-inflammatory ingredients like green tea, zinc, aloe Vera and Licorice root they reduce redness” says Dr. Kollipara.
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for redness and inflammation, the La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense
Go for a serums that are free from fragrance and preservative to reduce potential irritation and redness. “Avoid using Retinoids serum or acids too frequently if your skin is sensitive,” says Dr. Cheung. Remember fragrance is not a skin care product and it doesn’t add anything good to your skin, if you have sensitive you should skin avoid it totally if it’s possible.
If breakouts happen to be your major skin concerns, it’s advisable to look for a serum that act as Exfoliators such as Glycolic acid, Lactic Acid (AHAs, alpha hydroxy acids), Salicylic Acid (BHAs, beta hydroxy acids) and fruit enzymes, says Dr. Palep. These active ingredients are capable of removing dead skin cells from your skin to allow for total healing and restoration.
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for Breakouts, Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
Retinol base serums, are also very effective against breakouts, since they improve cell turnover and boost absorption of other other actives, includes Hyaluronic acid for hydration, and Niacinamide to fight inflammation.
Dull skin is one of the most common skin concern people complained about and the cause is a buildup of dead skin cell that happens as a result of failing to get rid of dead skin regularly. If this is your challenges relax, it’s one of the easiest skin concerns to cure, the solution is to brightening vitamin C serums that exfoliate and help in brightening your complexion.
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for dull skin, the SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel Serum.
This is where Vitamin C serum comes in, if you have sensitive skin don’t go above pure vitamin C of 10% to avoid irritation, all other skin types can go as high as 20% for quick result to boost radiance and reduce appearance of wrinkles for a youthful-looking glowing skin.
Rough texture is also as a result of dead skin and lack of exfoliation and it is often goes hand in hand with dull skin, once again, you can get rid of it by adding a serum that exfoliate and also add a vitamin C serums to your skin routine to brighten your skin.
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for rough texture is the Krave Beauty Kale-Lalu-AHA
Vitamin C serum that is formulated with other active ingredients like Glycolic and Hyaluronic acids, also micro-pearls are known to get rid of dead skin cell and improve skin tone and texture for a glowing complexion.
Large pores Large are those pores that are visible to the naked eye, and their sizes could be genetic, but factors like skin elasticity, and sebum secretion could also make them larger, and are best treated by serum that exfoliate, and other treatments that assist to regulate sebum production and anti aging solution.
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for large pores is the peach sake pore serum.
Large pore goes along with oily skin, and they can take a toll on your makeup look, large pores are extremely common, if this is your skin concern, go for BHA (Beta hydroxyl acid) face serums that have actives like Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and Glycolic Acid to tackle large pores and oil skin.
Eye bags are puffiness under the eyes and they are usually associated with crying, lack of sleep, excess salt in our diet, or aging, as we age the tissues around our eyes, and the muscles supporting our eyelids get weaker, then, the normal fat that supports the eyes move into the lower eyelids, causing the lids to appear swollen.
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for eye bags is the Garnier skinactive clearly brighter anti-puff eye roller
If eye bags are your major skin concerns, go for an eye serum designed to tackle eye bags I mean a face serum that contain some of the following potent ingredients like vitamins C and E, Hyaluronic acid, retinol and caffeine. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it constrict blood vessels, so it can help remove the swollen skin under the eyes.
Acne is a condition that occurs when our hair follicles become blocked dead skin cell and with oil. Acne prone skin, also causes blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. Acne affects people of all ages, it’s more rampant among teenagers, acne can be persistent, but there are treatments that are effective for acne prone skin.
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for Acne is the Juice beauty blemish clearing serum.
If this is your skin concern, go for a face serum that contain actives like salicylic acid, Niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3), which, according to Shainhouse, is a soothing, hydrating, and anti-inflammatory ingredient that minimize irritation and soothe sensitive skin.
Blackheads are another type of acne that occur when our pores become blocked with excess oils, dead skin cell, and bacteria. The most active ingredient to treat blackheads is Salicylic acid because its target and eliminate dead skin cell on oily skin
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for Blackheads is the glossier solution for blackheads.
Other actives to look for in a face serum when you want to treat blackheads are The Lactic Acid 10% and a List of all the Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA), they’re capable of getting rid of blackheads and leave you with a spotless and glowing complexion.
Sebaceous filaments are natural and are a normal part of your skin’s moisturizing process, they’re healthy features that move sebum to the skin’s surface for moisturizing. Blackheads form when too many dead skin cells, sebum and bacteria block our pore, though when they’re not much it should be left alone.
The following is the recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for Sebaceous filaments is the Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid.
If this is your skin concern and you want to get rid of it, go for Salicylic acid serums, also known as beta hydroxy acid (BHA), help reduce the amount of oil on the skin and the size of sebaceous filaments depending on the percentage of Salicyclic acid present in the serums, it may range from 0.5% to 2.0% percent.
Razor bumps are formed as a result of hair follicles curling backward and penetrating the skin, which lead to an inflammatory reaction. The most active ingredients in the serums to treating Razor Bump are glycolic and salicylic acid, Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel, Tea Tree Oil.
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for Razor bumps is the Fur Ingrown Concentrate.
If you’re hairy and like shaving your hair most of the time, it’s likely you will have razor bump, you can get rid of it with any face serum that contain the above listed active ingredients for a smooth and clear complexion.
Hyperpigmentation is a harmless condition where patches of skin become darker than the normal. This darkening is as a result of excess melanin, that’s the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in your skin. This can be caused by sun damage, hormonal fluctuation, scars, or acne
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for Hyperpigmentation is the Tranexamic Acid Hyperpigmentation Treatment.
If this is your skin concern, and you decide to get rid of it, look for serums that contains Kojic Acid, Retinol. Niacinamide, Azelaic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Arbutin. And Vit. C.
Vit.C is of the powerful ingredient that can reduce hyperpigmentation, it does this by blocking melanin production.
The recommended Vit. C by a dermatologist and experts for brightening and hyperpigmentation. The Obagi vitamin c serum
LOSS OF FIRMNESS
Loss of firmness is a condition when our skin begins to lose plumpness and firmness, one of the active ingredients to look for in any serum to address the loss of firmness, is Hyaluronic Acid a hydrating serum and super effective active that can absorb up to 1,000x its own weight in water. Since it’s so absorbent, it’s has been the ability to draw in water and lock in vital moisture for a full hydration.
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for Loss of firmness is the SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2
Other Active Ingredients for Firming, are Peptides, Caffeine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Retinol base serum, and natural hydrating ingredients like Bacuchiol, this will help you to eliminate fine lines, regain your firmness, plumpness for a youthful glowing complexion.
FOR OVERALL RADIANCE, AND GLOWING COMPLEXION:
If you think you don’t have any specific skin concern, but you still want that youthful-looking and glowing complexion, go for hydrating serums that contain hydroxy acids that exfoliate and boost collagen production.
The recommended serum by a dermatologist and experts for For overall radiance, and glowing complexion is the caudalie vinoperfect anti dark spot serum
No matter the skin concern collagen production is necessary for a healthy complexion, the main hydroxy acid that boost collagen is Glycolic, Salicyclic acids.
That’s a lot to consume right? Now that you know what ingredients to look for when you have a specific concern, It’s time to shop like a skincare professional, get to the fun part and select the best face serums for every skin type according to your budget.