If you would have asked me 5 years ago what serums were I would have given you a blank stare. Back then I was young and didn't really know much about skin care beyond cleanser, moisturizer, exfoliator, and the occasional mask. Now that I'm approaching my mid-20's (scoff if you must, but it's mildly terrifying for me) I'm starting to take my skincare seriously since I'm beginning to see the beginning of some wrinkles forming and I am not having it. Serums actually play a pretty big part in my skincare routine, and while I'm still discovering what works for me and what doesn't, I've definitely got a few that I stand by. Before we get into my favorite serums, let's do a little skincare 101 and actually discuss what they are and what they do.
Serums, essentially, are a skincare product that targets specific concerns. Serums can do a multitude of things depending on the ingredients to treat anything from evening out skin tone to lessening the appearance of wrinkles to returning a healthy glow to dulled skin and everything in between. They consist of a cocktail of concentrated and generally high quality ingredients blended to treat whatever ails your skin. The reason that serums are hailed as being a more effective or intensive product is because of how it penetrates your skin. The average face moisturizer primarily sits on top of the skin because on a molecular level it's too large to be fully absorbed. Serum, on the other hand, has much smaller molecular compounds which the skin just drinks up.
Due to the potency of the components you're normally looking at a small bottle with a BIG price tag which, granted, can be a bit shocking. However, serums are one thing in my skincare routine that I feel almost no guilt splurging on. Why? Having a high quality serum that targets my skin concerns boosts the effectiveness of my skincare routine, and it also means that I can shirk off purchasing specialized face washes and scrubs. It just makes more sense to splash out and buy items that stay on your skin that treats it opposed to paying a pretty penny for something you apply and promptly wash off. I apply that to some degree when it comes to moisturizers as well since I'm already getting most of what I need from a serum, but it's still important to have a good moisturizer to help keep all that hydration locked in since most serums aren't formulated to replace the need for one.
Since this post is getting a bit ramble-y, let's move on to my serum favorites! If you'd like to know a bit more about what serums would fit specific skin needs and a more sparknotes-esque while still encompassing overview of what they are, go ahead and check out this post from Into The Gloss.
1. Pur~lisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Eye Adore Serum, $65
I'm a little terrified of under eye wrinkles seeing as how my eyes already look a bit rough with their deep creases, dark circles, and discoloration, so I double up my eye care with this serum and an eye cream.the Pur~lisse Blue Lotus serum is a gift from the heavens for someone like me that has multiple issues that they want to address. In addition to being hydrating, this serum firms the area (no seriously... it really does), brightens the skin's appearance, and decreases puffiness. My only gripe about this product is the packaging; it has one of those tubeless pumps that relies on air pressure/vacuum nonsense and so I find it really hard to dispense most of the time and it also dispenses a LOT at once. If Pur~lisse could fix the pump issue, we'd be right as rain!
2. Algenist Concentrated Reconstructing Serum, $95
This guy costs a pretty penny. Luckily it pops up on Hautelook every couple of months or so with two 15 mL bottles, i.e. combined to make the same volume as a full sized bottle, for only $19 or something ridiculous like that. I'm not exactly the target audience for this serum since it's supposed to be for treating wrinkles and delivering dramatic results, but I still really enjoy it. I already have pretty firm skin, but this manages to take my skin back to middle school firm status while giving my complexion a bright and exceptionally youthful glow. This serum is one that I use during the day because it sinks in almost immediately and doesn't have ANY negative effects like the next two we're going to be talking about. 10/10, would recommend.
3. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster, $48
I've suffered with adult acne since basically the second I turned 18. As a result, I've been left with a lot of dark spots because post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is my skin's favorite thing to do. The vitamin C in this speeds up the healing process and lightens up those little purple spots that pepper my face like freckles. As great as vitamin C is, it does not get along with sunlight. I live in sunny Southern California, so wearing this during the day is basically begging for a sun burn, therefore I like to lessen the probability of that happening by using it as a night treatment.
4. Derma E Purifying Youth Serum, $29.50
By far the cheapest serum on this list, the Derma E Purifying Youth Serum is a great value because you're getting super eco-friendly protection against free radicals at a drugstore price. This is another necessity for me since I live in a large, smoggy city that gets very little rain, which in turn can age your skin much faster due to constant exposure to pollution. It's light weight, makes my skin look refreshed and removes the dull appearance I tend to get. Unfortunately this does tend to make me look a bit more emollient than I'd prefer, so I alternate using this and the Ole Henriksen one at night because I don't fancy walking around looking any more oily than necessary.
So how about you? Are you a seasoned serum veteran, or are you new to this whole thing?
Have any favorite serums? Please leave them in the comments so we can all share in the power of awesome serums!