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Serum Definition: Everything You Need to Know from A to Z

serums all you need to know from a to z

You may have heard that face serums are some of the best products for keeping your skin looking young and healthy. But what exactly are face serums, and what are the best ways to use them? In this comprehensive guide, I'll explain exactly what face serums are and give you some pointers on the best ways to use them for a number of common skin conditions. 

Simple Serum Definition

A face serum is a type of light face product that is usually water-based. Some people apply serums before they apply moisturizers, and some people use them in place of moisturizers. Serums absorb into your skin or evaporate, which means that they don't leave any residue. The main purpose of face serums is to deliver active ingredients into your skin, so manufacturers of serums optimize these products to pass through the skin barrier as easily as possible.

While other face products may clean or moisturize your skin, the primary purpose or serums is to heal your face. Serums are the supplements of skin care, and they often contain the same sorts of ingredients that you're used to seeing in supplements. The ingredients in serums usually have antioxidant qualities, and common skin serum ingredients include vitamin C and vitamin E.

Unlike moisturizers, face serums aren't creamy, and they may even be watery in consistency. They also usually don't have much of a color, which can be disconcerting when you apply them to your skin. However, the ingredients that a serum contains are the most important aspects of this type of product, and as long as a serum effectively conveys these ingredients deep into your skin, there's no need for heavy, creamy bases or the white or off-white color that you're used to seeing in moisturizers and skin creams.

While serums and moisturizers are structurally different, many people who have normal or oily skin find that they no longer need moisturizers after they start using serums. Even though they are radically different in terms of composition, serums and moisturizers can end up serving the same purpose; both types of products combat dry skin, and some would argue that serums do a better job of keeping your skin moist than moisturizers.

What Is Serum Used For?

People use serums for all sorts of reasons. In most cases, people who feel like they have perfect skin don't use serums, but some young people with glowing skin also use serums to ensure that they'll have amazing skin for the rest of their lives. Many people turn to serums for help with specific skin conditions, and here are some examples of the types of conditions for which science has demonstrated that antioxidant face serums are effective.

1. Aging

Since serums deliver their active ingredients effectively and efficiently without leaving any residue behind, they won't harm your skin and cause it to age prematurely. Depending on the types of ingredients that are in your serum, this face product might actually reverse the signs of aging.

Some manufacturers produce serums that are specifically for anti-aging, and these serums often include ingredients like vitamin E and vitamin C. These ingredients are antioxidants, and antioxidants may slow or reverse the aging process. These special compounds fight back against free radicals, which are destructive agents that reduce your cell integrity.

When your skin cells have access to all of the antioxidants that it needs to keep free radicals at bay, they are capable of maintaining youthful cell metabolism, which means that they are better able to produce proteins that keep your skin looking young. The two proteins that contribute the most to your skin's youthfulness are collagenand elastin, and when antioxidants increase the levels of these proteins in your skin, you have fewer wrinkles, and your skin remains plump.

Not all anti-aging serums are the same, and you should steer clear of any products that contain toxic ingredientslike parabens, phthalates, or SLS. In general, face serums that are all-natural and cruelty-free are the best picks if you want to reverse the aging process without damaging your health.

vitamin c serum for anti aging and acne

2. Acne

Some people may use serums to help with their acne. Science has demonstrated that popular serum ingredients like vitamin C can help with acne, and serums also won't clog your pores. People around the world have become jaded by over-the-counter acne medications that make big promises but deliver dangerous results, and you should always try a benign and simple topical approach before resorting to potentially life-threatening ingestible acne treatments. Since acne is an inflammation-driven disease, serums that contain antioxidants represent the perfect solutions for keeping inflammation down and maintaining an even skin tone.

3. Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a condition in which your skin has an uneven tone, and inflammation is usually the root cause for this condition. When you reduce inflammation in your skin with antioxidants, you have the power to reverse hyperpigmentation and give your skin a clean, pure tone. Whether acne scars or aging is the cause of your hyperpigmentation, using an antioxidant-rich and feather-light face serum might be the best way to get your normal skin tone back.

4. Dry Skin

Moisturizers purport to keep your skin from getting too dry, but these products usually only serve as temporary band-aids for a bigger problem. Environmental conditions and dietary choices can cause dry skin, but systemic issues with your skin are also often to blame. If you only rely on moisturizers to keep your skin moist, you may end up becoming dependent on these products without actually addressing the root cause of your issue.

Serums exfoliate your skin, and they also improve blood flow, which ensures that your cells get all of the oxygen and nutrients that they need to stay healthy. Cells that have access to proper nutrition are healthy cells, and healthy skin cells keep your face moist. If you use serums to treat your dry skin, you may find that your skin remains moist without any need for creamy moisturizers.

Which Serum Should I Use?

Now that you understand the benefits of face serums, you may be ready to try the benefits of these cosmetic products for yourself. However, picking the right serum can be difficult, and there are a number of factors that you should consider before you pick a particular serum brand. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind if you want to pick the perfect serum for your needs.

The Importance of American-Made Products

When you buy products that were made in America, you support the domestic economy. You make it easier for small business owners to get by, and you become an integral part of keeping the American economic engine running. Not only is buying cheap, foreign-made products morally questionable, but these products may also be downright dangerous to your health. For instance, some knockoff cosmetics from China contain rat feces, and they may even contain human urine or lead. America remains the leader in consumer products, and American products made by ethical, small businesses are the best for your health.

american-made-skin-care-serums

Pick the Ingredients that Are Right for You

Not everyone responds the same to the same ingredients. In addition, different ingredients that face serums commonly contain serve different purposes, and you'll need to fully understand your intentions before you pick a serum that's right for you. Hyaluronic acid, for instance, keeps your skin moist and plump, but it's not as powerful of an antioxidant as vitamin C, which is a great choice if you have acne. However, hyaluronic acid speeds up the healing of wounds, so you may find that serums that contain both of these ingredients are best for your acne. Most serums contain quite a few different active ingredients, and you should study each ingredient in detail before deciding if a serum is right for you.

Consider Your Current Routine

The right serum will fit in perfectly with your existing routine. Most people apply a serum after washing their face and before applying a moisturizer, and you'll want to make sure that you can fit a serum into this routine. Also, you'll want to pick a serum that plays well with the products that you currently use; if you have any concerns that the ingredients in your cleanser or moisturizer might interact poorly with your serum, you should consider switching things up.

Always Pick All-Natural, Organic, and Cruelty-Free

It's impossible to stress enough the importance of only using products that are cruelty-free. Products that proudly bear the Leaping Bunny cruelty-free logo were developed without harming animals in any way. This means that they don't contain any animal-derived ingredients, and they also weren't tested on animals. In almost every case, there is a plant-derived alternative for every animal-based product. For instance, people used to derive hyaluronic acid from rooster combs, which killed the rooster, but you can also make hyaluronic acid in a lab from a special type of bacteria.

It's also important to only use serums that contain mostly natural ingredients. Some important ingredients can only be made in a lab, but good serums only contain these ingredients in small quantities. Nature provided us with practically everything that we need to make products that are safe and effective, and you should absolutely shun artificial ingredients with a bad history like parabens and formaldehyde. The most potent serum ingredients, such as vitamin C, are 100 percent natural, which just goes to show that artificial ingredients have no place in the first ten ingredients listed on a product.

If your serum contains any ingredients that are plant-based, it's important to make sure that the producers of those plants grew them with organic processes. Organic cultivation practices are easier on the Earth, and they also give back to local farmers. Best of all, when you use products that are certified organic, you can be sure that you aren't ingesting any dangerous artificial pesticides or fertilizers that the end product may still contain.

cruelty free serums for face

How to Apply Serum

If you're wondering how to use face serum, you should know that applying this type of product is generally quite easy. All you need to do to unlock the powers of these incredible healing products is remember a few basic rules:
  • 1. Only apply serum to skin that is clean and dry. Before you apply your serum, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, and then allow it to dry fully. It usually takes your skin about ten minutes to dry all the way.
  • 2. Apply your serum directly to your skin. Don't spread it out on your hands first; apply a pump or a pea-sized drop to a couple of areas on your face, and then use your fingertips to spread it out evenly across your skin.
  • 3. You can apply serum once a day, or you can apply it in the morning and in the evening. When you're first trying a new serum, you should probably hold off on using it twice a day to determine how it affects your skin.
  • 4. It's your choice whether you apply moisturizer after your serum. Since face serums address the underlying causes of dry skin, you may find that you won't need to apply a moisturizer after using your serum. If you stop using a moisturizer, keep in mind that your face may be unusually dry for a day or two as your skin starts producing normal levels of oil again.
  • 5. There's no need to wash a serum off after a certain period of time. Good serums absorb completely into your skin, and they won't clog your pores or leave any residue. Simply leave your serum on your skin and let it work its magic.

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