Face Serums explained, finally!

cream for face

Great skin is not simply a matter of DNA. But personal habits and routines also account for what you see in the mirror. It all boils down to having your set personal skin care regime, which works for your skin. The beauty world is abuzz with the surreptitious bottle of magical potion known as the serum and you are sure to see this latest-must-have in almost everyone's skin care regime.

But even if we are proud owners of the various kinds of Face serums, not everyone is aware of its adequacy and efficiency as an air of skepticism surrounds it. Think of its contradictions :  It's moisturizing, but you still use a moisturizer. It can be oily but it is definitely not a face oil. It is not an essence but it can be watery as well! So many questions crowd one's mind for a tiny bottle of transparent liquid.

We can try helping to clear out some of this noise.

What exactly is a 'serum'?

Serums are powerful skin allies that should be used after cleansing your face but before applying the moisturizer or sunscreen. It is an aqueous (water) based formula infused with higher concentrations of active ingredients. Serums penetrate deeper into the skin layers as compared to other skin products, to effectively deliver these active ingredients, which makes it them a great tool for targeting specific skin concerns like dark spots, wrinkles and acne.
benefits of serum for skin

How different is it from a regular moisturizer then?

A moisturizer is heavier than a serum thus creating a shield on top of the skin by keeping all the ingredients intact. Face serum penetrates the skin deeply, and strengthens the barrier function and seals in the moisture alongside targeting specific skin concerns.

Bamboozled about the difference between a face oil, essence and a serum? We have you covered!

Currently, face oils have been used as a misnomer for serums and essence which is not true! A face oil is technically not a serum or an essence but it helps moisturize and hydrate the skin, Confused right?

serumSo the basic difference between a face oil and a serum is that the oil contains larger molecules than a serum and it only penetrates the uppermost layer of the skin. Face oils contain plant extracts and essential oils which provide the skin with the required lipids. These lipids help keep the skin balanced and fortifies the moisture barrier.

Serums and Essences are very similar as both penetrates deeply to nourish the skin from within. The basic difference between the two is based on its texture, whereby the former is gooier and concentrated, while an essence is watered-down with a more fluid texture.serum

There is a wide variety of face serums available online and offline. And before you use any of it, the first step should be knowing your skin type, which will help you curate the right regime.

The many options!

There are many different types of serums and both the active ingredients and the texture of the serum can provide different functions and benefits.  Now that you know the basics, lookout for the products that handle your specific skin issue:

serum for glow


    Hydration serums containing hyaluronic acid, Ceramides seal in moisture, and strengthen the skin barrier function (the top layer of your skin) to prevent moisture loss.

  • GLOW:

    Vitamin C antioxidant based serums help enhance radiance, brighten dull skin and decrease dark spots with continued use.serum


    Retinol, vitamin B3, peptides in anti ageing serums stimulate the production of collagen and elastin proteins in the body that keep the skin firm and youthful, and help prevent skin ageing, sagging, wrinkles and lines.


    Colloidal sulphur, salicylic acid in anti-acne serums helps to remove pimples, zits and acne scars, along with exfoliating skin.


    Niacinamide, Hydroquinone, Glycolic Acid to reduce melanin production and help treat dark spots and rigid pigmentation for even skin tone. All you have to do is know your skin type and understand your skin's need. You will have many interesting options to choose from. Read the blog on Knee darkness and underarm darkness to better under stand the problem and find the best solution

when to use serum

How and when should you use it?

The best way to use a serum is after cleansing and toning the skin, and right before the moisturizer. Thus allowing it ample time to get absorbed by the skin which in turn helps your skin to soak up all the nourishing components when the moisturizer is applied. Most importantly, a serum is a hydrator. Since it has an aqueous base with little oil in it, a serum's function is to add water to your skin. Also, always follow up your face serum application with a sunscreen.

The right order of applying skincare products typically is :

skincare regime- Cleansers (makeup remover, followed by face wash)
- Scrubs (gentle exfoliators) or Toners (alcohol-free skin toners)
- Face Serums
- Moisturizers
- Sunscreens (A definite must!)
- Makeup (always optional)

Different serum have different actions and benefits, and its advisable to not use too many serum together. Instead, you can try distributing it between your morning and night routines. Another important tip is to avoid mixing the moisturizer and the serum together as it deters the effectiveness of the serum to deliver the actives efficiently. So choose wisely from the range of serums and relish in the beauty of a glowing and healthy skin.

Jigyasha Jain


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