What is Face Serum and Why Do I Need It? | Skinora
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What is a face serum? Should I add one to my skincare regime?

With so many face serums on the market, it is hard to work out the right serum for you without breaking the balance or getting confused. In an ideal world we would purchase serums and apply layer by layer to achieve our skin goals but this is not always practical for our skin or sensible for our wallets. So why are serums so popular, how do they work and why is it important to use serums in our skincare regime? Well let’s find out.

What is a face serum?

Serums contain higher concentrations of active ingredients than moisturisers and lotions which makes them more effective at tackling your skin concerns. Serums tend to be lightweight and can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin to ensure that the ingredients are delivered to correct areas to target the primary skin concerns.  Investing in a high quality serum will make a huge difference when it comes to the transformation of your skin.  It is never too late to start using a serum and a little goes a long way.

There are serums to address many skin concerns including acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, dehydration, dryness, redness and much more. We advise applying serum before you use moisturiser for the best results.

Here are a few of our favourites silky serums that are making a big impact in our Skinora Community.

Hydrating Serums

If you are looking to rehydrate the skin, look for hydrating actives such as:

Hyaluronic acid has the ability to attract and hold more than 1000 times its own weight in water from the surrounding environment. It leaves the skin feeling supple, more plump and reduces the appearance fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin E helps to maintain the skins lipid barrier, promotes healing of the skin, neutralises harmful free radicals and hydrates the skin.

Panthenol helps to smooth and hydrate skin

Allantoin is another moisturising ingredient that also soothes itchy skin and has great healing properties

Skinceuticals HA (Hyaluronic Acid) Intensifier

Antioxidant Serums

The  high concentration of antioxidants in face serums shield the skin from harmful aggressors such as pollution and ultraviolet (UV) exposure that can lead to free radical damage responsible for accelerate ageing of the skin and pigmentations changes. Try to select serums tend to contain vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid. Another popular naturally occurring antioxidant is resveratrol found in the skin of grapes, peanuts, all berries, and even dark chocolate. What’s more interesting is that due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties this powerhouse ingredient is used in a number of serums.

Skinceuticals Resveratrol B E

Also the much loved Phloretin CF by Skinceuticals due to its  patented synergistic combination of 2% phloretin, 10% pure vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid), and 0.5% ferulic acid for enhanced protection against atmospheric skin ageing is a great antioxidant serum to add to your regime


Skinceuticals Phloretin CF serum


Anti-ageing Serums

Whether you select ingredients neuropeptides like dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate, stem cells, alpha hydroxyl acids such as mandelic and glycolic acid, as well as antixoidants, a good quality anti-ageing will see a smoother, brighter and more youthful complexion.

Exuviance Line Smooth Antioxidant Serum

ZO Skin Health Growth Factor Serum


Pigment Control Serum

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin concern. Whether you have been affected by melasma, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or sun damage, there are lots of serums packed with highly effective ingredients to reduce discolouration and even the skin tone.

Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense Serum

Oil Control Serums

Look for serums containing ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide to combat oiliness, enlarged pores, breakouts and clogged pores.

Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Defense


Anti-redness Serums

To reduce redness, irritation and inflammation select ingredients aloe vera, algae extract, botanical and herb extracts.

Exuviance AntiRedness Calming Serum


How do I apply a face serum?

Always apply serum before your moisturiser and sunscreen to ensure effective delivery of the potent actives in the serum to the deeper layers of the skin. Apply 4-6 drops of serum in hand, place your index and middle finger into the hand and distribute the serum well over the face. Alternatively you can drop the serum onto your fingertips and direct press onto the face and affected areas, then massage gently until well absorbed.

What is the right serum for me?

Still not sure? Here at Skinora we will review your skin quiz answers and guide you in the right direction. Take our skin type quiz and be sure to check out the selection of high performing serums in our Skinora shop.


About the Author: Lucinda Appiah

Dr Lucinda Appiah studied Medicine and Haematology at Imperial College London from 2003-2009. She later went on to attain her postgraduate certification in Aesthetic Medicine at Queen Mary University in London with merit and trained with some of the top plastic surgeons and aesthetic medicine practitioners in the country. Dr Appiah also continues to practice as a GP and has extensive experience in treating a range of skin conditions. She has an empathetic approach to all skin concerns and has also had her own skin journey managing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. She is passionate about working with brands that deliver results backed by science, empowering clients to explore new ingredients and grow their self confidence.

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Last update: March 16th, 2021

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