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Hello Joanna,
I am curious about face serums. Should I be using one in my daily skincare routine? What exactly are they, and how do I know which one is right for my skin?

Skincare serums were created to deliver highly concentrated ingredients directly into the skin to heal, rejuvenate, and improve the skin’s overall health. Intended to be used between cleansing and moisturizing, serums are made up of small molecules that can penetrate deeply into the skin. They can be used daily and should be applied after cleansing and toning as the skin’s pH is balanced, allowing the ingredients to be absorbed most efficiently. Moisturizer should be used as a final step after serum application.

Like all products, finding the right serum for your skin is a matter of understanding what your skin’s condition is at any given time. This changes depending on many factors, including diet, lifestyle, climate, etc. I always have a few serums on rotation for this reason. I also mix serums sometimes, depending on what my skin needs.  

When trying new serums, consistency is key. While you may see an immediate change in hydration levels of the skin, treating issues like hyperpigmentation and acne may take longer to see results. A good rule of thumb is to use a serum consistently for six weeks to see results. And I always recommend seeking the advice of a professional to determine which serums are best for your unique skin condition before adding them to your regimen.

Recommended Brightening Serums:

To brighten a dull complexion, look for serums that include vitamin C and licorice root. These are both tyrosinase inhibitors, meaning they help block the overproduction of melanin, which is responsible for pigmentation. Increased melanin production can lead to sunspots. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that keeps free radicals at bay, and licorice root contains Licochalcone A, another powerful antioxidant active.

Oio Lab Supercharged Glow Serum

This newly-textured, gel-lotion glow facial serum features advanced botanical extracts and skin-illuminating minerals to recreate the sunlit effect and leave the skin feeling well-rested and naturally glowing.

Joanna Czech The C+ Serum

Lightweight and fast-absorbing, THE C+ SERUM contains a stable form of Vitamin C. It is an anti-inflammatory that helps to increase collagen production, hydrates, brightens, evens out skin tone, and inhibits melanin synthesis.

Biologique Recherche Sérum PIGM 400

Sérum PIGM 400 is specially formulated with six concentrated active ingredients to prevent dark spots from appearing and reduce the appearance of existing dark spots.

Recommended Serums for Dehydrated Skin:

If you are struggling with dehydrated skin, look for serums that contain vitamin E, niacinamide, or hyaluronic acid. Niacinamide, a derivative of Vitamin B, has the ability to maintain moisture, strengthen the skin barrier, and aid in the synthesis of healthy fat. Fatty molecules help hold the skin together and retain moisture from deep within the tissue. Vitamin E helps to absorb UVB light making it harder for the damaging rays of the sun to penetrate the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, drawing hydration to the skin.

Joanna Czech The Soothing Serum

Calming and protective, THE SOOTHING SERUM contains ingredients that deeply hydrate, reduce the appearance of redness and other inflammation, comfort stressed and sensitized skin, increase collagen production, and restore immunity.

Environ HA Intensive Hydrating Serum

HA Intensive Hydrating Serum is a revolutionary treatment that intensely hydrates and adds volume to target skin areas, visibly reducing fine lines and treating dry, photo-damaged skin.

Biologique Recherche Sérum Extraits Tissulaires

Biologique Recherche Sérum Extraits Tissulaires is the first level of hydration serum and contains cellular oligopeptides to moisturize the upper layers of the skin. This unique serum hydrates and regenerates, and strengthens the skin, preparing it for more powerful treatments.

Recommended Serums for Acne:

For those with acneic skin, serums with concentrations of retinols (vitamin A derivatives), tea tree oil, and salicylic acid are what you want to look for. Vitamin A is a key ingredient because it helps to regulate sebum production while also accelerating cellular turnover. Salicylic acid works to unclog pores, and tea tree oil has strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

111Skin 3 Phase Anti Blemish Booster

This powerfully effective 3 Phase Anti Blemish Booster is formulated with potent ingredients that gently exfoliate, calm angry skin, and purify and control excess oil production. Truly an innovation in treating blemish-prone skin during the three stages of spot growth, the powerful booster leaves skin clear, soothed, and supple. 

Biologique Recherche Complexe Iribiol 

Serum Complexe Iribiol is a purifying serum aimed at preventing and alleviating skin imperfections by regulating sebum secretion and reducing inflammation thanks to anti-microbial active ingredients. The salicylic acid clears out excess debris and skin cells while the zinc heals the epidermis.

Environ Concentrated Retinol Serum 1

Retinol Serum 1 is the first step in Environ’s Step-Up System. Formulated with a high concentration of Vitamin A, it helps to normalize the appearance of skin abnormalities and damage and promote healthy-looking skin.