We see them in the skincare aisles – those little bottles of secret potion with names that require an encyclopedia to decode. Face serums are highly recommended for our skincare regime, but what exactly are they and what are the benefits? Typically, a serum is the potent ‘magic step’ in our routine, layered after cleansing and before moisturizing. Serums are usually water-based with added silicone that contain active ingredients that address our skin woes, such as wrinkles, brown spots, redness, dullness, elasticity – you name it. These special ‘potions’ give actives direct access to our wrinkles, blemishes, and spots without the interference of moisturizers, which allow them to repair skin damage and work their magic. With so many options out on the market, how do we know which serum is right for us? Fret not! Here are our top picks for every problem:
DARK SPOTS – Philosophy Miracle Worker Dark Spot Corrector, $62, available at Sephora
Hydroquinone is a key ingredient that decreases the production of melanin and increases its breakdown. However, because it can be quite irritating for skin, there are many brands that offer a non-hydroquinone alternative, such as Philosophy’s Miracle Worker Dark Spot Corrector.
WRINKLES – RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum, available at Shoppers Drug Mart
Retinol is the hero ingredient when addressing wrinkles or sagging skin. It revs collagen production, firms the skin and helps fade moderate lines in a short amount of time.
SENSITIVE SKIN – Murad Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum, $52
Because serums contain potent actives, those with sensitive skin may not be able to tolerate some formulas. Opt for serums that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients that help soothe skin, such as grape-seed, almond and sesame-seed oils and extracts.
DRY SKIN – Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Face Serum, $65, available at Sephora
Those with dry skin should choose a serum that contains hyaluronic acid. This super-ingredient hydrates and plumps skin and is lipid-soluble, meaning it penetrates the skin’s protective barrier quickly and easily. A true thirst-quencher for dehydrated skin!
Inspiration Image courtesy of Natural Haven
By: Ashley De Filippis, Toronto
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