Our life in polluted, chaotic cities exposes us to various forms of pollution and oxidative stress. Besides carbon pollution, we are exposed to the impact of UV damage, climatic changes, dehydration, contaminated water, erratic lifestyle habits and more.
It is natural that our skin goes through a lot of wear and tear. Pollution and oxidative stress lead to problems like excessive dryness, acne and blackheads, pigmentation, dull, leathery skin, premature aging etc. Adolescence onwards, some skin-related issue keeps troubling us.
We are familiar with the usual skincare routine of Cleanse – Tone – Moisturize. But to tackle specific skin problems like acne, pigmentation or dehydration, a special solution is required. The face serum is a special skincare product that delivers nutrients or corrective ingredients directly into your skin.
Read on to know what are face serums, and how your skin can benefit from this skincare product.
Decoding a Face Serum
So, what are face serums exactly? A face serum is a gel-based liquid that has a high concentration of active skincare ingredients. In just three to four drops, it delivers a concentrated amount of a skin nutrient (like Vitamin C, or Hyaluronic Acid, or peptides) to your skin without leaving any greasy residue.
The good news is that all skin types can benefit from a face serum, provided you select the right one, and follow the instructions carefully.
Depending on your skin type and requirement, you can choose a suitable serum for your facial skin. Serums are extremely effective in targeting specific skin issues, and in minimizing and correcting these.
A look into what are face serums and what these do:
- Serums contain a high concentration of active skincare components.
- Is non-greasy weightless and leaves no residue.
- Quickly absorbed by the skin, and starts action fast.
- Can revive dull and pigmented skin tone and increase natural radiance.
- Helps control sebum production in oily, acne prone skin.
- Fights the visible signs of skin aging.
In addition, the best face serums also balance the pH levels of the skin.
pH Value of Skin vs pH Value of Serums
The pH value of a skincare product refers to its ‘potential of hydrogen’ and indicates its acidic or alkaline content. Our skin is naturally acidic in nature, and is, therefore, compatible with products that have a high acidic content.
To explain how the acid content is derived, it can be explained as given under:
“The pH of a (skincare) solution is indicated by a numeric scale that runs from 0-14. Anything below 7 is considered acidic, while anything with a pH greater than 7 is considered alkaline. pH-balanced refers to products formulated with a pH that falls in the range of normal, healthy skin.”
The best part is that face serums have a pH level range from 4-6, while our skin’s level is 4.7, so serums are great for your skin!
Face Serums for Different Concerns and Skin Types
The type of your skin can be ascertained by the amount of sebum (oil) it produces, and its moisture content. Those who are blessed with normal skin have an oil and moisture balanced skin structure. Oily skin type has an excess of sebum production, while dry skin type has deficient sebum and greater moisture loss. People with combination skin types have generally normal or dry skin, with an oily T-zone (the forehead and nose area).
The skin type will determine the skin concern you face and the solution you need.
Oily skin type people have problems with clogged pores, skin breakouts like acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. Those with dry skin face problems like itchy, flaky skin that feels tight after washing, and is prone to early aging. Those with combination skin often need two different types of skincare products for their facial skin.
The following is a guide on types of serums and their uses:
1. Acne fighting serum
For oily, acne-prone skin, that is susceptible to frequent breakouts, you need a face serum for oily skin. Face serum with exfoliating agents like mineral clays or natural fruit extracts can help control sebum production. Exfoliation agents like Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) or Beta hydroxy Acids (BHAs) are extremely effective in clearing the skin’s surface of dead skin cells and deep cleanse pores of dirt, toxins and oil. Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid are useful in exfoliating serums.
A face serum with Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate) - that is water-soluble, with Vitamin C, Niacinamide and Green Tea extract is ideal for oily, acne-prone skin. It reduces the appearance of acne and removes post-acne scars significantly.
2. Pore refining serum
Imbalanced sebum production, loss of skin elasticity and lack of a proper skincare routine enlarges the pores on your face. A pore refining, surface rejuvenating formulation with Niacinamide works well to rebalance your skin’s natural oils, tighten enlarged pores and increase the synthesis of skin strengthening ceramides. Regular use of such a serum gives you firmer, lifted looking skin.
3. Skin Brightening Serum
Pigmentation, blemishes and dark spots affect those who have sensitive, or dry skin. A skin tone brightening serum helps in reducing hyperpigmentation, improving skin tone and giving radiance. Vitamin C is a potent skin brightening ingredient, so look for serums that have this wonder ingredient. Ascorbic Acid and Niacinamide work to inhibit melanin production and give even skin tone. Skin brightening serums also have anti aging properties and work to provide antioxidant protection and boost collagen production.
An excellent face serum with Vitamin C for normal skin type, that works to remove dark spots and improve your skin radiance, is Re’equil’s C15 EAA Serum. It has skin lightening ingredients that work superbly to remove hyperpigmentation and dark spots on skin. For oily, acne-prone skin types, a skin brightening serum that has acne reducing properties works best. Re’equil’s C 10 SAP Serum, a lightweight, fragrance-free formulation, is the face serum for oily skin, as it repairs UV-induced oxidative damage and reduces the appearance of acne, age spots and hyperpigmentation.
4. Night Serum
Our skin starts losing its natural elasticity as we age. This is because the skin’s collagen or skin tissue production slows down. At such times, your skin requires the intensive care and hydration of a night serum. A night serum with Vitamin C, that is lightweight and water soluble, works great on acne-prone skin and stimulates collagen synthesis to give your skin a firmer, younger look. It works overnight to renew skin cells. and visibly reduces age spots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Check out Re’equil’s amazing range of face serums with Vitamin C, that give your skin that special youthfulness and glow.
Different Types of Vitamin C Derivatives Available
The common forms of Vitamin C, and their use in face serums, are explained here:
Pure Ascorbic Acid
Pure Ascorbic Acid or L-Ascorbic Acid comes from natural sources such as oranges. Products with this derivative penetrate the skin tissue and are more active in collagen production. However, since it is water-soluble, precaution must be taken to store in dark, air-tight bottles, or it loses efficacy. This derivative of Vitamin C doesn’t suit dry or sensitive skin.
Ethyl Ascorbic Acid
Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is a very potent form of Vitamin C, and also its most stable form. It is water-soluble and is an excellent skin cell renewal agent. As an antioxidant, it works effectively to remove hyperpigmentation and dark spots on skin, as it is a great skin lightening ingredient. Ethyl Ascorbic Acid improves collagen synthesis in the skin and works to reduce wrinkles.
Re’equil’s C15 EAA Serum has 15% Ethyl Ascorbic Acid as the active ingredient and restores melanin imbalance by reversing free radical action. It is great as a daytime use serum as it delivers antioxidant production to the deeper layers of the skin.
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP)
This form of Vitamin C is less potent than the pure form, and therefore, is less likely to irritate the skin too. It works best for normal, oily and combination skin types, as it has great acne reducing properties and provides lasting hydration.
A great face serum with SAP is Re’equil’s C 10 SAP Serum, which is a lightweight, fragrance-free formulation designed specifically for oily and acne-prone skin. It gets converted to the active form of Ascorbic Acid and stimulates collagen production. This means you get fresher, firmer, younger-looking skin with this face serum for oily skin.
It is the oil-soluble form of Vitamin C, and for this reason, gets absorbed faster than the other forms. It is an excellent hydrating and anti aging agent and provides antioxidant protection too. With its effectiveness in lightening dark spots and increasing UV photoprotection, it makes the best face serum for daytime use. As a gentler derivative of Vitamin C, it suits all skin types, including sensitive skin. Opt for Re’equil C 20 VC-IP Serum, an oil-soluble and fragrance-free formulation that boosts cell turnover and neutralizes damaging free radicals.
Make sure the face serum types you choose have these potential derivatives of Vitamin C.
How to Effectively Apply Face Serum
The best face serum works only when applied in the best manner with the correct procedure. Always apply your serum after cleansing and toning your face. After using the serum, seal its effects with a moisturizer.
The order of application of skincare products is from thinnest consistency to thickest. Hence, a toner, followed by a serum, followed by a moisturizer works best.
Your daytime skincare routine should include the following:
- Cleansing with a face cleanser
- Applying alcohol-free toner
- Applying the specific serum your skin needs
- Moisturizing with a skin moisturizer
- Using sunscreen lotion/gel
Use a day serum with Vitamin C, that has a combination of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (a form of Vitamin C), Niacinamide and Green Tea extract, that helps reduce the appearance of acne. It also repairs UV-induced oxidative damage such as age spots and hyperpigmentation. This would also be the ideal face serum for dry skin.
At night, your skincare routine should include:
- Cleansing with facial cleansing oil or a face cleanser
- Applying a toner (if required)
- Applying a skin-nourishing face serum
- Sealing it with night cream or moisturizer
Invest in a pore-refining serum with a surface rejuvenating and correction formulation, that tightens enlarged pores, repairs the epidermal cell renewal process and improves your facial skin texture. A Niacinamide based serum rebalances skin’s natural oils, decongests pores, and increases the synthesis of skin-strengthening ceramides.
Do’s and Don’ts of Mixing Skincare Ingredients
Something you must be careful of is not to mix certain active ingredients together, as that can cause skin damage or adverse effects.
A rule of thumb is not to mix the following skincare ingredients:
- Retinoids with Vitamin C: Vitamin C works in acidic pH, while Retinol on alkaline pH, so it is not advisable to use them at the same time. Use Vitamin C serum during the daytime, while Retinol can be used at night.
- Retinol/Retinoids and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs): Never use these two exfoliating agents together as they can irritate and redden your skin. Face serums for oily skin should not have this combination.
- Vitamin C with ordinary soap: Soap has high pH that decreases the skin’s ability to absorb Vitamin C. Use a glycolic or salicylic acid-based cleanser when you need to apply Vitamin C.
Skincare ingredients that gel together (literally!) are:
- Hyaluronic Acid with AHAs/BHAs
- Vitamin C and E
- Retinol with Hyaluronic Acid
- Retinol with SPF
- Vitamin C and Ferulic Acid
So, what are the face serums that can give you the best form of Vitamin C for your skin? Read on.
By now, you must have realized the need to choose the best face serum according to your skin type. Please understand that for a face serum to work effectively, you need to use it as per instructions given, and store it properly. You also must use a skincare product for at least three months to see visible change.
Serums work wonders on all types of skin, but the wrong combination of ingredients can aggravate your skin problems or can have adverse effects. If you have sensitive, easily irritated skin, do consult a skin care specialist before using face serums.
Trust Re’equil to understand your skin issues and come up with the best solutions. Use our dermatologist-tested face serums and see the difference in your skin!