WTF Is A Facial Serum And Why Do You Need One?

A woman holding a facial serum bottle.

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Ah, face serums. You may have noticed this beauty product popping up everywhere in recent years, and while the name sounds like some creepy lab experiment (ew), serums are actually more like a superfood for your face.

Typically they come in a liquid, or gel-like form, and are meant to go on right before your regular moisturizer. They penetrate the deepest layers of your skin, locking moisture in, and the big payoff is they contain high concentrates of active ingredients. In other words? They contain a cr*p ton of the stuff your skin needs to keep you looking young and hot.

Already young and hot? Most derms (dermatologists) recommend getting a solid skincare routine going as early as your 20s...dun, dun, dun before it’s too late. Jokes aside, as you age, your skin needs will evolve, but luckily there are a variety of serums on the market that will help get you selfie-ready no matter your age.

These powerhouses can target anything from anti-aging to dryness to red skin. Looking a little too flushed on the regular? Wishing pores weren’t a thing? Depending on your particular skin type and issue, you’ll want to take a close look at the active ingredients before you buy.

It can get confusing though - there’s a lot of big pharma jargon, so here’s a simple breakdown we’ve compiled to help you pick a serum that’s right for you:
Coloring Correcting:

If it’s not cringey scarring and dark spots, it’s large pores or rosacea. Sigh. We’ve all got something. So for a smooth, clear selfie face, look for active ingredients like vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid, and glycolic acid. Here, Tiktok influencer/beauty guru PullingGraviity shows how to use serums for scarring.

@pullingraviitySkincare secrets pt.1 #moreyouknow #myskincaresecret #skincareroutine #clearskin #skintips #faceserum #cleaningszn #skincare101 #fyp #viral #acnetips♬ Secret(remix) - The Pierces
Dry Skin:

If your face is dry as the Sahara, you are gonna want to look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and peptides. We all know that one coworker who brags about how many glasses of water they’ve had in a given day (eye roll) - if you are NOT that person this serum style could help give your skin an extra dose of hydration it needs. And the cool thing is hydrating styles tend to be good for all ages and skin types from oily to acne-prone.


They may just be fine lines right now, but eventually, those lines will turn to wrinkles, and you into a bonafide boomer look alike. Slow down the process by targeting wrinkles early on with key nutrients. Your best bets are things like retinol, green tea, and again, hyaluronic acid.

Free Radicals:

Your glow-up goals can get derailed when your skin starts acting up from the harmful things inside and out of the body. Think toxins, pollutants, and sun damage.

In this case, look for serums that contain antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E. Some estheticians recommend using a vitamin C serum underneath your sunscreen before you head out the door.

For all serum types, most experts recommend waiting up to 7 weeks to really see how your skin responds, and for best results apply twice a day, once in the morning and before bed. If you experience increased dryness or irritation, you will want to nix whatever you are using and try something different.

If you are still confused check out Alessa Miki on Tiktok for another quick breakdown of the serum that is right for you.

@alessa.mikiWhich serum is right for you? Like for pt 2 #serums #faceserums #skincareroutine #skincare #glassskin #skintips #skin♬ Do It Again - .

Want something a little more clinical - while not being too clinical? We gotchu. Check out Dr. Daniel Sugai, a Harvard-trained, dermatologist (and tiktoker), aka @drspf, for tons of serum, and all-around beauty tips to keep you looking young and picture-perfect.

@drspf#hyaluronicacidserum #hyaluronicacid #serum #faceserum #antiaging #beautyhacks #wrinkletreatment #drsugaiskincare #fypシ #sugarcrash♬ SugarCrash! - ElyOtto

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