Serums are not very popular skin care products here in Nigeria at the moment, even though it seems quite common in the US and Europe.
However, I believe this trend is changing as more people are becoming more aware of serums and how nourishing they can be to skin care.
Serums in skincare are light, quick penetrating, potent and highly concentrated active and nutraceutical products that work on specific and targeted skin concerns.
Serums can be applied after cleansing the face, and right before a moisturiser.
Even though serums can be rejuvenating, they are not moisturisers and you may still need to wear a moisturiser on top of the serum.
Moisturisers help to trap the actives in the serum within the skin and aid the slow release of the active ingredients especially for people with sensitive skin conditions who might easily be irritated by very fast penetrating actives. An example of this is the exclusive BSN Azelaic acid serum for which its highly recommended, to apply a moisturiser immediately after the serum to reduce irritation.
Serums also work on specific skin issues, for example, you have serums for acne treatment, dry skin, wrinkles, lightening, youth extending, image extending etc.
In fact skin serums are also known as skin treatment products.
Serums are highly effective, and can come in water or oil bases or emulsions.
Oil based serums should be light and quick penetrating, with mostly oil soluble ingredients and low lipid (carrier/vegetable Oil) content.
Difference between a face oil and an oil based serum
A face oil is usually made up of at least, 60% carrier oil content while an oil based serum should be composed of not more than 20% carrier oil with the rest being made up of oil soluble lipids and actives.
Face oils would usually have the exotic or luxury oils and plant extracts as the actives in their products while oil based serums have active oil soluble cosmeceuticals and extracts at maximum allowable concentrations.
Generally oil serums should be lighter, more quickly penetrating and more potent than a face oil, and hence should be applied before a face oil or moisturiser in a normal skincare routine.
Difference between a face gel and a water based serum
Similar to the difference noted above, the difference between a face gel and a water based serum lies in the viscosity of the product and the concentration of actives involved.
Face gels would be more viscous than water based serums and the concentration of active in the serum would be higher compared to the gel.
Can I apply a face gel after a face serum?
Personally, I don’t see much benefit to applying a gel on top of a serum either oily or water based.
My advise would be to mix a little of the serum with the gel before application if you must use the two together.
How Often should I use my serum?
Depending on the function of the serum it can be used either AM or PM or PM only if its a Retinol / AHA or Resveratrol type product as these ingredients tend to be either unstable in light or increase phototoxicity.
Ideally, instructions on the package should inform the user on how to use the products safely to obtain optimum results.
Hopefully, I have been able to answer some of the questions you have regarding serums and how to use them .
However, if you have any further questions, please feel free to post below in the comment section.
Kindly check our website to check out our range of high performing skin care serums.