What are serums?
Serums are the 'big-guns' or the 'holy-grail' of the skincare world. They are loaded with a potent cocktail of nutrient dense actives that are carefully blended to have a maximum impact on the skin. What makes serums unique is that they have a greater affinity with the skin and are able to permeate far more easily, delivering superior results more quickly.
What are the benefits?
The high concentration of active ingredients make serums the ideal booster treatment for any skin that may be lack-lustre, sluggish or unresponsive due to systemic factors such as illness, hormonal behaviour, skin reactivity and inflammation or environmental influences such as sun exposure, trans-seasonal changes or allergic reaction and sensitivities. Serums are used widely during professional facial treatments to target specific skin care concerns, to increase the impact and benefits, therefore delivering a superior result. This can also be easily achieved by incorporating treatments serums as part of your daily skin care plan at home. The overwhelming results will depend on the individual skin care concern - delivering change more rapidly than a moisturiser or even a mask due to the high concentration and quality of ingredients. The skin becomes more responsive, more balanced, hydrated, nourished and brighter.
For those with sensitivity, high colour, rosacea, cystic acne or fragile capillaries try a serum such as Laurel Whole Plant Organics Anti-inflammatory Serum that acts to strengthen and heal the capillary network. Reducing sensitivity is a necessary first step before treating any secondary skin condition. A de-sensitised skin will then respond to further treatment more effectively.Oily, combination or acneic skin.
For some the idea of using an oil/serum on an oily skin can seem odd. It is combination of the oil and the specific ingredients tailored to this skin type that are key to rebalance and heal. Serums used to treat these skin types include ingredients that will promote the release of toxins, stimulate immune function and help reduce the inflammation and scarring. Try Absolution Creative Apothecary La Solution Controle or Laurel Whole Plant Organics Balance Serum.
Normal, dry and mature skin.
Most skin types of this nature are looking to encourage healthy cell renewal, hydrate, nourish, repair, reduced the signs of ageing and sun damage. They can often appear sluggish, unresponsive or lack lustre. Serums high in antioxidants, nutrients such as prickly pear, spirulina, echinacea, aloe, gotu kola and vitamins such as A,C and E will promote a radiant glow and even tone. The elasticity of the skin is improved and dryness and dehydration is reduced. Try The Little Alchemist Ultra C Radiance Serum, Absolution Addiction Oil, Absolution La Solution Anti- Age, Absolution Le Sérum Anti-Soif or Laurel Whole Plant Organics Antioxidant Facial Serum.
Dull and devitalised skin.
A sluggish skin is often the result of illness, poor diet, poor elimination, environmental factors such as smoking and air conditioning and change of season, lack of sleep or exercise, stress, lack of water intake and neglectful skin care habits. Any of these factors contribute to the skins unresponsive nature giving it a dull, tired and lack lustre appearance. Makeup tends to sit unevenly, breakouts can occur, the skin can be flaky, crepey and non-radiant in appearance. As a result you tend to use more of your skin care product than is usual, trying to bring it back to balance - often with little change. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!! This will allow the skin to breathe and allow your serum to penetrate the skin, maximising the results. To boost, reinvigorate and brighten the skin try Absolution Creative Apothecary - La Solution Eclat or La Solution Energie, The Little Alchemist Ultra C Radiance Serum or Laurel Whole Plant Organics Antioxidant Facial Serum. Serums such as these are perfect for brides and those wishing to kick start their skin again.
How do I choose the right serum for my skin?
Choosing a suitable serum is really quite straight forward. The key is to identify your main concern. Once you have established this you can simply narrow down your choice. Admittedly the array of serums on the market can make the selection process a little overwhelming but here are a few tips to help you along:
- Understand or identify your main area of concern - this may include, dryness, sensitivity, inflammation, ageing factors, sun damage, pigmentation, sluggish or unresponsiveness, broken capillaries, dryness, acneic or breakout prone skin, imbalance in oil production and the list goes on. Remember to treat any sensitivity first.
- Look at what your current routine includes - what is your skin care routine like and what products are you using? If you are happy with your current skin care range - great! Check if that range has a suitable treatment serum that will address your concerns. I personally like to keep my skin care to one brand at a time so that they work synergistically - this limits the chance of irritation particularly if you have a reactive or sensitive prone skin, and I believe the results are better. If your current range doesn't carry a suitable product, you can still use a serum without issue, just be wary if you have any sensitivity. Alternatively, it may be the ideal time to look at changing your skin care range for a period of time. It is not unusual to change brands or even to a different treatment line within a brand, in fact it sometimes provides the skin with a necessary boost or kick start as our skin does tend to get used to a product and it is always great to ramp things up a little when your skin gets unresponsive, lazy or lack lustre - this is most commonly done between season as the skin will change then accordingly anyway. Think of your serum as the extra 'exercise boost' in your routine - then go kick some butt! You will reap the rewards.
- Are you having specific professional treatments - such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels, AHA's or laser as these may limit the serums that are suitable due to possible irritation? If so, it is best to consult with your beauty health professional before investing in a serum. This is due to the fact that serums are highly active and these treatments can leave the skin a little sensitive and exposed initially, which could lead to overactivity.
How do I use my treatment serum and how often should I apply it?
Using a treatment serum is really a breeze - nothing too complicated at all.
For optimal results serums should always be applied to a thoroughly cleansed skin once to twice daily. Once you have cleansed follow with your skin type appropriate (alcohol free) toning lotion or elixir to rebalance the pH of your skin.
Next, simply apply a few precious drops of serum to your hands and warm slightly before gently pressing into the skin. Follow with your daily or nightly treatment lotion, cream or balm as desired. Some serums are hydrating enough on their own, however for that added boost most follow with a moisturising treatment. (Don't forget to exfoliate twice weekly too - this is key to increase the serums ability to penetrate the skin and not leave it sitting on top of dead skin cells doing nothing much at all!) Remember to read your instructions carefully and this should direct you to how often to apply. Treatment serums are best used to boost the skin at a particular period in time. It is always great to complete the course of the serum for optimum results.
By the end of the treatment period, re-assess how you are going and if it is time to change or continue or stop using your serum for now. You may have different skin concerns due to seasonal change or your skin may have found its equilibrium!
What are the benefits of organic treatment serums?
As with all high quality organic skincare products the benefits are the same - safe and effective treatments that do not compromise the integrity of the ingredients or your health. Organic ingredients are untainted by harsh chemicals and toxins - remaining in their purest or most unadulterated form so they deliver extremely effective results. Treatment serums contain up to 70% of active ingredients, while moisturising creams or lotions tends to only carry 5-10%, so be sure that the products and ingredients you choose are the best you can find - without chemical alteration, synthetics, artificial fragrance or dyes added. Purity and integrity are key - love your skin naturally!