Reprinted From: Chris Beastall, April 15, 2016/apetogentleman
Facial serums were all the rage a couple of years ago and for good reason, but have since lost their popularity, again for good reason- lack of education. There is much confusion in two areas; what are serums used for and what do they do above and beyond my regular moisturizer? In truth the benefits are significant and there is a legitimate place for a facial serum to be in a man's daily grooming routine. The only downside- these benefits come at a cost but there’s a reason for that too. Let me explain.
A facial serum absorbs quicker, is lighter (less greasy) and packs more of a ‘punch’ than a regular moisturizer with regards to efficacy.
A cream or lotion which your regular moisturizer will most likely take the form of is often ‘padded’ with moisturizing ingredients such as petrolatum or mineral oil as well as lubricating and thickening agents like nut or seed oils to hydrate the skin. Serums are often water-based, eliminating oils and contain concentrated active ingredient formulas with tiny molecules so the skin absorbs their goodness quicker and more deeply.
Serums are often rich in antioxidants, nutrients, ceramides, glycerin, natural ingredients (cucumber, aloe vera etc.) and vitamins like C, K, E providing ant-ageing benefits.
Serums are best used by those with normal or oily skin and with ageing concerns owing to their light, quick absorbing and non-greasy formulas but if you suffer with dry or sensitive skin then a thicker regular moisturizer is most likely still your best option but that’s not to say you can’t apply a serum in addition.
“Since this highly concentrated treatment contains high levels of nourishing ingredients, all of them help restore moisture and elasticity to the skin, while regulating oil production.” Dr Navin Taneja, US National Skin Center
The best way to apply your serum is first thing in the morning to clean dry skin allowing it to fully absorb (it will only take a minute or less). If you have sensitive or dry skin then apply your regular thicker moisturizer over the serum once it has absorbed. If you have normal or oily skin, then the serum alone could be enough hydration- judge your skin after applying a serum to find the answer to this- if it’s dry or tight still then you might need a moisturizer too. Slightly contradictory however; I would advise all skin types to replace and or use a regular moisturizer in addition to a serum but with an SPF moisturizer built in to help repair skin and protect it from sun and environmental damage.
You can apply your facial serum as often as you feel necessary throughout the day and before bed. Your skin will never get tired of additional anti-oxidants but once (or twice for added affect) a day is fine. Remember, a facial serum being concentrated means that although the price is higher than a moisturizer, a little will go a very long way- only a small amount of serum is required per application.
Most will see results in 6-12 weeks with a reduction in dark and age spots, and fine lines or whatever skin benefit the serum has been designed for. A word of advice; choose a serum matched to your skin type; dry, oily, combination or sensitive and the desired outcome you wish to achieve i.e. soothe sensitive skin or out and out anti-ageing benefits. Anyone over the age of 28 can start preparing for the affects of ageing or start battling them if signs are already visible.