Grooming

For targeted skincare, consider serums

Serums can contain up to 70 percent of active ingredients.
ILLUSTRATOR Warren Espejo
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The thinner the texture, the better it is absorbed. Skin care serums have smaller molecules than other products like creams and masks, allowing active ingredients to go deeper into the skin where they work better and faster. The active ingredients of skin care products permeate different depths of the skin, depending on their carrier and molecule size.

“For ingredients to take desired effects, they should at least be able to enter into the dermoepidermal junction, which is the area that connects the top layer of the skin to the deeper dermal layers,” says dermatologist Windie Hayano.

For targeting specific problems like dark spots, wrinkles, or breakouts, dermatologists recommend the use of serums.

When delivered to the skin at even deeper cellular levels, they can dramatically work in combating aging, sun damage, and oxidation, among many others. Since serum formulas do away with thickening ingredients, mineral oils, and petroleum usually found in creams (mostly for locking in moisture), they have the most potent doses of active ingredients. This is also why serums must be applied first before creams, which create a protective barrier over the skin and whose big molecules prevent penetration of other active ingredients. Where moisturizers and cleansers have around 10 percent active ingredients, serums can contain up to 70 percent of the good stuff. So for targeting specific problems like dark spots, wrinkles, or breakouts, dermatologists recommend the use of serums.


Perricone’s Vitamin C Ester serum, for instance, is a day serum that infuses the skin with antioxidants for instant and long-term skin brightening. Clinique for Men’s Dark Spot Corrector doesn’t only work on sunspots and age spots, it also reduces ingrown hair. Another favorite is Lab Series Max LS Overnight Renewal Serum, which true to its name, repairs damage overnight, no matter how little you’ve slept or how much whisky you’ve had. For firmness, La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Crystalline Concentrate harnesses the powers of caviar extract, peptides, and amino acids to lift your skin and improve the appearance of lines. If you need moisture, but have oily skin that breaks out with the use of creams, opt for Murad’s Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence, a light hydrating solution with the benefits of a serum.

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