Serums: The Summer Skin Savior

Serums: The Summer Skin Savior

author: Joanna Vargas

I’m going to admit something to you right now: I absolutely cannot live without serums. One might even say I am obsessed. Maybe that’s why I formulated so many incredible serums for my line. As an esthetician for the past 20+ years, I have recommended tens of thousands of serums to my clients. The clients who work the right serums into their routine are the happiest with their skin.

A high concentration of active ingredients floating in an incredibly gentle dime sized drop of lightly scented oil or gel. Adding a gentle massage into the skin while having a moment of gratitude in the am or pm makes it the best, most quiet moment of the day. That’s what a serum is. Before we get to discussing how to use a serum or picking the serum thats right for you, let's first talk about the way it works.

Serums are considered the “treatment” portion of your skincare routine. The reason for that characterization is that serums are highly concentrated - jam packed in fact with plenty of active ingredients. Things like lactic acid, retinol, hyaluronic acid, vitamins, nutrients and fruit extracts. A serum is also thinner in consistency than say a moisturizer and the molecules are smaller. That makes it easier for all of those active ingredients to penetrate the skin better. Better penetration means better, faster results for you at home when you are looking in the mirror.

The function of the serum is as big as your imagination! Serums are your best friend in skincare. A serum is meant to tackle your biggest skin concerns and address it head on. Hydration, texture, lines or wrinkles, acne, protection from free radical damage and soothing are some of the biggest concerns in skincare and they are addressed quite readily by the right serum.

I would strongly recommend applying a serum in the morning and at night, right after cleansing. Yes, you need to wash your face twice a day. Please. Once your skin is clean you can begin the “treatment” portion of your routine. I love taking my time applying serum to the face, neck and décolletage. All of those areas need to be treated equally with all of your skin care steps, from cleansing to exfoliating to masking.

Ok I can hear what you are thinking: how do I choose the right one for me? There is a super simple serum quiz on the homepage that can help you quickly pick the right one. But I will list out the skin concerns I hear the most complaints about and you can pick your own!

Anti-aging: with an anti-aging serum you want to make sure you think about ingredients that will help address the appearance of your collagen. Retinol, as found in the Supernova Serum, is so important to add to your routine. I would recommend perhaps starting once a week and working up to every night over the course of many weeks. This will ensure that you are giving your skin a chance to get used to this particular active, while still reaping the benefit of its regular use.

Hydrating: Using a serum that contains hyaluronic acid is an important way of keeping the skin feeling moist. I know I always feel a difference in my skin if I happen to skip it. I would go for either the Eden Serum or the Daily Serum. Both are great hyaluronic acid serums that serve as a great first layer after the cleanse.

Free Radical Damage: I would seek out a serum that contains an anti-oxidant like argan oil, as found in my Rejuvenating Serum or the Rescue Serum. Anti-oxidants help fortify the skin so it doesn’t feel so damaged after a day of sun. But of course, always remember with all of my recommendations, always use sunscreen! The sun is not your friend, no matter how good it feels on the skin. Anti-oxidants are one piece of the skin care puzzle.

Sensitive Skin: I would look for a serum that contains niacinamide, which is going to boost the feeling of hydration in the skin while giving the skin a soothing feeling. The Eden Serum is the best choice here. It feels calming the moment you put it on.

Acne: The best thing for acne are greens. Chlorophyl, oat grass juice and green vegetables are great because they will help make your skin feel and look healthier, while feeding the skin all the right nutrients. I absolutely recommend the Daily Serum, inspired by my love of green juices!

I hope I have managed to pass on some of my passion for serum. At the salon, we always recommend layering- lightest formula to heaviest. My skincare routine is Eden Serum, Rescue Serum and Eden Cream for day. Nighttime I tend to use Supernova Serum with my Rejuvenating Serum.  Nothing makes me feel better about myself than a little self-care ritual am and pm. I hope this helps you think about how you can work some self-care into your day!

Shop Joanna's collection of serums here. Or, take the serum quiz now!