What is a face serum and what does it do?

Serums have become an essential step in caring for healthy, beautiful skin. They are advanced formulas made up of concentrated active ingredients that treat specific skin concerns. There are many kinds of serums to address a variety of challenges such as dark spots, dryness, redness, fine lines, wrinkles, and more. A serum is not the same as a moisturizer. Although some serums hydrate skin, hydration may not be its main purpose.

Why is it an important part of daily skincare? 

We understand eating healthy and exercising regularly for our bodies. Similarly, serums are a fundamental part of skin health. It is never too early or late to start protecting our skin from aging and harmful environmental factors. 

Where does a serum fit into my skincare routine?

  1. Cleanse
  2. Apply toner 
  3. Serum is usually applied next (before moisturizer or sunscreen, whose occlusive properties will prevent the serum from absorbing) 

A good rule of thumb is to apply your skin care products from thinnest to thickest. 

What are the best serums for each skin type and what ingredients matter?

Dry Skin

SkinMedica’s HA5 and Obagi’s Hydro-Drops. HA5 has hyaluronic acid for immediate and long-term hydration. It instantly smooths fine lines and helps the skin replenish its own hyaluronic acid. The Obagi Hydro-Drops is truly a little bottle of sunshine. It is a well-rounded product with Hibiscus and Abyssinian oils in golden beads suspended in a vitamin B3 (niacinamide) base. It also has fatty acids omega 9 and 6. Together, these give instant light hydration and replenish the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Dark Spots & Brightening

With age, dark spots from years of sun exposure seem to come out of nowhere. A hard-working product is the Obagi-C RX Clarifying Serum. You get fast results with vitamin C and hydroquinone. Vitamin C brightens, improves photodamage, and evens tone. Hydroquinone is one of the most effective skin brighteners. SkinMedica’s Lytera 2.0 Serum uses tranexamic acid and retinol. Tranexamic acid reduces the production of the pigment that causes dark spots. 

Acne-Prone skin

Products used for acne often compromise the skin barrier. Elta MD’s Skin Recovery Serum contains amino acids and cica extract to repair a damaged skin barrier. This serum works to strengthen the skin, calm, and minimize irritation. 

Lines & Wrinkles

Obagi’s ELASTIderm works to develop elastin. It uses the zinc to protect, copper to firm and smooth, and malonic acid to remove dead skin cells. ELASTIderm treats laxity and crepe-ness on the face and neck.

Sensitive Skin

Many perceive skin to be sensitive when in fact it is unhealthy. TNS Recovery Complex improves the overall health of skin. Look for growth factors, amino acids, and antioxidants to reduce inflammation, promote cell growth, and protect against damage. Benefits include enhanced skin resiliency. 

Every Skin Type

SkinMedica’s TNS Advanced+ Serum has the latest technology and scientific advancements in skincare. Look for next-generation growth factors, peptides, botanicals, and marine extracts to nourish and tighten all skin types. A true fit for the minimalist that prefers a shorter skincare routine. 

Virginia Jenkins is an aesthetic nurse specialist at McDonald Murrmann Center for Laser & Aesthetics.  She also holds a Master’s in Fine Arts with a strong background in visual arts. She enjoys bringing her artistic gifts to the field of aesthetic nursing. She believes there is a strong relationship between the two in approach, process, and desired results. For an appointment call 901.752.4000 or visit Mmcwh360.com.