What is a Face Serum and Do I Need To Use One?

The world of skincare is constantly expanding. What began with moisturisers and baby wipes is constantly evolving to keep up with our broadening knowledge of our skin’s needs. Face serums are a perfect example of this. However, some confusion still surrounds this new addition to the every-day skincare regime. Upon hearing the benefits and reviews, face serums have managed to make the cut to our bathroom shelves but are often left to gather dust. Many people are still unsure what do to with this complexion must-have.

What is a face serum, what do they do and how do we use them? Keep reading to clear your doubts about skincare’s recent essential.

face serum

What does face serum do?

Serums work by seeping nourishing ingredients to the skin. However, what a specific face serum will do for your skin depends on the ingredients it contains. For example, if you’re looking for a face serum that can work towards both hydrating and exfoliating wonders for your skin, two ingredients you may want to keep an eye out for are hyaluronic acid (the hydrator) and an alpha hydroxy acid (the exfoliator).

Along with these two ingredients, Ameliorate’s transforming facial serum contains an LaH6 Skin Hydration Complex to instantly hydrate the skin and prevent dryness. Meanwhile, Bio Honey acids work to give a gentle but effective exfoliation and a ProRenew Complex™ stimulates those new, fresh skin cells to show off at the surface of the skin. What is a face serum? This particular one is a step towards a radiant-looking complexion and skin that looks and feels soft and smooth.

Is face oil the same as serum?

Face serums also often get mixed up with other facial skincare products. For example, many people wonder whether face oil is the same as a serum. However, there’s a large difference between the two. According to Web MD, what face serums are made up of are very small molecules. Therefore, the skin absorbs them quickly and deeply. They also usually contain a concentrated amount of certain ingredients so they are designed to help specific skin concerns, such as a dull skintone or a skin texture that feels bumpy.

Meanwhile, face oils are made up of larger molecules which sit on the surface with the purpose mainly to nourish, protect and moisturise. It’s an easy mistake to presume that face oil is the same as a serum due to their similar looking bottles and marketing. However, they are certainly different products, and while you don’t necessarily need both, you can use a face serum along with oil as part of your regime!

Do I need both serum and a moisturiser?

Another product that serums frequently become mixed up with is the moisturiser. Now that you know what a face serum is, you may be wondering whether you need both a serum and a moisturiser? Well, as hydrating a serum may be, we can always do with an extra layer of hydration for that plump, supple-looking complexion. A serum is its own, equally important step.

textures of face serum and moisturiser

Moisturisers are made up of a much thicker formula to create a physical barrier on the surface of the skin. This barrier’s aim is to lock in hydration and help protect your skin from drying out. Once your hydrating serum has been absorbed by the skin, follow with a ceramide moisturiser to seal the hydration into place.

What order to use face serums

With so many products sitting on your shelf, which one should you reach for first? One of the most-asked queries surrounding a face serum is what order they should be used. In fact, the order that you use a face serum makes a huge impact on whether your skin can benefit from the ingredients it contains.

skincare order tip

To put it short, apply the serum first after cleansing at the end of the day. The rule of thumb with the steps of skincare is that the thinnest products should always be applied first. This is because as mentioned, their purpose is to deliver active ingredients directly and deeply into the skin. The oil or moisturiser that follows works to form a seal to lock all of the serum’s hard work into place.

How to use a face serum

To use the Ameliorate Transforming Facial Serum, apply one pump every evening onto a cleansed face. Don’t worry if you feel a mild tingling sensation, this is normal. Cleanse it off thoroughly in the morning and for best results, layer with the Ceramide Replenishing Facial Moisturiser. As this product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), it may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Make sure to wear SPF the next day!

For the glowing, plump complexion we’re all working towards, it’s time to crack open that serum and put it to use. Now that you know what a face serum is and how it can benefit your skin, you can chose the one suited for you and bring your skincare to the next level.

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Josie Wilkins

Josie Wilkins

Writer and expert

Josie is an Online Beauty Editor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Her passions involve all things skincare and beauty and in her free time she likes to travel, read and get her beauty sleep.