How to Pick the Best Serum for Your Skin

How to Pick the Best Serum for Your Skin


If there is one beauty product you should invest in, it’s your serum.
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More isn’t always merrier when it comes to choices in the skincare space. One product that may leave you scratching your head is a serum. What is it exactly? How is it different from a moisturizer — or essence? And, do you even need it?

As it turns out, serums can do more *wonders* for your skin than you think. We consulted our founder and master esthetician Maya Vu to understand the benefits of adding this skin potion to your routine. Below, you’ll learn the benefits of using a face serum and how different types of serums can benefit your skin. Keep reading!

What is a serum?

Serums are essentially superfoods for your skin, packed with potent ingredients that penetrate deeply and deliver a concentrated dose of nutrients to address specific concerns, such as pronounced fine lines and wrinkles or dark spots.

Think of them like your main course at a fancy dinner. That said, these babies can be pricey because they're way more concentrated than creams. But hey, the visible results are worth the splurge!

Serum vs moisturizer vs essence: What's the difference?

Serums are like little miracles in a bottle. They're clear, light, and filled with all sorts of good stuff that your skin will love. They penetrate deep into your skin to deliver active ingredients quickly, which is why they’re meant to be used after cleansing. But to really make the most of your serum, you need to follow up with a moisturizer or face cream and seal in all that goodness.

Essences, on the other hand, are generally more watery and a tad less concentrated than serums. Whereas serums target specific skin concerns, essences work to prep the skin for the rest of your ritual. They're great for giving your skin an added boost of hydration and nutrients and work best post-serum, pre-moisturizer.

Serums, moisturizers, and essences all have unique benefits, and you just need to master the art of layering to reap them!

How to use a serum in your skincare routine?

Rule of thumb: Use your skin care products from thinnest to thickest. Most serums work best as the first layer after washing your face. Apply a serum all over your face and neck twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening, before your moisturizer. If the serum is too strong, try putting it over another product to reduce irritation.

Results vary, but give it about seven weeks to see how your skin responds to the new routine. You might even see initial results, like more hydrated skin, in just a few days!

What are the common mistakes when using a serum?

Don't go all-in with a new serum! As with any new product, test a small area first to avoid any irritation. Also, be careful when using serums with acids. Mixing them with other acidic products can trigger irritation. If you have sensitive skin, avoid using products with retinol and vitamin C together. This combo can leave your skin feeling dry and irritated.

If using during the day, follow with sunscreen to arm your skin with extra protection from harmful UV rays. This is especially true for serums containing retinol and exfoliating acids. 

How to choose a serum?

There are different types of serums for various skin concerns. Some help brighten your skin, while others focus on hydration or fighting wrinkles.

Overwhelmed by the options? Start with a serum infused with hyaluronic acid. This ingredient works well for most skin types. You simply can’t go wrong! 

And if you still need help figuring out where to start, book an appointment with a dermatologist. They can help you determine what's happening with your skin and find the best serum to incorporate into your existing routine. 


Should you use multiple serums at once?

Using multiple serums at once can be a great way to address more than one skin concern at a time. However, it's crucial to use them in the correct order and not serum-bomb your skin. Start with the thinnest serum and work your way up to the thickest. Also, pay attention to the ingredients and make sure they complement — not counteract — each other. If unsure, consult a dermatologist or esthetician for personalized advice.

Why should you spend on a good serum?

Investing in a good serum for your skin is essential to achieve that glowing, youthful look. Going for a cheaper option might do your wallet good, but trust us, you might regret it in the long run!

Many cheap serums may contain harmful chemicals that can wreak havoc on your skin. Some of the most common chemicals found in these products include parabens, sulphates, and phthalates. Parabens are often used as preservatives and can disrupt hormone levels. Sulphates can dry out your skin and cause irritation, while phthalates can provoke allergic reactions. Read the ingredient labels carefully and opt for more natural and organic products whenever possible.

Plus, a good serum is formulated to penetrate deep into your skin, delivering powerful anti-aging benefits that a cheap serum-like product simply can't match. So if you want to invest in your skin's future, opt for a high-quality serum that will leave you looking and feeling your best for years to come!

What are some common ingredients found in serums?

When selecting a serum, look for the following key ingredients that target specific concerns. 

  • Vitamin C is known for its brightening effects and ability to protect the skin from free radicals.
  • Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that helps hydrate and plump the skin.
  • Retinol smoothens uneven texture, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Niacinamide can help soothe inflammation and protect irritated skin from stronger skincare.
  • Peptides stimulate collagen production in the skin, leading to a more youthful appearance.
  • Salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide aids in treating, controlling, and preventing acne.

It's always best to research and, if budget permits, consult a skincare specialist to discover the best serum for your individual needs.

Most common serum types and best products to try:

Hydrating Serum: One of the most common serums is the hydrating serum, which supplements (not replaces) your nightly moisturizer by providing your skin with extra moisture. 

  • Try Hydration Boost Beautify Serum: Formulated with hyaluronic acid, this serum rejuvenates the skin's outer layer and holds moisture for a softer, more supple texture. It also reduces skin dryness and roughness, diminishing fine lines in the long run. For best results, use it every morning or evening.

Anti-Aging Serum: It's important to note that anti-aging serums are not just for mature skin! Anyone can benefit from using them — it's never too early to care for your skin. In fact, you can start introducing anti-aging serums into your skincare routine as early as your 20s. These serums are typically formulated to delay fine lines and wrinkles, as well as target other skin concerns like dark spots and uneven texture. 

  • Try Age Renewal Beautify Serum: This beauty cocktail packs a punch with retinol, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, alpha-arbutin, and vitamin E. The ingredients work together to renew skin cells, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, tighten pores, lighten dark spots, and protect against sun damage. For best results, use twice a week at night and gradually increase to nightly use, depending on your skin's tolerance.

Brightening Serum: Skin lightening serums are perfect for fading dark spots, evening skin tone, and achieving a dewy, healthy glow.

    • Try Vitamin C' Beautify Serum: Vitamin C is an essential ingredient in skincare, offering a plethora of health and beauty benefits to your skin. This serum brightens dull skin, corrects dark spots, and reduces wrinkles. Additionally, Vitamin C protects your skin from free radical damage and improves skin elasticity and texture. To use, simply apply it every morning or evening.

      Shop the Hydration Boost Beautify Serum, Age Renewal Beautify Serum and Vitamin C' Beautify Serum.

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