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Are serums the new moisturisers?

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From facial cleansers to essences to toners and moisturisers, we’ll be the first to admit that the confusing number of skincare products available can be dizzying. Throw in skin type considerations and seasonal shifts, and we’re often left mind boggled wondering what our skin really needs. But if there’s one step in our daily skincare routine that we dare not skip, it’s applying serum. Face serums deliver a highly concentrated, potent dose of active ingredients to the skin and target a range of skin concerns in one go. Whether it's antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamin c, or any number of other ingredients, serums are able to carry smaller molecules deep into the skin, where they exert the most benefit.

Another reason why these facial serums are a mainstay for skincare novices and lovers alike? The good’ol feel factor. Serums are perfect for layering - like a primer on clean skin before makeup or sunscreen. That being said, serums are not to be replaced by moisturisers as they both have very different roles to play in your daily skincare routine. And luckily, there’s a world of options out there to suit whatever your skin type and concerns may be.

How do you use a face serum?

First things first: Timing is essential. When it comes to layering skincare products, order matters. In general, skincare products are layered from thinnest to thickest with the thinnest products being applied to the skin first. If you think about the intended goals, it makes sense. Serums are intended to deliver active ingredients deep into the skin. To effectively layer your serum, start with a cleanser and toner as usual. Then dab the serum onto your face and neck and wait 30 to 60 seconds before applying your moisturiser on top. The reason for waiting is that you want the serum to settle in before you apply the moisturiser.

While most serums are used both in the morning and evening, there are some serums that should only be used at night depending on their ingredients. Be sure to read the instructions on the products you are using to find out which you should use in the morning and which at night. And as always, consult with your dermatologist if you’re in any way unsure.

At what age should you introduce a face serum?

Most experts recommend introducing a face serum into your routine once you hit your early-to-mid 20s. This is because as we age, our skin becomes drier and duller, and a serum can help replenish lost moisture.

Are there any disadvantages of using a face serum?

This depends on your skin type, TBH. For instance, if you have extremely sensitive skin, you should be mindful of serums with strong actives (think: VItamin C) as they can cause slight irritation. However, a mild vitamin C could do wonders for your skin. Again, potency is key when you’re using active serums.

Nykaa Recommends:

Plum 15% Vitamin C Face Serum

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

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Minimalist 5% Niacinamide Face Serum

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Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair

Prolixr 2% Salicylic Anti-Acne Serum Mini

L'Oreal Paris Glycolic Bright Serum

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