You may have looked at skincare products containing retinol and wondered what exactly it was and what the benefits of it are for your skin. Here, we’ve answered some of the questions we get asked most frequently about retinol. If you have a question that we haven’t answered for you here, get in touch and we’ll try to answer it for you.
What Is Serum?
Serums are highly concentrated, lightweight, water-based products that are designed to address a variety of skincare issues and concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, dull skin, dehydration or blemishes, redness or scarring too. Serums have a lightweight formula that is made up of small molecules which can penetrate deep into the skin and deliver a boost of high quality, key active ingredients down to the cells where they are needed most. This allows these ingredients to get to work quickly and effectively to treat specific skin concerns.
What Are the Benefits of Serum?
Serums work as a powerful bespoke skincare treatment. They deliver active ingredients, such as vitamins, antioxidants, acids, peptides or retinol, in a concentrated form. Serums are particularly effective at treating specific skin concerns, whether you suffer from dry skin, blemishes, redness, dull skin or wrinkles.
How Do Serums Differ from Other Skincare Products?
Serums vs Moisturisers
Serums can have moisturising properties, but they are not classed as a moisturiser. Moisturisers have a thicker consistency and, when used on their own, do not penetrate as deeply as serums. Moisturisers create a barrier on top of skin which helps to retain moisture, keep in all the goodness you just applied and protect the skin against environmental elements.
Moisturisers main purpose is to moisturise skin, which can help also with ageing skin as hydrated skin appears smoother and plump. Serums, on the other hand, re used to directly target specific skin concerns. Your serum and moisturiser are best used in conjunction with each other; the serum treats your skin concerns and then the moisturiser acts as a protective coat, sealing in all the good stuff.
Serums vs Face Oils
Typically, serums are water-based and contain vitamins, antioxidants, peptides and alpha or beta hydroxyl acids, whereas oils are oil-based. Both contain smaller molecules than moisturisers and can therefore penetrate deeper into the skin, but serums have the smallest molecules making them a highly effective targeted treatment.
Why Should I Use Serum?
A serum is a bespoke mini treatment that pays detailed, designer attention to a specific skincare issue that you might have. They deliver a boost of high quality, key ingredients deep down to the cells where they are needed most, which makes them an effective part of the treatment of a variety of skincare concerns. Unless you are blessed with perfect skin, then you might find that a serum is ideal for giving your complexion the extra special attention it has been craving for.
You select a serum based on the expert job you require it to do - whether that be to treat sensitivity, age-spots or wrinkles, or any of the other anti-ageing and skin-stress issues we face today.
When Should I Use Serum?
You have a choice here. Firstly, you can serum as a booster leading up to a special event. Use once or twice a day for 2-6 weeks prior to the big event and you’ll notice a major difference.
Alternatively, use serum every day as a normal part of your skincare routine. We recommend always using a serum at night, on clean skin, underneath your moisturiser, but they can also be used in the morning as well, for quicker results. Use serum in conjunction with your moisturiser for added benefit and the skin protection that a moisturiser gives.
How Do I Use Serum?
You can use a serum both morning and evening. During the day, your skin is focused on protecting itself from damaging environmental factors. At night, your skin is able to rest, regenerate and repair itself. This allows the potent ingredients that you apply at night to penetrate deeper into the skin and perform their functions more effectively.
It is important to cleanse thoroughly before applying a serum, otherwise it will stick to any debris or dead skin. Applying a toning mist after your cleanser will leave skin with a damp surface on which to apply your serum. This is beneficial because moist skin is more permeable, which helps the active ingredients in serums to penetrate the skin.
As serums are very concentrated, you only need a small amount. Using upward movements, press the serum into skin with your fingertips to release the active ingredients. Leave for a couple of minutes to allow your serum to sink in before applying your moisturiser. The moisturiser will act as a barrier, sealing in the benefits of the rich and nutritious serum.
If your moisturiser doesn’t contain SPF, then this should be the final layer for your daytime routine. Sunscreens are designed to protect your skin and create a barrier against harmful environmental elements. As a result, they should be your final layer. Otherwise, they will prevent active ingredients in any other products from penetrating into your skin.
Some ingredients within serums, such as Vitamin A (retinol), can make skin more sensitive to the sun so it is very important to use SPF when using these serums.
How Long Will It Be Until I Notice a Difference from Using Serums?
Whilst everyone’s skin is different, generally if you use a serum every day for just two weeks you’ll notice a big difference in your skin’s tone and texture.
What’s the Best Serum for My Skin Concern?
The right serum for you very much depends on the skin concern you’re looking to address:
If you’re feeling sensitive, stressed, or you’ve been under the weather, you’ll love BE STRONG. We call it our super-juice for the skin and it’s a vitamin rich cocktail that will soothe, de-sensitize and restore strength.
If you feel the scaffolding in your skin is collapsing a bit and you could do with an architect to help re-build some of the wrinkles and sagging bits, then BE FIRM is for you. Designed to accelerate cell renewal and boost collagen production, this will be your non-surgical saviour.
If your complexion doesn’t look so smooth, suffers from hyper-pigmentation, age spots or scars and has generally lost its vigor, BE CLEAR is a great tonic that will help correct and brighten the skin.