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Skin Science

Everything You Really Need to Know About Facial Serum

Meet your new skin savior.

When it comes to skincare, it can sometimes feel like you need a beauty school degree just to create a simple regimen. Often, serums seem to be the step that trips people up. What are they? How many should you use? When do you use them?

Don’t worry, we’re here to teach you everything you need to know about one of the most important steps in your skincare routine.


What is serum?serum vs moisturizer

Serums are specialists! While cleansers prepare the skin for your skin care routine, and moisturizers protect and fortify the skin's moisture barrier, serums can help you target specific concerns such as hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and dark circles.


Is serum the same as moisturizer?

Serums prioritize nourishment and don’t contain the emollients (such as petrolatum, mineral oils, and shea butter) found in creams and lotions — so even if the purpose of a serum is to provide moisture, it doesn’t take the place of your moisturizer.

To help make sure all their benefits are absorbed into the skin, serums should always be topped with a hydrating moisturizer.


Why should I use serum?

If you're looking for added moisturization, hydration, or other skin care benefits, serums can add that power-packed step. Serums are made up of smaller molecules that allow their key ingredients to penetrate more deeply and efficiently than other skincare products, delivering higher concentrations to the skin. This makes them especially effective for addressing specific skincare needs like wrinkles, dark spots, and dryness!

Note: if you’re trying a new serum and it doesn’t seem to be working, don’t give up too quickly! Some serums take a few weeks of use to show results.

How do I use my serum?

To prepare your skin for a serum, first cleanse your skin to provide a clean slate for absorption.

Next, drop a pea-sized amount of serum onto your fingertips (or 3-4 pumps) – making sure not to touch the tip of the dropper!

Resist the urge to rub the serum in. Gently massage or pat into your skin and allow it to absorb.

Note: if you’re unsure how your skin will react to a new serum, try patch testing the product first on your arm, and then introducing it into your routine slowly.routine steps

Are serums good for sensitive skin?oat serum

Because serums are designed to address specific skin care concerns, they can be a highly effective part of caring for your sensitive skin — targeting  dryness, or irritation in specific areas, for example. If you have sensitive skin, patch-test serums just as you would any other product, and read the ingredients carefully to avoid any known triggers for your skin. Choose a serum designed for sensitive skin care, with soothing ingredients like prebiotics, feverfew, and niacinamide that help restore and strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier.

A serum for sensitive skin:

Aveeno Calm+Restore™, Triple Oat Serum

Using the soothing, hydrating power of prebiotic oat and calming feverfew, this serum is perfect for irritated, dry, or sensitive skin. It’s free of fragrances, dyes, and irritants, and contains hydrating glycerin to keep your skin plump and fresh.


The bottom line

In short, serums provide your skin with high concentrations of specific active ingredients that directly nourish your skin. While it might seem like a lot, finding a perfect serum (or the perfect combination of serums!) for you can be the game-changing move your skin has been needing.

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