If I had to choose 4 serums to never part with, it’d be these! They do wonders for my skin & are the “last men standing” after lots of trial & error & tons of different products that I liked (but not as much as these) & some that I hated. The best way to know if they’ll work for you is to try them & monitor results! Unfortunately, it’s hard to take everything we read about regarding the health of our bodies, skin & mind, supplements, mental health & fitness for face value because what works for one might not work for another. IMO, a health journey truly is an everyday learning experience & I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now, I’m totally into food. I mean… C’MON, as if you didn’t know. But I’m also totally into taking care of my skin. YOU KNEW THAT TOO! You can imagine that I’ve tried way too many skincare products for my own good & today, I want to share with you my four ride or die serums!
Before we get into it, let’s talk about some of the basics regarding serums.
First, what is a serum?
A serum is a skin care product with a gel or light lotion consistency that contains a high concentration of potent & active ingredients.
What kind of ingredients are found in a serum?
Short answer… TONS.
Long answer… IT DEPENDS what you are trying to target with the serum.
- To clear & prevent blemishes & breakouts, you’ll want to look for serums that contain salicylic acid, zinc, tea tree, antioxidants, turmeric, & manuka honey, as well as beat-glucans. All of these ingredients control acne-causing pore-clogging bacteria, fight redness & reduce inflammation.
- To repair sun damage, fight aging & smooth our wrinkles, you’ll want to look for things like retinol (vitamin A, antioxidants, vitamin C, E & D.
- To calm redness & for sensitive skin, you’ll want things like algae, aloe vera, witch hazel, licorice root, green tea, probiotics, white tea, zinc.
- To hydrate your skin, you’ll want to look for things like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide (B3), allantoin & essential oils. They help infuse skin cells with moisture, which protects against surface dryness, fine lines & preserves smoothness, firmness & plumpness, as well as protects the skin’s moisture barrier.
- For skin tone, you’ll want to look for things like collagen or copper peptides & other firming ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid.
- For exfoliating dry surface cells, smoothing skin & reducing dark spots, you’ll want to look for alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) in the form of glycolic, malic, lactic & tartaric acids. They help dissolve & digest the cellular buildup deep within the skin & promote an even complexion. They also help with brown spots from the sun, acne scars & hyper pigmentation.
- For brown spots & discolouration, AHAs are great but so is vitamin C, as it suppresses melanin activity, lifts discolouration, evens skin tone, fights aging & brightens the skin. Vitamin B3 is also great.
How to use a serum?
Did you know that moist skin is 10 times more permeable than dry skin? After cleansing, always use an alcohol-free toner. Then it’s best to leave it damp on the skin before applying a serum. By leaving your skin damp with toner, the serum’s action ingredients will penetrate deeper to optimize results.
Can your serum double as your moisturizer?
No. Moisturizers create a protective barrier over the skin. This prevents the skin’s moisture from evaporating & it keeps environmental irritants and debris out. Serums, although they do hydrate, should never be used alone. They do not contain the protective properties that creams do.
How much should you apply?
Apply about a dime size, but not more. A little goes a long way & serums aren’t one of those things that if you use more, you’ll get better results. The skin can only absorb so much & you don’t want to over-activate it! It acts as a sponge in that it takes in all that it can. Leftover product will end up just sitting on top of the skin, a.k.a. you’re wasting expensive stuff!
Now, let’s get to my faves!
Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Serum
This serum is made with plant-derived collagen amino acids, CoQ10 + stabilized vitamin C & is full of antioxidants. It helps smooth, firm & strengthen skin’s elasticity, fights aging, boosts collagen production, makes skin bright & radiant, reduces dark spots, hyper-pigmentation & redness & boosts SPF protection. It’s quick-absorbent, gives a nice glow & helped boost my confidence in my skin.
I strongly believe that the consistent use of a vitamin C serum has really helped bring out that natural healthy glow in my skin & has legit allowed me to feel so good in my skin (no pun intended) that I could leave my house without makeup CONFIDENTLY!
I also believe that anyone between the ages of 22-25 (& not sooner) should start to use a vitamin C serum. Research has shown that our bodies slow the production of collagen & things become less elastic (if ya know what I mean) as of our mid to late twenties. It’s therefore important to restore that collagen in our skin & our bodies overall in order to maintain the elasticity of our joints, muscles, tissues, bones, etc.
BUT NOW, LET’S GET BACK TO SKIN!
DIY Anti-Aging Serum
This serum is affordable, full of potent + active essential oils rich in vitamin E, C, A, D & antioxidants to brighten & illuminate skin, fight redness & aging, boost collagen & skin cell renewal & replenishment & protect the skin from environmental damage. It literally makes me GLOW & absorbs super well because the carrier oil is jojoba, which most closely resembles the sebum our skin naturally produces. Some of the oils in it are rosehip, vitamin E, sweet orange + patchouli. Search DIY serum on the blog!
To get the recipe & the breakdown of everything you need to know about my serum, click here: My DIY Anti-Aging Face Serum a.k.a. Plump, Youthful, Glowing & Radiant Skin Doesn’t ALWAYS Have To Make a Hole In Your Wallet!
Sunday Riley Good Genes
My fave ever! Lactic acid is an AHA that gently exfoliates the skin without being abrasive, reduces dark spots, hyper pigmentation & redness, fights aging & when used with the UFO oil (salicylic acid), deeply penetrates skin to unclog pores & reduce acne-causing bacteria. I never had bad acne but I had really uneven skin tone + texture & redness & this serum changed all of that! I use it less often in the summer because it sensitizes skin to the sun since it removes dead skin, which acts as a protective shield from sun.
In the winter, I use this serum with the Retinol Sleeping Oil (Luna by Sunday Riley). I take a break from retinol in the summertime & start using it again in the fall, as it severely sensitizes skin to the sun.
To read more about this product, check out these posts:
- Peace Out Acne Scars (It Hasn’t Been Real), Hello Bright, Radiant & Youthful Glow!
- KITK Sephora VIB Sale Must-Haves!
- KITK’s Beginners Guide to Skincare a.k.a. Yes, Budget-Friendly & Quality Can Coexist!
- My Holy Grail Products From Sephora a.k.a. Your VIB Sale Must-Buys!
- My Top 3 (Kay, Fine, Maybe A Few More!) Skincare Products That I Simply Cannot Live Without a.k.a. The Token “Things I’d Bring On A Desert Island With Moi”!
- Kelly’s Top-6 to Fight Skin Redness & Hyper-Pigmentation a.k.a. Hello Even, Calmed, Soothed, Clear & Radiant Skin! Basically, Hello “Skin-Goals”!
Corpa Flora Hyaluronic Acid + B3 Serum:
B3 boosts micro circulation & collagen production, prevents moisture loss & slows melanin production. It also contains stabilized vitamin C, hyaluronic acid to protect skin’s moisture barrier + plump/smooth skin & probiotics to strengthen skin’s microbiome & allow healthy bacteria to thrive and make skin glow from inside out!