The cornerstones of a good skincare routine may be the basics of cleansing and moisturising, but if you really want to level things up and target your specific skin type, this is where serums come into play. “Serums are thinner topical skincare products that often contain more concentrated, targeted active ingredients,” explains consultant dermatologist Thivi Maruthappu. “You can tailor your serum to address your individual skin concern.” Packed with high-strength active ingredients, like retinoids, vitamin C, and niacinamide, serums are the powerhouses of your skincare routine. While moisturisers focus on hydration and cleansers help to ensure pores are clear, applying a serum is your opportunity to hone in on your unique skin concerns. Choose the right formula and a serum can help you to reduce sensitivity, prevent dehydration, clear breakouts, and even reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores.
If you’re wondering when and where within your skincare routine to apply a serum, remember the key rule of skincare layering—thin textures first, building up by thickness. “Serums should be applied to cleansed skin before moisturising,” advises Maruthappu. “Leave for ten minutes or so before following with a mosituriser.” Most serums will need to be applied daily in order for you to see results within a few weeks and you may be able to apply some twice daily (just check the application instructions).