OK I got this bottle of serum. What should I do now?
- guest post by The Curious Intern
You have two extremes when it comes to skin care. At one end there are those whose skin care begins and ends with a face wash (and maybe a cream). At the other end are folks who are looking for *that* product to use in between the 3rd and 4th steps in their 9-step regime. And the rest of us (which includes me) are somewhere in the middle. And guess what, I even bought a bottle of serum when the sale was on, because it looked good and was at a great price. But the BIG question - what do I DO with it?
I mean, a serum is not going to light me up instantly. It's not even like I can flaunt it to my colleagues (you know, I'm just touching up my serum before the meeting?)
Everyone tells me it will do me some good, some day. But does it, really? I did some research and this is what I found out - the most basic of skin serum FAQs that could be useful for interns, 9-step skincare pros and people from all other walks of life.
What exactly does a serum do, besides looking specialist-y?
There are three things that matter when it comes to a serum. Ingredients. Ingredients. Ingredients. A serum is the most concentrated dose of ingredients you can get. Imagine slathering pure aloe gel on your face, followed by dunking a cup of green tea on it and then rubbing on some roots and herbs... a serum gets you the same dose of skin nutrients as any of these extremely time-consuming, socially awkward activities will do. And imagine doing that routine everyday.
Why does it feel like I have to take a loan to buy a serum?
I know, I know. But good, pure ingredients take time and money to isolate and stabilise in a serum. And that's where your money goes - provided of course you're buying from a brand you trust.
So which serum should I pick?
The best thing about serums is that they're easy to pick (provided your loan is approved - hehe). They're mostly neatly categorized by skin type and concern. So if you have dullness and dry skin, there's one for you. If you have marks and oily skin, there's another one for you.
Unlike creams, serums DO NOT come in one-size-fits-all avatars.
Somewhere, some unique serum in a handsome bottle is waiting, that's just right for you ... You just have to get lucky :D
How should I use a serum?
Easy peasy. Cleanse face, tone (if you are toning) and pat dry. Pat on serum gently on to face. Simple. Follow with moisturizer. Don't try to rub in the serum. You want your face to absorb all those ingredients - not your fingers.
Will I see results before my grandchildren get married?
So here's my favourite skin care joke. By the time you begin to see results on your teenage acne products, it's time for your anti-ageing regime to begin.
But jokes apart, real results from skin care take real time.
But if a product isn't doing ANYTHING for more than 4 weeks, it probably isn't for you. Just stand up and say: it's over!
And if you're seeing *some* results, be patient. And try and mix it up a bit by including more products from the same range - e.g., cleanser, moisturizer etc. And continue with the regime. You can never have too much of a good thing when it comes to skin care.
When do I use a face oil, and when do I use a serum?
The cutesy folks at plum goodness have a post on it, so I suggest you go take a look here.
Why can't there be a 2-in-1 cream cum serum? Why do I need 2 products?
Hello, smarty pants. For this one I had to consult some experts and here are the two reasons they gave:
- While it is true that many creams are also laden with potent ingredients, it's technically not always feasible to load up SO MUCH in a cream.
- The texture and nature of serums is meant for deeper, quicker absorption. Creams do absorb, but more slowly, with a lot more "distractions" in them like oils and fats, and as a result don't penetrate as deep as serums.
Hmm... that sounded logical.
So now I know what to do with the bottle of serum that I picked. Fortunately it's for me and for my skin type. So I'll use it - properly. Wait for 3-4 weeks to see if it's making any difference (I think it is). And then take it from there. And be patient with skin care. And continue to slog...
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