Simply put, serums are powerful skin allies. Filled with concentrated doses of active ingredients, these elixirs can mitigate a number of issues, from dark spots to wrinkles. “Even if you don’t have any specific issues, everyone still needs a general antioxidant serum in the morning to protect from daily aggressors,” While there are “limitless options” for ingredients To handle specific issues, look for these products:

  • Hyaluronic acid to seal in hydration and strengthen the barrier function (the top layer of your skin) to prevent moisture loss.
  • Vitamin C to help brighten dull skin and decrease dark spots with continued use.
  • Retinol, vitamin B3, peptides to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, proteins in the body that help prevent lines and skin sagging.
  • Colloidal sulfur, niacinamide to calm redness and irritation by decreasing inflammation, and improve acne with its antimicrobial effects.

Helpful Hints and Pointers

If you have multiple concerns, you might want to use multiple formulas. “I recommend treating different areas with different products,” “Maybe you’ll use a vitamin C serum all over but then dab on [another] for hyperpigmentation on just a few spots.” Just run any combination by your dermatologist to avoid any potential reactions.

To save time, don’t try mixing a serum into your moisturizer. This “lessens the ability of the serum to absorb effectively. “Products should be applied one by one.”

Not all serums are applied with the same frequency. “This varies with the ingredients,”Always prefer antioxidants in the morning because they give you additional protection from the environment, and most of us don’t use enough sunscreen as is.  Yet certain ingredients are best when slathered on at night. For example: “Retinols are not sun-stable and will degrade if applied in daytime,” Bottom line: Read the label instructions carefully.