Believe it or not, there really is a serum for every skin type—from blemish-prone, to dry, to dull. I highly recommend you get to know the family of skincare actives in serums, like vitamin C, retinol, salicylic acid, vitamin E, and green tea, to name just a few (of my favorites). 

Learning about ingredients and actives is important to understanding your skin type and creating a routine that not only helps you reach your skin goals, but helps to promote a healthy functioning epidermis so you can look and feel your best! 

‌‌‌‌Where Does Serum Go in My Routine? 

So where do serums go? Serums are skincare products that should be applied after cleanser and before moisturizer. Serums are intended to deliver powerful ingredients into your skin and help you achieve your desired skin goals, due to their smaller molecular size. The pores on your skin absorb ingredients from thinnest to thickest. With serum coming in early in the skincare lineup, due to a smaller molecular size, proper use will help to balance your skin. 

For best results, make sure you’re optimizing the benefits of your chosen serum so you can apply it for maximum absorption. Here’s my recommended daily skincare routine:

Step 1: Cleanse 

Cleanser is the first step in your daily skincare regimen. Think of cleanser as the ultimate skin refresh, and afterwards, you need to properly apply skincare to replenish. 

Step 2: Treat

This is where serums come in. Depending on your skin type, make sure you’re taking advantage of your post-cleansed skin by properly treating it. Since the skin has been cleansed, it is ready to receive the deep benefits a serum can deliver. Simply apply a few drops to your palm and massage lightly into the skin. 

Step 3: Moisturize 

After applying your serum, you need to seal in all that goodness with the right moisturizer for your skin type. Being blemish-prone, I used to believe hydration was the enemy, but little did I know I was causing more harm than good by drying out my skin and creating an endless cycle of blemishes. So, keeping your skin properly hydrated will help reduce excess shine and improve overall skin balance. 

‌‌‌‌How Do You Choose a Serum? 

When looking for serums, it’s important to find the proper formula for your skin type. Being oily myself, I prefer serums that are on the lighter side and water-based. When formulas are bogged down with oils, their molecular size is too large and will prevent any further ingredients from being able to reach deep within the layers of the epidermis. That’s why oils should always be the last step in your skincare lineup!

‌‌‌‌How Often Should I Use Serums? 

Serums range from daily use to once every few days. And some like, vitamin C, are better for daytime whole retinol serums are usually recommended for nighttime use. It all depends on the serum so make sure to always read the label! 

‌‌‌‌Incorporating a New Product Into Your Routine 

It’s completely normal to feel worried about adding a new skincare product to your routine, and what its effects will be. The face serum you choose will vary based on your skin’s needs. It is best to select a face serum centered around your most sought-after results. 

Here are a few of my recommendations for those who are dealing with different skin conditions and types: 

  • If you’re dealing with blackheadsCOSRX, Blackhead Power Liquid is a great option. This serum contains willow bark water, a natural beta-hydroxy acid to maximize exfoliating and clearing benefits without the irritation! I also love that the ingredients list is short and simple, not including all unnecessary ingredients that have a higher chance of irritating the skin. 
  • If you’re trying to brighten your skin tone, you can’t go wrong with Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum.

This serum not only features vitamin C, but also includes hyaluronic acid, to also help hydrate while brightening. The vitamin C here is derived from konjac root, which is an exotic Asian flower that is combined with ferulic acid to help boost the power of vitamin C. I also love that Mad Hippie leaves out all the harmful chemicals, parabens, synthetic colors, and fragrances in their products. 

  • If you’re dealing with breakouts, consider Derma-E, Acne Blemish Control Treatment Serum. This is a lightweight blemish fighting treatment formulated with .5% salicylic acid plus tea tree oil, soothing aloe vera, and calming lavender and chamomile to help unclog pores while helping to calm the skin. 
  • If you’re dry and blemish-prone, Innisfree, Green Team Seed Serum is a great option. Green tea is naturally antibacterial. This serum is packed with green tea and green tea seed from Jeju Island. Concentrated and potent, this serum delivers hydration while helping to promote a clearer complexion and balance the skin. 
  • If you have dry skin, consider Blithe Pressed Serum, Tundra Chaga. This serum is a K-Beauty innovation that helps to revitalize the skin’s moisture barrier, and I always reach for this if I overdid it with some actives and my acne-prone and sensitive skin needs to be replenished! 
  • If you need some pore care, try Innisfree, Jeju Hallabong Daily Skin Bright. This daily brightening serum is formulated with hallabong peel extract and vitamin derived to help improve your skin’s hydration levels, brightening overall complexion and giving your pores some extra tender-loving care for a softer skin feeling. All you need to do is use the dropper and achieve amazing results every time! 
  • If you’re sensitive and dry, you can’t go wrong with Now Foods, Solutions, Certified Organic Rose Hip Seed Oil. Okay, okay, I know this is technically not a serum, but I had to include it because I used to use it as a serum when I was on Accutane. I cannot express how much rosehip seed oil means to me! When I deal with my driest skin, typically in the winter, I am running to grab my rose hip seed oil! This one is 100% pure, and expeller-pressed, and hexane-free, which means your skin is going to soak this up! Rosehip seed oil is rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids and can be used for ultimate hydration to cure your dry skin woes. Everyone needs that one skin-loving ingredient and rosehip seed oil is definitely mine! This oil can be used to aid in skin renewal to replenish a healthy glow and for antioxidant protection. You can use this daily, in both the morning and at night! 
  • If you want to smooth out some skin texture, Advanced Clinicals, Retinol Serum. Did you know retinol is the number one recommended skincare ingredient recommended by dermatologists? Retinol is potent, yet safe for daily use—just make sure to start off slow and do a patch test! There are so many retinoids on the market due to its amazing benefits, like, it’s skin-smoothing benefits. Not all retinoids are the same, so that’s why I am a big fan of the Advanced Clinicals one. It is formulated with antioxidant-rich green tea and a potent anti-wrinkle concentrate, where the encapsulated retinol (which means it’s slow-releasing) helps to effectively fight the look of wrinkles. But if you’re worried it may be too strong for your skin, this one is formulated with nourishing aloe vera which helps to diminish any visible redness and skin irritation, while glycerin helps to attract moisture into the skin for a plumper-looking appearance. Retinol helps to improve the look of skin texture while also helping to visibly replenish volume. 

Whether your skin goals are centered around hydration, brightening, or anti-aging, there are a plethora of serums available to help you achieve your desired look! Whichever serum you choose, be sure to use it consistently—and as directed—to receive all the skin benefits it has to offer. Remember: face serum has a formulation that is easy for the skin to quickly absorb. Not only does its formulation deliver the active ingredients of the serum into the skin, but it also paves the way for helping your skin to absorb the benefits of your moisturizer. In short, if you want to maximize the benefits of everything you put on your skin, face serum is the answer! 

By Christina Yanello

Christina yanello is a recent college graduate currently studying to be an aesthetician. She got her start on social media when she was put on Accutane & and in the process, found such an engaged community of Accutane users/people that struggle with severe acne. In between classes and being a young 23-year-old, Christina loves sharing skincare and beauty tips in addition to radiating positivity and self-care to her audience. Her platforms have become a safe space for young Gen-Z women to laugh, commiserate, and leave better and more educated than before stumbling across her page. You can find her on Instagram @BareFacedFemme.

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September 03, 2021 — cosrx inc