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What’s the big deal about serums? We see them everywhere and they promise to provide real benefits for our skin. What are they? What benefits do they provide? Which one is right for you? We explain the advantages, the different types, and how to choose the right one for your skin.

Face serums are lightweight in comparison to moisturizers but have a higher concentration of active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and vitamin C. Serums can be very effective in managing issues like acne, dry skin, dullness, and the signs of aging. Depending on the serum you choose, they can brighten, hydrate, and provide other benefits, and their consistency can be that of a gel, oil, or even water. Serums are light and easy to absorb, and you can treat your entire face with only a few drops.

Serums can be applied either once or twice a day, in the morning and night, on clean skin. The skin should be cleansed, you should apply toner, and then the serum can be applied before the moisturizer. Applying moisturizer after the serum helps to lock in moisture and hydration, so that both products work more effectively.

Serums address a variety of concerns, but what if you have more than one skin issue? You can layer two or more different serums to help you get the results you need, choosing the ones considered most effective for your particular problem. Some serums already contain a combination of active ingredients, so make sure you get professional advice and check the labels before you overload your skin. For the signs of aging, vitamins C and E and ferulic acid can be particularly effective. Antioxidants like tea polyphenols and resveratrol can target wrinkles, and Retinol and niacinamide are also good options. If you are concerned about discoloration or blotchiness, look for brightening formulas, or ingredients that can lighten dark patches, like kojic acid and glycolic acid. Skin that is dry, tight, or flaky may benefit from serums with vitamin E, niacinamide, ceramides, and glycolic acid.

There are serums formulated specifically for use around the eyes, and these can help depuff the eyes and decrease the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Serums are available in a variety of price points, and the price is less of a gauge of efficacy than the ingredients. The best course of action is to speak to your dermatologist and get advice on which serums can work for you.

It is important to note, though, that some serums can irritate sensitive skin, so testing in a small area is advisable before spreading serum on your face. Be careful about combining certain combinations, too. For instance, combining different acid containing serums with other products with acids can irritate the skin. Use caution, too, about sun exposure, since some ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, can cause sun-sensitivity.

When you need expert advice and help caring for your skin, contact Arlington Dermatology. For over 40 years, our Board-Certified dermatologists have been serving patients, making the health and welfare of our patients our top priority. We offer innovative methods of treatment, using state of the art medical equipment, in our conveniently located, patient-friendly facility in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Schedule an appointment through our website or call 847-392-5440.