The What When and Why of Serums
From the Viviant Skincare Blog
If the word serum brings to mind magical potions and strange incantations, you’re not alone. There’s a definite aura of mystery surrounding serums that can make it hard to know where to start. But when you take a closer look at the facts and formulas, it’s easy to find the right fit for your skin. Here we sort out your questions about these skin care superstars and explain why no skin should be without at least one.
WHAT IS SERUM ANYWAY?
Technically, it’s the amber-colored, protein-rich component of blood plasma, or the clear fluid that provides sustenance inside a plant system, essentially the substance of health and vibrancy in living things. Skin care serums are fluids of light consistency that provide elements essential for health and vibrancy of skin. Serums are formulated to be maximally potent with highly concentrated ingredients that target specific concerns like acne, aging, or discoloration. In short, they are the workhorses of your skin care stable capable of taking on and transforming all your trouble spots.
WHICH SERUM IS RIGHT FOR YOUR SKIN?
There are hundreds of serums out there with any number of combinations of ingredients to take on every problem known to skin. It’s easy to get lost. But narrowing it down to the formula that perfectly fits your skin’s needs doesn’t have to be complicated. For each skin type and concern, there are a few indispensable ingredients that, above all others, are tried, true and totally worth your time. Here are the top ingredients to look for based on skin’s most common concerns.
Acne: Your top ingredients are Vitamin A Propionate, aka retinol, aka the gold standard, aka developed and patented by James E. Fulton, M.D., Ph.D. (accelerates cell turnover, clears blemishes, reduces inflammation and scarring, strengthens skin structure), mandelic acid (stimulates cell renewal, anti-bacterial, regulates sebum), niacinamide (anti-inflammatory, reduces sebum), glycolic acid (exfoliates, encourages cell turnover, brightens), salicylic acid (anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, unclogs pores).
Aging: Vitamin A Propionate (accelerates cell turnover, fights free radicals, brightens, smoothes lines, stimulates collagen production), lactic acid (exfoliates, fades dark spots, smoothes fine lines, acts as moisture binder), peptides (stimulates natural production of collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin), vitamin C (encourages collagen production, aids in moisture retention, provides antioxidant UV protection).
Discoloration: Exfoliation and brightening agents are your best allies. Look for mandelic acid (natural lightener, stimulates cell turnover, reduces inflammation), kojic acid (natural pigment inhibitor, antioxidant, promotes cell renewal), vitamin C (encourages collagen production, aids in moisture retention, provides antioxidant UV protection), hydroquinone 2% (skin lightener, pigment inhibitor). If you have dark or Asian skin, mandelic acid is made for you. It’s smaller molecular structure makes it less irritating than other alpha hydroxy acids so it won’t trigger post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Dull complexion: You need ingredients to brighten, hydrate and remove dead skin. At the top of your list are mandelic acid (removes dead skin cells, brightens, improves skin texture), lactic acid (encourages cell turnover, brightens, softens, illuminates), kojic acid (natural pigment inhibitor, antioxidant, promotes cell renewal), vitamin C (encourages collagen production, aids in moisture retention, provides antioxidant UV protection, promotes natural glow).vitamin E (antioxidant, protects from UV damage, promotes healthy glow).