What is a serum and when should I start using one? | Doctor Anne

These days a skin care routine seems to have so many steps that it's easy to get confused.

But it doesn't have to be that way, which is why I created this series: to go through a skincare routine step by step and

Talk about each one of them so you can figure out what you need in your routine. Today's topic: serums!

Hi, I'm Doctor Anne. I'm a medical doctor with a passion for skincare that works. On this channel

We explore the science behind skin and do quick reviews so you learn to pick exactly those products that work for your individual skin concern.

So if this is something you're interested in, please consider subscribing and

Ring the notification bell. Today I want to talk about serums, or more specifically: What is a serum?

What does a serum actually do? Can a serum replace a moisturizer? And:

At which age do you need to invest in a serum?

A serum is a skincare product that you can apply to your skin

after cleansing,

But before moisturizer, with the intent of delivering powerful

ingredients directly into your skin. Traditional serums are water-based, but a little gooier than

Essences ,and if you are confused about toner, tonic, essence,

I did a whole video on that which I'm going to link up in the cards. But more and more companies do

Oil-based serums, which feel richer and don't go onto your skin as a second step after cleansing,

But as last step, where usually a facial oil or something

Like that would go. Water-based serums contain so-called penetration enhancers, like butylene glycol, ethanol, oleic or linoleic

acid that help the ingredients to penetrate

Deeper into the skin. And this definition gives you an explanation for one of the other common questions:

Why is a serum usually so expensive? Well, because it uses a high concentration of so-called actives or beneficial ingredients

That target skincare problems directly. At least in theory,

I think we all have learned that we can't always believe what is printed on the packaging.

What does a serum actually do? Our skin's needs change daily, or monthly,

Or seasonally, and as you age your skin's needs get more different.

My skin has more problems than it had when I was in my early 20s,

my skin has different needs in the winter time than it has in summer,

It has different needs in the evening than it has in the mornings,

You get the gist. And serums are the part in your skincare routine where you can change up what

Boost you're going to give your skin, because that is what they aim to do.

They aim to give your skin a boost in hydration, a boost in texture enhancing, a boost in collagen production.

Whatever your actual concern is, a serum is particularly good suited to this task because usually contains smaller

molecules and less occlusives and emollients then a moisturizer,

So it's designed to penetrate into the skin rather than sit on the surface of the skin and lock in all the goodness

That's inside. Because there are so many different skin needs, there are many different categories of serums,

But the main three categories I would identify are first:

Antioxidants. Think Ubiquinone or vitamin q10, vitamin C, vitamin E,

Everything that you need to protect your skin from the free radical damage that it experiences through pollution, UV exposure

And just general stress.

I will make sure to link some examples in the description box below. The second category of serum is the anti-aging

serums, and these are the one that contains actives like acids, like

Retinoids, like peptides that aim to improve collagen production.

These target the concerns that older skin has, they aim to yeah, like give an anti-aging boost by evening out the skin texture,

Smoothing out the skin, plumping fine lines. And the last main category I would identify is the hydrating serum.

These are the ones that are rich in humectants like Glycerin, different forms of hyaluronic acid,

Basically all the humectants you can think of in small molecule forms,

So they penetrate deeply and plump up your skin. And hydration is something that basically everyone needs,

so I think these are the ones that you can introduce into your routine the earliest. With all that information you can now actually

Answer the next question yourself: Can a serum replace a moisturizer?

Well, I don't really think so, with one exception. As I said a serum is a booster,

it delivers ingredients deeply into the skin and for these ingredients to stay there and to be active and not to

Evaporate through Transepidermal Water Loss or something like that, you need to seal it in with a light layer of moisturizer.

That doesn't have to be a thick cream. It could be more of a lotion

And if your skin is especially oily so you have your own sebum

You might be able to skip moisturizer because your own sebum is going to seal in all the serum goodness that you applied before

that. These days it's a little more difficult because there are

lightweight lotions or heavier serums that I think are more of a hybrid between a serum and a cream,

so there is some like tThe Inkey List q10, which has quite a few emollients, is

Technically a serum, but in the summertime for me with my oily skin it's more than enough to

Wear on its own, no moisturizer on top, but if you have something that really has zero occlusive and basically any emollients then yes,

I think you need to follow it up with something more

Occlusive. And the last question: At which age should you invest in a serum?

Well, I think if you're

young your skin just needs a basic routine : cleanser if you wear makeup, a good sunscreen,

Maybe a lightweight moisturizer if you tend to have dry or dehydrated skin, but once you reach your mid-20s

Early 30s, depending on your skin type and your lifestyle you should start introducing

antioxidants and probably hydration and I think a

Serum is a good way to start. So a good cleanser and an antioxidant, hydrating serum and a good moisturizer plus

of course your SPF in the daytime is something that I think in your

Mid-20s should be part of your skincare routine.

Once you reach my age, like 40s plus,

Then your serum arsenal will get much more diversified, but at a young age

I don't think that it's worth investing a lot of money into this step basically because your skin does not

Yet need it. If you're curious about which

Ingredients to use when, I have a whole video dedicated to the topic that I'm going to link up on the screen.

So in summary

I think a serum is a really important step, especially as you grow older. A serum is a necessary

Step if it's serum in the traditional sense that it actually delivers a boost of active

ingredients or a boost of hydrating ingredients.

I think a serum is a step worth investing your money in if you get a high quality

product, because it can really make a difference in your skin care and

It is the part that I would personally change up the most. Good cleanser, a basic moisturizer

these are the

foundation of your skincare

Routine and the serum is the extra that you sprinkle on top to really give your skin the extra love that it needs.

I hope that answered all your question If there's anything else you want to know, please don't hesitate to ask in the comments below

I'm going to link to a few more videos of the skincare basics series on the screen now

And I'm going to see you all very soon with another video. Bye!