[This is not a sponsored post. The products are gifted press samples.]
I’m gonna go right in and say that serum is the most important part of your skincare regime. Why? Well, maybe because I wanted to be just a little controversial… Of course, your entire routine is important, but your serum, in particular, can do so much for your skin, depending on the ingredients you choose and what you’re looking to address.
I touched on this in a post a couple of months back, where I spoke about how, if you’re really looking to maximise your skincare budget, switch a standard moisturiser for a jam-packed serum that’ll not only hydrate, but also address any issues you’re experiencing below the surface. Because serums work on a deeper level than any moisturiser, meaning they can really get to the root of the issue that standard creams will just mask.
Of course, that’s all well and good providing you know what ingredients you should be looking for and how you should be applying them. So today I wanted to look at some of my favourite serums and the ingredients that make them so great, and the complaints they’re best suited to address.
I’m always banging on about the benefits of hyaluronic acid and that’s because, really, I think it should be a part of everyone’s skincare regime. It’s suitable for almost all skin types, lightweight, and practically a sure-fire way to keep the skin as hydrated as possible. There’s literally no downside.
So how does it work? Well, hyaluronic acid binds to water to help retain moisture, keeping the skin nourished and offering a more plumped up, smoother appearance. Not only will it retain the hydrating properties of the serum itself, but it’ll also latch onto moisturiser, as well as natural moisture from the air that normally wouldn’t be retained.
It makes so much sense to cram this ingredient into your daytime routine, and it really couldn’t be easier, with so many creams, serums and ampoules on the market right now. I’ve spoken about Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Capsule-In-Serum before, but I think it’s one of the best out there and at such a good price point.
It’s a hyaluronic serum with vitamin E capsules that slowly dispense into the serum as it’s pumped out – meaning the product is the most effective as you apply because it maintains its efficacy until the moment of use. The pairing is also genius, and adding one of the most hydrating ingredients in with the hyaluronic formula makes this serum a must-have for anyone looking to tackle dry skin.
During the day you should really be looking to tackle hydration and pollution issues in your skincare regime, and truth be told you can buy products across the board with anti-pollution properties to help maintain and balance your skin. However, when it comes to anti-pollution serums, vitamin C is an absolute favourite – because it does so much more.
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Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants and really helps protect your skin against free radical damage caused by the environment. The idea of anti-pollution skincare seems quite new, but really it all feeds into anti-ageing and, if you use the right ingredients long-term, they’ll help boost your collagen levels and prevent wrinkles and sagging.
If you live or work in the city, or you’re outdoors a lot, I’d 100% recommend a vitamin C serum, and at the minute I love the Vitamin C Serum from DAYTOX. This formula is great – it’s absorbed by the skin so well and doesn’t leave any kind of residue. It also has a small amount of hyaluronic acid, although not as much as dedicated serums. However, if you’re looking for a combination of the two, or just a vitamin C serum which goes that bit further, this one is for you.
Vitamin A (Retinol)
Tell someone to use vitamin A and they’ll roll their eyes like its just another ingredient, but mention retinol and you got them hooked. Yes, they’re the same thing! It is one of the only products that can be advertised as anti-ageing in the US, and is proven to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin – which decreases over time.
Retinol can combat a number of signs of ageing, and also helps clarify skin tone. From the late 20s onwards, collagen production decreases – for women its a gradual decline, whereas for men it usually happens in late 30s/early 40s, and is a more noticeable drop – so the sooner you start the better.
Depending on your skin type, you’ll want to start with a lower concentration and work your way up. I love the Potent Vit. A ampoules from Skin Doctors. Each single-use ampoule contains 0.15% retinol, and it’s a dream to wear. I’d only recommend using these at night – even though, despite contradictory opinions, they are safe during the day along with an SPF – because they do make the skin more susceptible to skin damage.
On a side note, though, if anti-ageing is your concern, you should definitely be wearing SPF on a daily basis to combat UVA, UVB and IR damage from the sun’s rays. For some of my favourite SPF products, click here.
Let’s end with one not a lot of people know all that much about – but they really should. Jojoba oil is produced from the seed of the jojoba plant, a shrubby tree that is native to southern Arizona and California, and has long been renowned for its healing properties. Now, its made a foray into skincare and definitely looks set to stay.
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A natural anti-inflammatory, jojoba oil is often used to tame chaffing and chapping, reduce redness caused by drying, ease the effects of eczema and rosacea, and keep skin calm and comfortable. Its main formula consists of vitamins E and B, which work together help in skin repair and damage control. In other words, its the perfect recovery serum if you have tired skin that needs intensive overnight treatment.
As I said, there are so many different jojoba oils on the market and its a hot ingredient that seems to be coming out in new products all the time. But one I do love is the Jojoba Skin Repair Facial Oil from London-based brand Gorgias. They do such a massive range of products – oils and serums, but also creams, shampoos and various other skin, body and haircare varieties – and they just look and feel so good. As part of a nighttime ritual, you want products you can’t wait to come back to, and this is one for me.