In the beauty industry, the word “serum” is used to describe the essential oils that give the products their signature smell and texture.
However, it’s not always clear what “serums” actually contain, or what they’re actually supposed to do for your skin.
The good news is there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re getting the best out of each product you use.
“There’s a great misconception that skin care products have to be the same thing,” says Dr David Jones, a dermatologist at University College London.
“But they’re really quite different.”
Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your skin care product.
First, what’s a skin care serum?
The term skin care “sermon” has been used for over a century.
The term originated with the French word for “skin” (sermon, not serpête), meaning “to give or give an account”.
The first such use of the term in the English language, however, came from an 1892 treatise by English physician and socialite Dr James B. P. Smith.
It refers to a serum that is applied to the skin after an application of the oil of rosemary, thyme, and clove.
“Serums are a really useful term,” Dr Jones says.
“You could use them as an umbrella term for all kinds of products.”
There are actually many different types of serums, but most of them are derived from oils extracted from plants.
The skin is not always the first part of a product, however.
“The skin is the first area of contact,” Dr Smith explains.
“It’s the first thing that you want to get into.”
In some cases, the skin may even be the last.
Dr Jones explains that, in certain cases, it can be necessary to apply a product to the face first.
For instance, in cases of severe acne, it may be necessary for a product that contains aloe vera gel, which is extracted from the leaves of the plant, to be applied to acne prone areas first.
“If you apply an aloe product to your face and it makes your face itch, you need a second application of that product,” Dr Evans says.
It’s not only the skin that’s the final part of the product, but also the facial tissues.
“That skin will absorb more of the ingredient and get rid of some of the toxins,” Dr Cox says.
When you apply a serum, it has to be diluted to a very small amount.
“I find that it’s actually really good to dilute a lot,” Dr Jardine says.
However there’s another important part of using a serum.
“As you dilute the product with the oil, you can create a barrier between the oil and the skin,” Dr Davies says.
The other thing you should be aware of is that it will take time for your serum to get to the areas of your face that need the most attention.
“So if you apply too much to one area and not enough to the other, it will create a lot of irritation in that area,” Dr Johnson says.
So if you want a serum with an extra boost to your skin, you may want to apply it to the affected area first.
To use a serum product, apply it as a thin layer over the skin and work your way down to the area you want it to work.
“This is why you should apply the serum on top of the moisturiser or cream,” Dr Korn says.
This will help the oil adhere to the surface of your cheekbone and skin.
“A lot of the products are very expensive and if you don’t have a lot to spend on them, you might be able to get away with not applying the serum at all,” Dr Milling says.
Dr Cox recommends that you apply the product a little bit to the side of your neck first.
This allows you to spread it out over the entire face before spreading it out on your chest and neck.
“What you want is a little amount on the top of your nose,” Dr Tapp says.
Once the serum has been applied, it needs to be placed on the skin.
Dr Jargowsky says that a moisturiser is a good choice.
“When you’re using a moisturizer to hydrate the skin, it makes it so much easier to absorb the serum,” Dr Fiske says.
Some of the skin care serums contain essential oils, which are substances that are extracted from different plants.
For example, rosemary and clover oil are used to moisturise the skin of the face, while aloe extract can be used to help control the appearance of redness.
However some serums don’t contain essential oil.
“Essential oils are actually ingredients in skin care that are not actually extracted from a plant,” Dr Liddell says.
She explains that they are often extracted from some animals, such as pigs.