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Face Serum 101: What is a Face Serum and What Serum Should I Use?

Discover what a face serum is and how to use a face serum in your skincare routine. Explore our best face serums for anti-aging, hydration and brightening.

Anti-Aging Face Serums and Face Serums with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C

Take a good look in the mirror. If your skin’s appearance has room for improvement, consider this: Do you need a face serum? Face serums are a key step of any solid skincare routine, because face serums are known to provide skin’s surface with a concentrated amount of efficacious ingredients, like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. And even if you already use a vitamin C serum or hyaluronic acid serum, you might not necessarily know how it’s making your skin visibly brighter and more even in tone. Here’s what you should know about face serums.

What is a face serum?

A face serum is a skincare product applied before your moisturizer. Face serums are designed to deliver key ingredients, which are formulated into a product that works to provide a variety of benefits, depending on the type of face serum you use.

How to use a face serum:

How we recommend you use our face serums.

How often you should use a face serum? Do I need a face serum daily?

Apply our face serums at least once a day. You can also use certain face serums morning and night depending on their ingredient listings.

When should you use a face serum?

Use one of our face serums after using cleanser and toner, but before moisturizer.

Where should you apply face serums?

Apply our face serum to your entire face and neck (since skin there needs moisture, too). Our Génifique Light Pearl Illuminating Eye Serum is designed to target the eye area and work as a lash serum, too. (Use it after cleansing!)

Is serum a cream or a moisturizer?

Serums are neither. Face serum can contain moisturizing ingredients, as is the case of serums with hyaluronic acid — but you should still layer a moisturizer over them to help nourish skin’s outermost layers.

Do face serums moisturize skin?

Face serums can provide moisturizing ingredients, but they shouldn’t be considered your primary moisturizer, especially if you have dry skin. However, if you have naturally oily skin, you could potentially use a hydrating face serum by itself.

How are face serums different from moisturizers?

Serums tend to be more lightweight and are generally absorbed more quickly by skin than moisturizers are.

Types of Face Serums by Lancôme

Some face serums may work well for one skin type versus another depending on the formula. For instance, some face serums contain oils, which may not be the best choice if you’re working with naturally oily skin. The key ingredients also matter. While vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, and Niacinamide are popular serum ingredients, you’ll also find a mix of other antioxidants and hydrators.

H2: Serum with Vitamin C:

At Lancôme, we are particularly fond of serums formulated with vitamin C. That’s because vitamin C, which also goes by l-ascorbic acid on ingredient lists, is known to be a skincare powerhouse. It’s a well-known antioxidant that helps defend skin’s surface from free radicals, which are spawned by environmental aggressors (sun exposure, pollution, the usual suspects). On top of that, our skincare serum with vitamin C is designed to visibly brighten skin and even skin tone appearance. Not surprisingly, a vitamin C serum is a good starting place for most skin types. You can find Vitamin C as Vitamin Cg in some of our top serums including Advanced Génifique Radiance Boosting Serum. Our Rénergie H.C.F Triple Serum contains C+Niacinamide a vitamin c derivative, combined with Niacinamide to create C+Niacinamide.

Hyaluronic Acid Serums:

Hyaluronic acid serums are ideal if your skin is dry. That’s because hyaluronic acid, which often goes by sodium hyaluronate on ingredient lists, is a molecule that can hold up 1000 times its weight in water. Let’s put it this way: It’s a moisture magnet. Face serums with hyaluronic acid are also a great option for addressing visible signs of aging, since a lack of moisture can increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You can find hyaluronic acid in Absolue Revitalizing Oléo-Serum, and also in Rénergie H.C.F Triple Serum.

Prebiotics & Skin Barrier Health Serums:

Our Advanced Génifique Radiance Boosting Serum is formulated with bifidus prebiotic (a 10% concentration) and is known to support a favorable environment for good bacteria that is present on the skin’s surface. Our Advanced Génifique Radiance Boosting Serum helps to accelerates the skin surface barrier recovery. A strong skin barrier helps to lock in hydration and defend against external aggressors including pollution, cold, and dry weather.

Skin Cell Renewal Serums:

Face serums which help to renew and revive skin can especially help with improving the look of skin for a skin that looks smoother and glowing skin effect. Absolue The Serum is a concentrated formula that helps accelerate epidermal cell renewal for skin that looks fresher, renewed and youthful look. Infused with an exclusive blend of Grand Rose Extracts, Vitamin E, Pro-Xylane, and a gentle Exfoliating Acid Complex, Absolue The Serum revitalizes skin with millions of new surface cells.

Anti-Aging Serums:

Anti-aging serums help improve the appearance of signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Our Rénergie H.C.F Triple Serum is formulated with a trio of active ingredients including Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C+Niacinamide, and Ferulic Acid to deliver optimal anti-aging benefits. This face serum is packaged in a chamber style packaging which breaks up all ingredients into three individual serums to ensure ingredients maintain ultimate potency. Our triple-dose serum to help improve volume loss, visibly reduce wrinkles & brighten dark spot appearance. This revolutionary anti-aging serum strikes the perfect balance between being highly efficacious while also providing a gentle and caring experience for the skin.

Eye Serums:

An eye serum can deliver visible benefits specifically for the eye contour area, and some formulas help visibly de-puff and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Our Absolue Revitalizing Eye Serum is formulated with grand rose extracts and is designed to visibly smooth wrinkles improve the appearance of skin around the eyes day after day. Some formulas, such as the Advanced Génefique Eye Light Pearl also double as a lash serum for lashes that feel supple and look silky.

Find a Face Serum with our Personalized Skincare Tool

If you’re looking to find the best serum for you based on your skin type on your concerns, try using our virtual skincare tool: E-Youth Finder to help digitally analyse your skin and provide you with personalized skincare recommendations.

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