Here’s where the formulations get to work. “Serums are light, thin skin care products filled with active ingredients,” board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D., once told us about serums. “They tend to have smaller molecules, which allow the ingredients to go deeper into the skin.”
Essentially, serums are your targeted step. This is where you can address your most prominent skin care concerns with more sophistication. For example, those with mature skin likely want a serum that will help firm and tone the skin. While there are many great ingredients that can aid in those goals, two of the most studied actives are retinol and vitamin C. (This is why they are often recommended for “anti-aging” skin care routines.)
For the day, use a vitamin C serum, which can help support collagen production, lighten dark spots, improve overall tone, and fight free radicals. At night, opt for a retinol serum, which can increase cell turnover, promote collagen production, reduce pigmentation, target blemishes, and improve firmness.
Those two ingredients not your speed? Don’t worry, there are many more you can count on. Peptides can help improve hydration and firmness, niacinamide can soothe reactive skin, and AHAs (like glycolic and lactic acid) can even texture.