More and more anti-oxidant skin serums are appearing on a pharmacist’s shelves – yet another skincare innovation to tempt us and our pockets. What do they do? Are they worth it? Are some better than others, and how do they work?
Our top Aesthetic Nurse and resident Canadian, Vanessa Charest, explains all.
What is a serum?
A good serum is packed with vitamins, the most important of which is Vitamin C – although others, notably Vitamin E, are also helpful to the skin.
How do I know if my chosen product is any good?
There’s no substitute for the old adage that you get what you pay for, but a useful ‘cheat’ is to look for the ingredient ‘L-ascorbic acid’ rather than just ‘Vitamin C’ on its own.
When should I apply my serum?
You serum should be applied BEFORE your moisturiser so the active ingredients go directly on to the skin.
How does it work?
Imagine cutting an apple in half. In the spirit of helpfulness, here’s one we made earlier.
After a short period of time, the flesh of the apple will start to go brown. This is oxidisation. Squeeze a lemon over the flesh, however, (lemon juice is full of Vitamin C) and the flesh of the apple will stay white. This is the Vitamin C working, preventing the apple from oxidising, and it does exactly the same for your skin. This means that, as well as daily protection, a decent serum will protect against brown spots and premature ageing.
Day -v- night?
Daytime application doesn’t do any harm, but many of a serum’s active ingredients will evaporate when exposed to daylight, reducing their effectiveness. There is now a significant school of thought which recommends night time application, giving the serum a chance to penetrate deeply without risk of evaporation, giving it time to work its magic.