Serums are the not so secret powerful weapons that should be added to every skincare routine – but it is always questioned into why we need it and surely it’s the same as a moisturiser. No! Absolutely not. Serums and moisturisers are like peanut and jelly, bread and butter, chocolate and wine, ok, I think you get the idea. They are completely two different things yet they go so well together. Think of it this way, metaphorically, serum is the healing cream and the moisturiser is the bandage you use to keep it protected. Serum helps your skin worries whereas moisturiser keeps your skin protected and, well, moisturised.
A while ago I recently received a sample size of the BareMinerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion Serum (£30.60, 30ml, also available in bigger sizes), in a beauty box and after getting round to testing this, all I can say is wow! The lightweight liquid, a watery gel like look and feel, soaks up easily and drys within seconds. The herb and slightly lemon smell serum can be on the expensive side if you decide to go for the 50ml (around £40), but the results I’ve seen would definitely be worth it. Use it in the evening as a little skin booster.
My complexion seems to have a slight wake up call and gets back to its full of life look, no dullness or sagging, especially around the eyes. My skin looks a lot brighter and it feels like it’s almost new. I use this serum when it’s looking a little boring, it’s slightly dehydrated or if I want to wake up my skin in the mornings on a busy planned day.
When it comes to serums, you want something that is going to help treat your concerns so it’s important to know what ingredients are in it and what they can do for your complexion. Looking at the first three main ingredients, if you skip past aqua (water), then you come across propanediol, niacinamide (vitamin B3) and ascorbyl glucoside (Vitamin C), three very important ingredients that your skin benefits from in a big way. The reason I picked these was because they show up first and the way it works is that ingredients are shown in order of percentage (unless you get a bunch that are under 0.1g, these can be in any random order), so I knew exactly what I was putting on my skin.
Just a little break down, propanediol is an ingredient that is used purely to enhance the absorption of the other ingredients but it does have hydrating properties to give your complexion a smooth and dewy finish, a winner in my book! The second ingredient I wanted to focus on was niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid – a skin-restoring ingredient that focuses on ageing. It helps improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, dullness and weakened skin surface. At the age of 26, I’m definitely ready for this! My laughter lines are more present and my skin doesn’t bounce back as quickly as it did. If I have a blemish, the redness stays there for weeks! My pigmentation, always there (I make sure my skincare includes vitamin C for this) and if I’ve had a busy day or a late night, you can definitely tell. But this serums seems to help these problems.
The last ingredient, ascorbyl glucoside (Vitamin C combined with glucose), works well with other antioxidant ingredients, such as niacinamide, to make your complexion look smoother, brighter and younger. The two ingredients combined also helps improve uneven skin tone and spots. So, are there cheaper alternatives?
Looking at niacinamide alone, there are loads of cheaper alternatives and ones that don’t just focus on ageing skin – but that’s a bonus right? Of course! Searching round I came across two very good alternatives that not only give you the benefits of niacinamide but they can also be a dupe of the BareMinerals serum. The first, Hylamide Pore Control Daily Visible Oil + Pore Control Serum (£23, 30ml), helps remove shine and sebum and restores your skins natural balance, great if you have combination/oily skin and are prone to breakouts. With added ingredients this also helps reduce pore size without drying it out. The second, It’s Skin Power 10 Formula VB Effector (£13, 30ml), another hydrating and oil balancer for the skin for combination/oily skin prone to breakouts. This helps achieve a smooth and clearer complexion.
Looking for something that helps improve uneven skin tone, pigmentation and give your complexion a radiance boost? The La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Serum (currently £22.13, 30ml), designed for pigmentation to give your skin an intense boost of hydration resulting in clear skin.