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Aging Well
Beauty & Style
Skin

Everything You Need to Know About Facial Serums

When trying to put together the perfect anti-aging skin care, you may have come across products known as facial serums. Many people assume that anti-aging serums are the same as moisturizing creams, and that they can be used interchangeably. This simply isn’t true; in fact, facial serums are often intended to work with your moisturizer, not in place of it. Although moisturizers are an important step in your anti-aging skin care routine, there are other benefits of facial serums that a basic moisturizer just can’t provide on its own.

The Purpose of Facial Serums

The main purpose of facial serums are to combat specific skin concerns, so each one is formulated with the perfect combination of ingredients to target and treat a particular problem. Anti-aging serums, for instance, are formulated with ingredients specifically to improve visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, thinning skin, and age spots.

Facial serums are intended to enhance your anti-aging skin care routine, not complete it—in other words they’re not a one-stop-shop. Although anti-aging serums may provide some hydrating effects depending on the specific type, their main purpose is not to moisturize and they won’t be able to provide you with enough of the hydration that aging skin needs on a daily purpose. This is why, in order to really reap the benefits of facial serums, most skin care experts will recommend that you include both a serum and a moisturizer in your anti-aging skin care routine.

If you’re still iffy about the need for both an anti-aging face serum and moisturizer, keep reading to learn about more significant differences between the two products.

Anti-Aging Face Serum vs. Moisturizer

Facial serums are moisturizing agents, but unlike moisturizers, they do not contain thickening ingredients—this is one of the greatest benefits of facial serums. As a result, they often have a thinner, more lightweight, gel-like consistency than a cream. They’re also made up of smaller molecules than cream or lotion moisturizers, which is another one of the benefits of facial serums because they’re able to penetrate the skinner deeper, faster, and more effectively.

Another key difference between an anti-aging face serum and a traditional moisturizer is the ingredients. Because they leave out the heavy thickening agents, facial serums usually contain higher concentrations of the active ingredients; this is why anti-aging serums are usually priced higher than moisturizers. But don’t let the price tag scare you, because while you may be paying more for anti-aging serums, but you’re essentially getting more bang for your buck. (As in more of the skin-saving ingredients you actually want.) Plus, because of its higher potency, you only need to use a few drops of your anti-aging face serum each time, so even if the bottle looks smaller, it goes a long way and will last you longer than you think.

Facial Serums: Types and Benefits

As we’ve already mentioned, there are four key benefits of facial serums: targeted skin care for specific concerns, no extra thickening ingredients, smaller molecules for better skin absorption, and a higher ratio of active ingredients for more visible results. That being said, there are still many different types of facial serums to choose from, so how do you know which one to go with?

The benefits of facial serums can vary depending on what skin care concern they’re designed to target, so start by narrowing down what exactly you want the serum to achieve. According to renowned dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad, the key to finding the right anti-aging face serum is looking at the active ingredients in it to ensure that they address your specific skin concerns.

For instance, if your biggest anti-aging skin care concern is to minimize the look of wrinkles, using a serum that contains Argireline® could be beneficial—Argireline® has been shown to help reduce the appearance of muscle contractions in the face that lead to the increased visibility of wrinkles. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology found that applying Argireline® twice a day for four weeks had a significantly positive anti-wrinkle effect.

You also want to look for facial serums that have some sort of moisturizing ingredient, such as the compound glycerin. Because it’s a humectant, it attracts, retains, and seals moisture into the skin. This can help with maintaining the water balance in your skin, thereby minimizing dryness and irritation.

Another way to really take advantage of the benefits of facial serums is to keep your skin type in mind. If you have very sensitive skin, make sure your serum is gentle and not too acidic. (Patch tests are always recommended, no matter what your skin type is.) Your safest bet is to pick a serum that’s safe for all skin types—that means it shouldn’t contain any aggravating ingredients, such as parabens or dyes.

How to Apply Facial Serums

Once you find the right facial serum, the next step is to make sure you’re incorporating it properly into your anti-aging skin care routine. Here a few tips to keep in mind:

• Most importantly, make sure you’re using your anti-aging face serum on a daily basis.

• Facial serums should be applied after you cleanse your skin and apply your toner, but before applying your moisturizer.

• Applying the serum while your skin is still a bit damp (even from the toner) will help you get maximum absorption and the active ingredients will be able to penetrate even deeper into the skin.

• Wait until the serum has fully absorbed before applying your moisturizer.

Agein™ Concentrate Serum

It can be tricky to find one anti-aging face serum that encompasses all of these qualities—that is, until you try Agein™ Concentrate Serum. The unique formula not only includes Argireline® and glycerin, but it also contains the peptide complex Matrixyl™ Synthe ‘6, which works like a delivery system for your skin—the Matrixyl™ Synthe ‘6 helps to carry the active ingredients, namely the Argireline®, from the surface of the skin to the deeper layers.

There’s still more you need to know. Agein™ Concentrate Serum also contains a fourth anti-wrinkle ingredient, Alpine rose stem cell extract. The Alpine rose plant is known for thriving in the harsh climate of the Swiss Alps, thanks to its extremely resilient stem cells. Researchers have discovered that Alpine rose stem cells had the same effect on human skin—the stem cells’ extract can not only improve the visible appearance of skin, but also protects your skin from UV rays and other climate-related stressors. In fact, one study showed that using the active ingredient for only two weeks reduced the visibility of wirnkles by 45%, improved participants’ complexion by 54%, and reduced water loss by 39%. Click here to learn more about how Agein™ Concentrate Serum can help you look (and feel) years younger!

This article originally appeared on Agein.com.