Facial serums: what they are and why you need them!

 In Skincare

This blog takes the “cleanse, tone, moisturise” mantra to a more advanced level, and introduces serums to your skincare routine!

A serum is a highly concentrated product (aka your powerhouse!), a bit like a supercharged moisturiser, and they are usually found in either an oil or gel-like formula, but can also be found in a lotion-like formula too. They generally contain ingredients such as antioxidants, vitamins, peptides and skin brighteners 💡✨

There are such a huge number of serums available on the market (some of which are gimmicky, so be careful!), but they are usually designed to treat a specific skin concern or problem, and because of this, EVERY skin will benefit from a serum!

Got a wrinkle you want to smooth out? 〰

There’s a serum for that.

Noticing a bit of flushing on your cheeks that won’t go away? 😳

There’s a serum for that too.

And, want to treat those brown marks appearing on your skin? ☀️

Hey, you’ve got it – there’s a serum for that job too.

The actives within serums will vary depending on what you are wanting to treat. You’ll often see Retinol (Vitamin A) in serums, which helps to tackle a wide range of skin concerns from lines, pigmentation and scarring. Another very popular (and crucial!) one is Vitamin C, which helps to brighten skin, reduce redness and brown pigmentation markings. Hyaluronic acid is another popular one, which is great for anti-ageing, plumping and hydrating the skin.

Many serums also contain a few actives blended within them, to help treat a variety of skin concerns that are often seen together, all in one bottle.


Serums are different to moisturisers, as their formulation is completely different. Serums contain more potent ingredients in a consistency more easily absorbed by your skin (usually a smaller molecule size). This means that whereas moisturisers will typically sit on the surface of the skin because of their larger molecule size, serums penetrate a bit further into the skin to help in repairing any damage there.

They both serve different purposes – your potent serum penetrates deeper into the skin to do its job, whereas a moisturiser will sit on the surface and bind moisture to the upper layers. Because of this, serums must be applied BEFORE your moisturiser, as they do 2 very different jobs, and work in synergy with each other. If you apply the other way around, those actives will not do their job and instead sit there, twiddling their serumy thumbs until they either oxidise and become useless, or are washed off.


Serums can be used morning and night (depending on what they are), and can be layered with each other if you’re using more than one, to give the best absorption of all ingredients. Much like moisturisers, they are best applied when the skin is slightly damp (no need to dry your skin off after cleansing!).

They will not contain SPF within them, so you MUST wear a separate UV protector, which is always recommended anyway (don’t rely on the ratings of your makeup and moisturiser).


As I said earlier, there are so so many serums out there, that it can be a minefield when you don’t know what you’re looking for. I’ve included just a few examples here of serums that I stock and have seen AMAZING results since I have worked with them. They are by no means an exhaustive list but I’ve included some real champions! 🏆

Environ AVST Moisturisers – even though the word moisturiser is in there, don’t be fooled! This Vitamin A, C and E powerhouse product is very punchy and with the speed it is absorbed into the skin, this is definitely no ordinary “moisturiser”, and instead I very much consider this a serum!

AlumierMD Calm-R – this is my go-to for any form of irritation or redness within the skin. It’s packed with antioxidants and soothing and healing ingredients such as sea whip and hinokitiol. This product sorted my eczema right out 🙌🏻😇

AlumierMD Ever Active C&E & Peptide – the name gives away a lot here, but this product is the GO-TO for Vitamin C, which is essential for redness, scarring, ageing, brightening and more! Vitamin E is added in to make Vitamin C work harder, and the Matrixyl Synthe 6 is in there to strengthen and firm your skin.

As ever, I hope you’ve found this useful!

If you have, I’d really appreciate you leaving me a comment below, and please feel free to share this with anyone you know would benefit from reading this!

If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a message – I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Helen x

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