Tired of dull skin? A face serum might help to hydrate your skin, and even make it plumper and dewier.
But what exactly is a serum? How does it work, and what benefits can you realistically expect from using one daily?
We asked expert dermatologist Dr Liz Dawes-Higgs for her take on face serums, and which ingredients to look out for when selecting yours.
The benefits of face serums
Dr Liz defines a serum as, “a lightweight, highly-concentrated product you apply to your skin that’s packed with active ingredients.” Your skin generally absorbs serums quickly, so they’re a great next step to follow your cleanser.
When it comes to specific benefits, Dr Liz says this depends on a serum’s ingredients. For example, if you want to focus on skin hydration, she recommends trying a product that includes hyaluronic acid.
“Hyaluronic acid is a natural compound in our skin that can hold 1,000 times its weight in water,” she explains. “So serums that contain hyaluronic acid may help your skin to look plumper and more dewy.”
Depending on what they contain, other serums may have benefits that include helping to:
- reduce redness
- increase firmness
- provide antioxidant protection
- reduce fine lines and other signs of ageing
- fight acne
In short: choosing the right serum for your personal skin care goals may be an important part of looking after your skin and elevating your skin care routine.
Serums may have different benefits such as hydration, firming skin, fighting acne or reducing fine lines
What other face serum ingredients are there?
In addition to hyaluronic acid, Dr Liz has a few other favourite ingredients to recommend.
Hemp seed oil
If the skin on your face is irritated or inflamed, you might find that a serum with hemp seed oil helps to soothe it. Dr Liz explains that hemp seed oil is rich in several nutrients that are good for your skin, including:
- omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
- vitamin B
- vitamin D
- a range of antioxidants
She adds that hemp seed oil may also help to keep your skin hydrated.
Speaking of antioxidants, Dr Liz continues, “our bodies produce reactive molecules called free radicals in response to everyday factors like sun exposure and pollutants.”
Because they’re so reactive, free radicals may cause damage to our skin cells, so dermatologists often use antioxidants to help protect against that damage.
Some of her personal picks for antioxidants to keep an eye out for include:
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
- green tea
- Co-enzyme Q10
A face serum may help to elevate your daily skincare routine.
So what's your best face serum option?
As we said earlier, the best serum for you depends on what your individual skin needs to look and feel its best. For us, our picks for the top contenders for ‘best face serum in Australia’ have to include…
Based on hemp seed oil, this ultra-lightweight clarifying face serum is Australian-made. Better yet, it’s powered by 100% natural ingredients and is both cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.
This radiance-boosting water-based serum combines alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)-rich papaya, mango and pineapple, which may help to exfoliate and repair the skin’s top layer.
An anti-aging serum that combines vitamin C and hyaluronic acid into one, working to brighten the appearance of skin tone and texture. Made with vitamin C rich Kakadu plum to freshen and brighten skin and retinol alternative bakuchiol to smooth and firm.
With its highly concentrated blend of natural essential oils, this lightweight face serum may help to hydrate and rejuvenate skin, as well as reduce redness, pore size and sun damage.
Dr Liz Dawes-Higgs is an award winning dermatologist with extensive experience in the world of medicine, business leadership and education. She is passionate about a range of topics including acne scarring, female genital dermatology and skin cancer management.
Reviewed by the healthylife Advisory Board December 2021.