Serums: Your Skin’s Refresher

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Beauty trends come and go in waves for various periods of time, however the one standing the test of time is having the proper skin products for your personalized skincare routine. Routines are tailored to each individual as every person requires a unique group of products to aid in the process of combatting one’s skin concerns.

Routines for both men and women can factor in numerous steps from a cleanser to the moisturizer you put on top. In years before, many routines were A-OK with just two steps, but today more products are being used in order to maintain the skin’s balance.

One of the key components found in most recommended skincare routines is the usage of serums. With the lightweight and easy to layer product, serums can be used day and night following the cleansing of the skin and before the usage of a moisturizer, sunscreen and make-up.

“A serum is usually a liquid or gel containing high concentrations of skin actives, which are able to penetrate deeper than other topicals [like moisturizers] with content occlusives that prevent deeper penetration,” Dr. Marnie Nussbaum, a board-certified dermatologist, said to

Serums can be used for all skin types as the wide variety of products can be suitable for all as the beneficial properties of each are shown to aid in a skincare concern one way or another.

Before jumping in, recognize your skin’s concerns. Is your skin dry? Are you trying to maintain your current skin condition? Do you have acne-prone skin? Want a dewy look? These are questions to ask and evaluate prior to unlocking the world of serums.

VALLEY is here to breakdown serums used for many different skin types and how to incorporate them in your skincare routine.

Dry/Dehydrated Skin — Combination

When your skin is dry, it begins to crave the sense of hydration and a need for oils. Many “hydrating” serums contain hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid not only serves as a way to retain water and moisture in your skin but can also contain other health benefits.

Often times, serums contain either hyaluronic acid on it own or combine it with another ingredient to further promote the hydration of skin. Commonly seen with hyaluronic acid is vitamin B5 which promotes long term hydration.

Sometimes a combination of antioxidants is just what the skin needs to feel hydrated and refreshed. These antioxidants can come from a variety of sources fueled to lock in and give the skin a sense of hydration.

These products are known to help those with sensitive skin as it is fragrant free, proven hydration and dermatologist tested.

The Ordinary‘s take on the dynamic duo of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 is one of the cheapest options on the market. This serum not only replenishes moisture but also builds support for the skin’s barriers

Glossier’s Super Bounce Serum is a cruelty free serum focused on providing instant hydration to the skin as well as overall smoothness of the appearance.

Not only does La Roche-Posay‘s serum serve as a form of hydration for the skin but aids in elasticity of the skin as well as the appearance of fine lines. This serum unlike others is formulated with madecassoside. Madecassoside is known for its smoothing properties as it combats redness and scaling.

Drunk Elephant, has created a unique formula to combat dehydration throughout the entire day all while providing a youthful glow as the properties found in the ingredients aid in reducing the appearance of fine lines.

First Aid Beauty’s gel textured serum is packed with antioxidants stemming from aloe. Not only does the consumer reap the benefits of aloe but it also has a combination of ingredients including oatmeal and hyaluronic acid.

Oily — Combination

For oily skin, niacinamide is an ingredient one should look for in their serum. Also known as nicotinamid, this ingredient is a form of vitamin B3. It’s properties are used especially for oily and acne prone skin but can be beneficial for almost all individuals.

Niacinamide, according to Healthline, can build up your skin’s protein such as keratin, minimize redness and pore appearance, regulate quantities of oil and treats hyperpigmentation and acne.

Another staple in most products targeted for oily and acne prone skin is salicylic acid. This acid is a BHA (beta-hydroxy acid) which penetrates deep into the skin unclogging pores and preventing further breakouts.

Super Pure by Glossier is an oil free combination of niacinamide and zinc to create a smooth texture by reducing pores, improves clarity and balances/nourishes the skin without irritating it.

10% Niacinamide Booster Serum by Paula’s Choice minimizes pores while reducing redness and brightening the skin at the same time through the niacinamide and antioxidants in its formula. This booster can be added to serums and moisturizers or used alone.

BareMinerals has created a serum formulated with salicylic acid and zinc along with other extracts to combat acne and smoothen the skin’s texture. Extracts include licorice root and meadowsweet which soothes the skin and promotes the skin’s defense against bacteria.

Caudalie’s Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum, reduces the appearance of pores, refines texture and tightens pores all while providing a glow in their salicylic acid, grape seed polyphenols and organic essential oil formula. Without any added/synthetic fragrance, this product balances out the reduction of oils and pores while providing the skin with needed hydration.

Clinique‘s fragrance free, no oil serum is targeted to combat breakouts, unclog pores and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In a formula composed of salicylic acid, whey protein, acetyl glucosamine and clary sage extract.


Already combatted your skin’s concerns? The serums mentioned below can be continuously used to maintain your skin’s balance. At times, many want to take their clear skin a step further by adding a radiating glow to the skin or boosting collagen production.

Vitamin C serums are extremely popular as they are suitable for everyone regardless of age and skin type. Vitamin C promotes collagen production, protects skin cells, evens skin tone promoting an overall glow.

Bright Side Up is a jelly serum packed with numerous vitamins including vitamin C to act as the main ingredient to boost radiance. Vitamin C alongside vitamins E and B5 replenish the skins moisture levels to nourish as well as reduce the dull appearance of the skin.

PCA Skin’s C-Quench is an antioxidant serum focused on balancing skin tone and hydrating. Not only does it act as a “brightener” it also protects the skin from environmental pollutants. This formula combines vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, lilac leaf cell culture extract and glutathione.

Nordic-c Glow Boost Essence Serum is packed with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and pure arctic spring water. This formula provides the user with radiant skin as brightens and smoothens the skin giving it a plumper healthier look.

It’s important to realize what type of skin you have and research reviews for your specific type. If you have any questions, seek the guidance of a dermatologist to know how your skin would react to certain products.



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