We make a case for face serums—why these beauty bottles are necessary to amp up your skincare routine

Serums—they’ve been around for years, but sort of pushed aside for the usual set of beauty products we’ve grown to love and, more importantly, understand.

This year, though, the appreciation for these potent bottles have reached its peak. 2017 is the year of the serums, thanks in part to the demand for more skincare products that target specific concerns: acne, dry and tired skin, and dark spots, to name a few.

But what is a serum, really? It’s a skincare product applied to the skin after cleansing or washing your face but before moisturizing. Serums were made with the intention to deliver powerful ingredients directly into the skin, and they’re up to the task. Because serums have smaller molecules, they can deeply penetrate the skin and supply it with high and concentrated doses of active ingredients needed to address a particular skin concern.

Serum FAQs

1. Can I use this as a moisturizer?

Serums aren’t moisturizers. Although one of its main ingredient (hyaluronic acid, for example) helps retain skin moisture, serums can’t replace your traditional face lotions and creams.

2. Are face oils considered serums as well?

Traditional serums are water-based. But there are oil-based serums, too. Use whatever will suit your skin best. Tip: Water-based serums go under your cream or moisturizer, while oil-based ones go on top.

3. How’s their shelf-life?

Some ingredients found in serums can deteriorate and lose efficacy once they come in contact with air. However, scientists have made tweaks on this so they can last longer. Just remember to store them in a cool, dry place and they’ll be good for six months to a year.

4. How often should I use my serums?

Best rule of thumb is to use it once a day. Never pile it on, though. Because serums contain super powerful ingredients, they may irritate sensitive skin. In this case, less is more.

5. Which serums should I try out?

Here’s five:

Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution, Kiehl’s

Reduces the appearance of dark spots and skin discolorations.

Turnaround™ Revitalizing Serum, Clinique

Optimizes cell renewal for energized, velvety, and smooth skin.

Powerful Lifting Concentrate, Origins

Instantly gives the skin a tightened feel and radiant look.

White Seed Brightening Serum, The Face Shop

Brightens and clears the skin.

Vitamin C Skin Boost Instant Smoother, The Body Shop

Creates a more youthful glow and smoothens the skin.

Skin Fortifier No. 93 – Strength & Recovery Tonic, Bobbi Brown

Rebuilds and strengthens the skin’s barrier of defense against moisture loss and external aggressors.

*Clinique, Bobbi Brown, and Kiehl’s are available at SM Aura Premier.

The Face Shop, The Body Shop, and Origins are available at SM Megamall.

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