portrait of young woman applying serum on her face on blue background

Skin serums for an even, bright complexion

Skin serums are still a relatively new addition to the skincare world, so you’d be forgiven for not knowing exactly what they are.

What are serums?

Although they often contain moisturising ingredients, serums aren’t interchangeable with moisturiser. Instead, serums are a highly concentrated product full of active ingredients, which you should use after cleansing your face, but before applying moisturiser.

Serums are usually somewhere between gel and water in terms of texture, as they don’t rely on heavy creams and oils as fillers the way moisturisers do. Also, the molecules of a serum are very small, which helps your skin absorb them deeply. Think of it as an extra step in your usual routine, but one that can deliver potent skin-loving ingredients directly into your skin.

Unlike some faddy skincare trends, serums have the backing of dermatologists and skincare experts because of their effectiveness and ability to directly address different skincare needs.1

There are many benefits of adding a serum to your skincare regime. They can contain specific ingredients to address your skin’s particular needs- such as anti-ageing peptides if you’re worried about fine lines, or vitamin C for brightening a dull complexion. Also, because of their concentration, you don’t need to apply much serum to get a big benefit.

Our favourite serum ingredients

Vitamin C

Your skin is constantly exposed to free radicals from the environment (such as pollution). These free radicals cause the skin oxidative stress, which leads to inflammation, ageing and dullness. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, capable of staving off free radicals and reducing the oxidative stress in your skin, which leads to a more even, brighter skin tone.

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Vitamin E

Vitamin E has powerful moisturising and skin-protecting properties. A vitamin E serum will infuse your skin with a huge boost of moisture and will be more effective at hydrating dry skin than a moisturiser alone. Moisturisers tend to work by trapping moisture in the skin, but a vitamin E serum will actually restore moisture to the epidermal layers of your skin. Try a vitamin E serum if you have acne scars, as it might help reduce their appearance.

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 Snail gel

This one might sound a little strange, but snail gel is actually very effective in skincare and is increasingly being included in many products. Snail gel contains the active ingredient helix aspersa muller, which research is showing can be healing, soothing and anti-ageing.2 It’s thought to ease inflammation and redness and leave skin smoother. Clinical studies have even shown that it’s a good treatment for healing burns.3

Rose oil

Rose essential oil has been used for centuries in beauty and contains plenty of ingredients to calm stressed skin and add moisture. It’s very hydrating thanks to its high composition of fatty acids and due to its antioxidant properties, rose oil offers your skin high protection against inflammation and oxidative stress.4 Not only this, rose oil has a beautiful scent and inhaling it is proven to help soothe feelings of stress,5 which can adversely affect your skin.

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Argan oil

This beauty multi-tasker is a fragrant oil which comes from the nut of the argan tree. Organic argan oil is full of essential fatty acids, linoleic acids and antioxidants, as well as lots of vitamin E which explains its hydrating qualities. If you have oily skin, don’t be afraid of argan oil as it can actually help balance an oily complexion. When skin is irritated or damaged, such as from over-cleansing, it can produce too much oil. Argan oil can help fix this problem, as it helps to repair the skin’s natural protective barrier and help your skin to regain control of its oil production.

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Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before trying any remedies.


1. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3050617/
2. [Online] https://www.thedermreview.com/snail-cream/.
3. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19058081.
4. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18384191
5. [Online] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4270653/.

Skin Health