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What does serum for the face actually do?

(29 Posts)
Paintbox Mon 17-Apr-17 20:19:04

I'm using some as part of the protect and perfect range but I can't get to the bottom of what it's really for. Is it just another moisturiser?

Gah81 Mon 17-Apr-17 21:13:55

A serum, as far as I recall, is designed to target specific skincare concerns eg dehydration, fine lines, red marks. It is supposed to penetrate the skin more effectively. A moisturiser should go on to of the serum and is there to add moisture.

Gah81 Mon 17-Apr-17 21:14:22

Sali Hughes is excellent on serum vs moisturiser btw 😊

JaxingJump Mon 17-Apr-17 21:23:07


Paintbox Mon 17-Apr-17 21:46:53

THAnks gah. I did wonder about that jax!

Goldfishjane Mon 17-Apr-17 21:49:24

In my view, nothing, save your money if you feel it's making no difference.

Floisme Tue 18-Apr-17 11:32:45

I think the marketing language tells you everything you need to know:

Lots of hype about 'concentrated ingredients' ..... But what do these ingredients actually do?

Or the molecules are small so they penetrate the skin better ... Yes but what do they do when they get there?

They use 'target' an awful lot. Good word. Yesterday I 'targeted' cleaning the oven - it's still a mess today.

If it's so wonderful why are all the adverts so coy about it?

BusterGonad Tue 18-Apr-17 11:43:32

I do like a serum but I do agree it's just a way of parting you with your cash for very little product. I've ran out of my usual moisturizer and am using my Astral up, skin looks good and costs me £2. No false promises and hopes of looking like a air brushed celebrity either!

Ollivander84 Tue 18-Apr-17 12:04:36

Depends what's in it and what percentage of active ingredients it has
Generally you're best buying a serum with the active so hyaluronic acid hydrates, retinol is anti ageing, zinc can help acne

JohnCheese Tue 18-Apr-17 12:12:43

It's a sophisticated vehicle for delivering concentrated products to the skin for various particular skin concerns. wink
You name it, it's a concern.

OMG i am lost in my current career. I am a genius at this sort of non-writing!!

I've no real idea what they do. I hear stuff about peptides, Matrixyl, licorice root extract and shit but afaik none of these have been proven to do anything. (I stand to be corrected). Well hyaluronic acid will moisturize I suppose, but isn't that what a moisturizer is for. We all hope, of course, that here is some magic, but the reality is to date, there is no magic. I am a skeptic and am phenomenally in awe of the genius (all about the genius today) that is the cosmetic industry. With their wildly couched promises and nothing. Nigh on nothing. And such a MASSIVE industry. Huge.

Still think they should employ me (at an inflated salary to match their inflated claims) to write their blurb.wink

Gallavich Tue 18-Apr-17 12:13:00

I use serum with hyaluronic acid and retinol for spots. It really really helps. I went from having acne spots all over my chin for 2 years to almost none in 3 months.

squoosh Tue 18-Apr-17 12:18:29

I use a concentrated Vit C serum to give my skin a glow. But it isn't moisturising in the slightest so I need to slap some moisturiser on afterwards.

squoosh Tue 18-Apr-17 12:19:01

Oh yes and retinol on alternate nights

Ollivander84 Tue 18-Apr-17 12:21:32

Retinol and SPF are they only true proven anti ageing. I've just been using a stronger retinol and my god, the change in my skin is crazy

JohnCheese Tue 18-Apr-17 12:33:14

In fairness, a properly made Vit serum can help. As can retinol - but you don't need a serum for retinol. But retinol so SO weak, and vaies in potency by the time it reaches your skin, why not use the real McCoy, Retin A.

Daily SPF daily SPF daily SPF
No smoking
Good diet
And if you're weird able to give up/hugely limit all sugars, including alcohol and fruits, that helps too.

JohnCheese Tue 18-Apr-17 12:33:56

Vit C serum

Floisme Tue 18-Apr-17 12:37:37

<Bows before the marketing genius of JohnCheese> I wish I could employ you but sadly I have no work to offer you, unless you'd like to clean my oven?

In fact, staying with ovens: my oven cleaner (still untouched) clearly states that it will 'remove stains and grease.' That's 'remove', not target or penetrate; no waffle either about ingredients or molecules.

All I ask is for a serum (and I'm talking about the so called 'anti ageing' ones) to tell me in plain language what difference those whizzy molecules will make to my face. If they choose not to say, then I'm going to assume the answer is fuck all.

JohnCheese Tue 18-Apr-17 17:02:40

grin Flo!!
Re the oven: call the oven clean man. Now he's a genius wink

AFAIK most 'active' ingredients are either in too small a quantity to make much difference or too big a (whizzy) molecule to penetrate the skin. Hence they're 'cosmetic', otherwise they'd be pharmaceuticals and have to go through a shedload of hoops to be sold.

The acids are good for exfoliation and glycolic can help stimulate a bit of collagen production. A bit. Again, you don't necessarily need a serum for them.

Basically, cosmetic companies sell hope in a jar. Elegantly formulated, of coursewink, with the latest hi-tech ingredients.

I'll have 100mls of your finest hope please. That'll be £100. However, we have a premium hope, would you like that? It's only double the money for half the amount. The finest triple-milled hope. <JohnCheese on a hobby horse>

BusterGonad Tue 18-Apr-17 18:01:30

I kind of sit on the fence with the anti aging debate. My skin loves anything that quenches it's thirst, and some anti aging products do help my skin but the only thing that truly works is moisture for me. I did have Estée Lauder eye cream/serum advanced night repair and I repurchased a few times and I felt like it worked but now I focus on creams that won't make my skin flare up and that give my skin a huge moisture hit.

Paintbox Tue 18-Apr-17 20:37:42

Perhaps they do nothing then! I must admit I haven't noticed any difference in my skin since using. I seem to remember that protect and perfect serum was a wonder product when it first came out but maybe all hype and no sustabce. Thanks for the opinions!

Paintbox Tue 18-Apr-17 20:38:41

Substance obvs! And yes, giving up sugar is probably the way forward but I have no self control at the moment sadly

RubyWoooooooo Tue 18-Apr-17 20:39:44

Can someone recommend a vitamin c serum please?

Arealhumanbeing Tue 18-Apr-17 20:45:31

Check out Indeed Labs at Boots.

I use Retinol Reface or Snoxin at night under night cream and a drop of facial oil.

For daytime any serum containing hyalaronic acid under day cream and a high spf.

MarjorySunshineDust Tue 18-Apr-17 20:53:04

The Ordinary Vit C is good. Horrible texture but I think it does give my skin a glow. And it's cheap!

BunnyDog Tue 18-Apr-17 21:04:02

The only thing that truly improves your skin right now is reducing processing food, sugar and refined flour prodcuts. You will see a major difference in a week. If you are still eating that in any quantity -like I have been eating easter eggs- and using a serum and expecting it to do any good is like using a bucket to empty a swimming

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