Should we spend or should we save: serum

I love a serum. It is the non-negotiable in my skincare routine.

A serum is the most effective product you can use. When the skincare scientists are in the lab, they’re putting together a mix of ingredients that combine to do amazing things.

It’s so concentrated, is packed with active ingredients, is usually super lightweight and penetrates deep into the skin.

Ideally a serum is your corrector product - what you use to target and fix your number one skin concern. For me it’s pigmentation, followed closely by fine lines. Other skin concerns can be dehydration, redness or acne. A serum can treat more than one skin woe.

There are so many serums out there so you’ll find one to suit your needs. You might need to speak to a skin specialist, dermatologist or dermal clinician to get the best advice for you.

Generally speaking, if you struggle with pigmentation, something with Vitamin C is going to best suit you.

The best anti-ageing product out there is retinol but if you’re pregnant, planning on getting pregnant or breastfeeding, this is a no go for you.

For hydration, hyaluronic acid is by far the best hydrating ingredient I can recommend. It binds moisture to the skin.

If you suffer from acne, salicylic acid is usually a good fix.

A serum should be applied straight after cleansing, ideally when the skin is a little damp.

I’d use no more than two serums and make sure they both have different active ingredients. Doubling up on Vitamin C for example won’t necessarily make your pigmentation disappear faster..

After your serum, apply a moisturiser to lock everything in. In the morning you have to use a sunscreen. UV rays cause wrinkles and it’s always better to prevent them than treat them. I suggest at least an SPF30. You can read about the different types of sunscreen here - chemical vs physical - to find out which one is best for you. 

Serums are often more expensive because they are more concentrated. The best serums I’ve used are on the more expensive side but I just think they’re extreme value for money.

Dermaenergy hydrate and inflate. This one contains hyaluronic acid and was so moisturising. Use it morning and night. It’s $69.

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Claire Hill S8-28 assist serum. This is a natural alternative to Botox and I found it reduced the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and kept my skin hydrated. I used it with the anti-ageing moisturiser which is recommended. I used both morning and night. The serum is $88 and the moisturiser costs $118.


Ole Henriksen retin alt power serum. This is a natural alternative to retinol and I noticed the pigmentation on my cheeks has reduced and so have the fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes. I apply the serum in the morning and the sleeping cream at night - obviously. The serum is $78 and the night cream is $88.

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While I haven’t used a serum on the super cheap side, there’s no reason you can’t give it a go but please get some advice from an expert first. As long as you’re using a serum and it’s making your skin look better, that’s more important than how much it costs.

Debby HarringtonComment