Anyone can use a product as directed. But reading and understanding ingredients is vital to using them intelligently.
I learned this lesson when I was sixteen when I applied Eucerin moisturizer as an eye cream and received lacerations of the eyeballs! Undaunted by my experiment, I vowed to learn about skincare ingredients. Albeit something in the product was irritating, but the delicate skin around the eyes was noticeably smoother!
For the last six weeks I’ve been playing with ingredients, breaking down the rules of usage to find a road less traveled to younger skin. In the future I will remember this time of experimentation as The Summer of the Serum as I’ve been working with layering serums and using them alone without any creams. I am convinced the difference is something all skin types should look at.
Why do serums stand alone and above
moisturizers or creme based anti-agers?
Serums contain the undiluted active ingredient suspended in a lightweight vehicle ingredient, making absorption quick and extremely effective. Serums are the Lamborghini’s of the skin care world.
HOW: Serums are applied in layers, the decision of which goes where, when and how determined by it’s purpose and ingredients. They are sandwiched after cleansers, scrubs, toners and before creams, moisturizers and sunscreen.
WHAT: Active ingredients may include but not be limited to alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic or lactic acid, retinols, TCA, salicylic acid, resorcinol, bleaching agents, vitamins, anti-oxidants, peptides, hyaluronic acid, and stem cells.
WHEN: Serums can be applied morning or evening.
WHERE: Generally, serums can be applied from the forehead through the decollete. Exceptions would be tretenoin, glycolic acid with a Ph over 8% and trichlorocetic acid. When in doubt, practice caution around the eyes, throat and decollete. As my mother used to say concerning accessorizing, “When in doubt, do without.”
WHY: Serums are lightweight products carrying heavyweight ingredients. These are the products upon which the at home anti-aging protocol is built.
(First published 05/09/11)