What is a Serum?

Serums are the best and often the most powerful vehicle to introduce into a skin due to its lightweight and potent nature. These different serums are often loaded with nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants which assist the skin in various ways, dependent on the client’s skin needs. A serum is often a thin, heavily packed liquid with all the necessary ingredients to penetrate the skin and provide results that would rejuvenate the skin, combat dehydration and often times plump the skin. This water-based formulation is packed with ingredients that are customizable for individual clients with complex skin issues and concerns.

Therapists often will use serums during a face and body treatment as well as recommend clients to purchase these serums so the effect and benefit of the ingredients can carry on being beneficial weeks after client has a professional treatment. 

How does it Work?

There are different types of serums which are formulated for almost all skin types and conditions. Most of the serums have several if not multiple functions and can be designed to treat not only one condition but various conditions. Serums can be customizable and can be used for different skin types, different age groups, males, skin conditions for various reasons. Suitable for multiple functions associated with aging, dehydration, (hyper/hypo) pigmentation and acne prone skin conditions. The serums are often used as booster to aid with correcting skins imperfections and as preventative measure

Types of Ingredients found in serums:

Selection of serum is dependent on the client’s skin concerns from glowing skin, reenergizing skin, rejuvenation etc. offine lines and wrinkles. The ingredients stated below will contain specific vitamins and essential cosmeceuticals that will penetrate via the epidermis and usually nanotechnology is used to assist with deeper penetration of the ingredient which changes skin on a cellular level.

  • Hyaluronic acid- excellent booster and moisturing properties
  • Humectant like glycerine to add moisture in the skin
  • Vitamin E – anti oxidant
  • Niacinamide- treats dull and sallow conditions
  • Vitamin C- skin brightener and excellent exfoliant
  • Retinol- always beneficial for acne prone skin types and assists in resurfacing skin
  • Salicylic acid- which helps unclogs acne prone skins, along with retinol.

 Application of Serums

The only difference between serums and a cream, moisturizing cream formulation have bigger molecules like mineral oils, thickening agents and have to have a lubricating effect on the skin whether a lotion or cream also this is carefully prepared to address each skin type and condition effectively. While serum tends to not have the above ingredients, hence it needs to be applied on a clean skin after cleansing and before moisturiser.


The serum should not be rubbed into the skin like a cream rather with light patting motion to assist the products to penetrate deeper.  Serums are fantastic add -on which are used in advanced treatments like dermaplaning and Microneedling.


Final Thoughts

Due to the active ingredients, serums tend to be highly priced. A small amount is needed on a daily basis. Utilising serums in your practice assist with up selling treatments, provides necessary nutrition for the skin and seal off treatment.


Treating and maintaining proper skin regime is vital as you only have one skin. It is imperative to take a keen interest in the investing in proper skin care and utilising these formulations which definitely correct, renew and provide healthy benefits to your skin.


Written by: N. Makhanya


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