Serums: A guide

Are you using a serum?

Surely you’ve seen these expensive vials wedged between the moisturizers and cleansers at beauty counters, but you’re not alone in struggling to understand what exactly they are – and whether you should be using one.

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“Serums are basically concentrated ingredients,” explains Martie Gidon, a Toronto-based dermatologist at Gidon Aesthetics & Medispa. “Antioxidants can be found in serum form but several other ingredients, like growth factors, hyaluronic acid, peptides and lightening ingredients including arbutin come in serum form.”

Gidon claims that the best time to start introducing serums into your facial routine is in your ‘20s – antioxidants, in particular, as they can help reverse sun damage and protect the skin against future damage.

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“Basically, anyone can use a serum, one specific for their skin condition, and often more than one serum can be used,” Gidon says. “The trick is to analyze an individual’s skin, determine which ingredients would be best, and know how to combine them.”

To do that, I chatted with Lindsay Barras, a Scientific Communications & Training Lead with SkinCeuticals, a brand leading the charge on serums.

She helped explain what each serum ingredient does so that you can decide what will work best for your own skin type.

Click through the gallery above to learn more and then let us know what you think by tweeting to @YahooStyleCA.