Choosing the right serum can be hard, and knowing what ingredients are best for your skin complaint is even harder! You will need a different formula depending on what you are trying to target, whether it be anti-aging, acne prone/blemishes, skin brightening & pigmentation.
Skin brightening & pigmentation:
As we age our skin loses its luster and our collagen production decreases, it can look dull and develop age spots or pigmentation from sun damage. The later is quite common in New Zealand as we have a higher UV exposure from the sun. If you are targeting pigmentation, or trying to prevent it, wearing a high SPF is key.
- Vitamin C is a well-known skin brightener and commonly used to treat dull skin or pigmentation. Many products use vitamin C to sell their formula, but the content of vitamin C is important when considering if it will be effective. The best % of vitamin C is between 10 – 20% of the total formula.
- When looking at an ingredient list, the products listed first consist of the largest proportion, so vitamin C near the bottom of the ingredient list will be of a small quantity and likely not enough to address serious concern for dull skin, uneven tone and pigmentation. Look for a product that states the % of vitamin C within their formula and check the ingredient list to see where it falls within the order of the list.
We recommend Eco by Sonya Serum of plenty with a huge 15% Vitamin C content!
Acne prone skin and blemishes:
One of the common problems with this skin concern is that dead skin layers build up and can clog your pores, leading to acne. If you do not use products that sufficiently remove dead cells and promote renewal, you won’t be able to get rid of your acne.
AHA and BHAs can be used to treat acne prone skin (alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acids). They will help remove the old layer of skin to reveal fresh, even toned skin.
AHAs are water-soluble chemical exfoliants and work to remove dead skin cells whereas BHAs are oil soluble chemical exfoliants, which work into the skin through the sebaceous glands (oil producing glands).
Some common AHAs and BHAs are:
- Glycolic acid is an AHA and is a great exfoliant with antimicrobial properties.
- Lactic Acid is a common AHA and is also a great for exfoliant and is anti-aging as it stimulates collagen production.
- Salicylic acid is a well-known BHA used for acne treatment and will calm down the skin by reducing redness and inflammation.
We recommend using an AHA if you also want anti-aging benefits, or a BHA if you need to calm your skin down (inflammation and redness. You could alternate products accordingly.
- Eco By Sonya Serum of Clear contains both AHA and BHA with the inclusion of lactic acid (10%) and salicylic acid.
- Ere Perez Quandong Serum contains AHA.
Anti-aging or mature skin:
We know that our body’s collagen production decreases with age. Collagen is a supportive protein that keeps our skin firm and increases elasticity (wrinkles and roughness).
When looking to address wrinkles and elasticity, we should look for products that stimulate collagen production (be sure to consider your diet or the addition of collagen supplements). Common topical ingredients that promote collagen production include vitamin C, amino acids (the building blocks for proteins), retinoids, bakuchiol, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide (aka vitamin B3).
(AHAs and BHAs also help as they remove dead skin cell and unclog pores to initiate renewal of skin cells through collagen growth).
Retinol versus. Bakuchiol:
- Both are known to promote cell turnover
- Retinol is a well-known and researched antiaging property, however, it often causes skin irritation, and many people react to it (redness, dryness and sun sensitivity). Retinol is synthetically derived from vitamin A.
- Bakuchiol comes from plants and is also effective in promoting cell turnover. It is known as the natural and less ‘irritating’ alternative of retinol.
This is a must for antiaging or dry dull skin but is really a staple in most skincare products. Some of the benefits include:
- Hydration and retains moisture well.
- Acids in making skin look fuller, plumper and more youthful
- Great for all skin types including sensitive skin.