Skincare Serums, Mask & Oils: Need To Knows
So far, we've discussed the fundamentals of healthy skin. These include a balanced lifestyle and diet, Sun protection, moisturizing, regular cleansing, and exfoliation.
For those who have more severe skin concerns, other nutrient-rich products may provide relief. So let's discuss serums, masks, and oils!
These products tend to contain a high concentration of topical vitamins and other nutrients. Usually, these ingredients aim to increase hydration and brighten or protect skin against further damage. Thus, they can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions.
Serums typically include higher concentrations of active ingredients than traditional face creams and are made to penetrate deeper into the skin. They are usually applied daily and make up the second to last step before moisturizing your skin.
Serums are a varied group of products with many different functions. They can be added to masks, creams, or moisturizers to enhance their potency and used in spot treatments for specific problem areas. Depending on their purpose, they can also be used as stand-alone products, e.g., a hydrating gel for oily skin.
Serums should be used consistently. If you make the regimen a habit, these products offer results beyond typical creams or other topicals.
There are so many serums on the market; they often get divided into subgroups based on their intended use and skin type.
1. ANTI-AGING SERUMS
These are the classic serums typically used to combat the signs of aging, wrinkles, sagging skin, large pores, and fine lines.
Their main goal is to promote collagen and elastin production and speed up cell turnover.
They typically contain antioxidants, retinol, peptides, growth factors, and even stem cells or other DNA repair factors.
2. BRIGHTENING SERUMS
Typically used for hyperpigmentation.
Depending on the active ingredient, they can inhibit one or many steps along the melanin production process. Some even accelerate cell turnover & renewal, which typically results in a brighter skin tone, and a smoother texture & improved complexion.
Seek those that contain vitamin C, arbutin, Kojic acid, niacinamide, hydroquinone, and azelaic acid.
3. HYDRATING SERUMS
Repair your skin's ability to prevent moisture loss by binding & sealing moisture in your skin. You can also use them to boost the effects of your moisturizer.
You'll want to buy those with hyaluronic acid, Vitamin B complex, and glycerin.
4. CALMING SERUMS
Calming serums are designed to soothe inflamed skin. They reduce redness, itching, and burning and attempt to heal sensitive skin.
They are generally mild and include some anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Some of these ingredients include:
Masks are another way of infusing your skin with vital nutrients, sealing moisture, and soothing properties. They can help cell regeneration and improve skin quality.
Masks seal in nutrients and moisture by preventing them from evaporating. Depending on the mask type, they can also absorb excess oil and sebum, and draw out other impurities and toxins with removal, leaving the skin feeling open and refreshed.
Apply a mask once or twice a week or as needed. The results are usually visible instantaneously!
Consider using a combination of different masks over the week. Some masks state they can be used one after another, but giving your face a little time to breathe is always a good idea.
When done with your mask, you can use other products such as serums and oils, to tend to the newly cleansed skin.
Below, we will discuss which mask types are suitable for your skin type. As always, it may involve a little trial and error to find what works best.
1. CLAY MASKS
Clay masks have a unique ability to soak up excess oil, sebum, and dirt.
They can also prevent blackheads, minimize the visibility of large pores, and help with skin detoxification.
Clay masks are naturally filled with minerals and infuse them into your skin. If they also contain sulfur, the cover will also help kill acne-causing bacteria.
Use with Oily or Combination Skin. Look for products that contain bentonite, kaolin, sulfur, and carbon.
2. GEL MASKS
Gel mask soothes easily irritated skin. They typically contain collagen & antioxidants, which helps damaged skin recover if in an absorbable form. (Remember collagen is not easily absorbed via the skin).
They are commonly used after advanced procedures such as microdermabrasion, peels, and waxing.
Use gel masks if your skin is often Dry or Sensitive. Seek products that have the following ingredients: collagen, aloe, calendula, and antioxidants.
3. CREAM MASKS
Cream masks are very gentle and can improve the skin texture of both Normal and Dry skin types. They typically contain botanical oils and moisturizers that work to seal in moisture.
Cream masks attempt to reduce the underlying causes of fine lines and wrinkles. They also smooth out rough skin surfaces to make fine lines and wrinkles less visible.
There are many cream masks. Some may include some minerals and vitamins or offer brightening benefits. Look for those with these ingredients: moisturizers, botanical oils, and hyaluronic acid.
4. SHEET MASKS
Sheet masks are probably the most variable type of cover and work for many use cases and skin types. They may contain hydrating, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, brightening, or tightening ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and antioxidants.
Oils are not only a great way of moisturizing dry skin, but they're also rich in essential fatty acids, lipids, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Oils also contain antimicrobial properties and create a barrier between your skin and the outside environment.
Depending on the oil's ingredients, they might be better suited for sealing in moisture while others are better at fighting wrinkles or evening out skin tone and texture.
The section will discuss the most commonly used oils and their benefits.
1. ANTI-AGING AND SCARS: Consider: Rose Hip Seed Oil.
These oils are packed with vitamins A & E as well as essential fatty acids.
They help with maintaining healthy cell turnover and collagen production. It can improve Sun spots, acne scars, and stretch marks.
Lastly, there has been some scientific literature supporting its ability to reduce wrinkles.
2. CLEANSING: Consider: Olive, Jojoba, and Castor Oils
Oils make great cleansing agents. It is true regardless of your skin type, including if you have oily skin.
Surprisingly, research shows some oils help remove other less desirable oils, in addition to removing makeup and dirt.
Olive and Castor's oils are two of the most common fuels for cleansing. Both are filled with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and potent moisturizing properties.
For oily skin, jojoba oil is similar to the consistency of natural sebum. Thus, it helps remove sebaceous secretions.
In general, these oils work for all skin types.
3. SOOTHING: Consider: Chamomile, Tea Tree, and Calendula Oils
These oils are particularly useful for soothing inflamed skin, acne flare-ups, and rosacea. Tea tree oil has potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial elements.
It also makes them an effective spot treatment for acne. Also, many experts believe that tea tree oil is useful for combating rosacea.
4. MOISTURIZING: Consider: Coconut Oil Coconut oils have the same moisturizing properties as mineral oils. Both are equally effective.
However, coconut oil is much more nutrient-dense and contains vitamins E and K, iron, and lauric acid.
With natural antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties, recent studies suggest that topically applied virgin coconut oil can even speed up wound healing and reduce water loss in severely dry skin.
Coconut oils work for all skin types and are a powerful tool in your skincare arsenal.
Thank you for your time and we hope you enjoyed this walkthrough on serums, masks, and oils. In our next post, we will discuss a derm's recommended skin cleansing method.
Read Now: Derm's Recommended Skin Cleansing Method