Thursday 23 November 2017

Ruth Griffin: The beginner's guide to serums

 

Thandie Newton attends the Elle Style Awards 2017
Thandie Newton attends the Elle Style Awards 2017
111 Y Theorem Repair Serum
Armani Crema Nera Youth Memory Eye Serum
Dior Nude Air Luminizer Serum de Teint
Hourglass Primer Serum no 28
La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Pearl Infusion Serum
Nivea's Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Serum Pearls
No 7's Restore & Renew Face and Neck Multi Action Serum
Votary Toning Serum
BareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation
I BEAUTY Brow and Lash Enhancement Serum
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2 + B5
Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation
Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boost Facial Serum

Ruth Griffin

It's time to add an essential fourth step to your beauty regimen.

The cult-status Korean skincare regime has a mind-boggling 17 steps, but is our much more streamlined, oft-promoted three-step beauty routine (cleanse, tone, moisturise) too little? I think it is. If you're over 25, dermatologists recommend using an eye cream, and if you're over 35, you should seriously consider adding a serum to your daily skincare ritual.

A serum is a highly potent, deeply penetrating, activated skincare formulation that has smaller molecules that go deeper through the epidermis to achieve much more targeted results than your normal moisturiser. A serum is what will up your skin game from good to great.

Serums are used as handy little helpers to target specific skin issues you may have. A general rule of thumb is to use a serum with hyaluronic acid for dry, ageing skin. Dull, flat, grey skin needs a serum full of antioxidants and exfoliating acids, and skin prone to breakouts needs a serum with salicylic acid. Crepiness and neck wrinkles require a serum with progeline to help stop sagging.

I'm aware that there seems to be a never-ending array of skincare steps and products we're told we should be using by the beauty industry, but I would really urge anyone over the age of 35 to try out a serum for one skin cycle (a month) and see yourself the difference it can make to your complexion - I think you may be surprised by the results! I admit the one downside to using serums is that they tend to be expensive but I've found a gem of a budget beauty brand in The Ordinary (see opposite), which packs a mega beauty punch for under a tenner - so no excuses, ladies!

Celeb Inspiration

Thandie Newton, above, actress and mum-of-three, looks amazing at 44. She keeps her skin glowing by creating her own bespoke skincare —  a drop of Eminence Organics Bright Skin Licorice Root  Booster Serum, €52, into her normal moisturiser. From buynaturalskincare.com

Treat VS Cheat

La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Pearl Infusion Serum

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La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Pearl Infusion Serum

€458

An absolutely indulgent skin treat: this new serum has oil-soluble vitamin C and DGA (diglucosyl gallic acid) for tackling sun spots, pollution, dullness and redness. From Brown Thomas nationwide

Vs

Nivea's Q10 Anti-Wrinkle  Serum Pearls

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Nivea's Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Serum Pearls
 

A decent aternative. From stores and pharmacies nationwide

Serums at a glance

● You use a serum after your normal cleansing routine and before your usual moisturiser.

● Serums are highly potent and deeply penetrating.

● They use smaller molecules to go further through the epidermis than your regular moisturiser.

● Serums combat specific skin issues and are particularly good at tackling skin ageing, pigmentation, dullness, and face and neck sagging.

● If your skin is dry, look for a serum with hyaluronic acid.

● If your skin is grey or dull, look for a serum with antioxidants and amino and exfoliating acids.

● If you want a neck serum to combat sagging and crepiness, look for the ingredient progeline.

● Serums can be used on the face, neck and eye area.

● Some serums can be mixed with your normal moisturiser, while other serums need to be applied before your moisturiser and given a minute or two to absorb (read the directions to see which type you have).

● A little goes a long way with serums, so apply sparingly.

● If your serum comes in a dropper bottle, do NOT apply the drops to your hands first before applying the liquid to your face and neck. Serums are full of active ingredients, so you want them to be activated on your face, not your hands. Instead, drop the serum directly onto the skin on your face, then massage in gently.

8 of the best serums

Best value

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The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2 + B5
 

The Ordinary is a no-nonsense, no-frills, budget cosmeceuticals skincare line that delivers serious skincare results at a very wallet-friendly price. For a moisture boost, try The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, €8. From ebay.ie and asos.com

Best serum for wearing under make-up

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Hourglass Primer Serum no 28
 

For a multi-tasking serum option that looks amazing under make-up and gives your complexion an extra skincare helping hand plus skin-blurring qualities, check out the new Hourglass No 28 Primer Serum, €30. From Harvey Nichols

Best serum for face and neck area for those who are 50+

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No 7's Restore & Renew Face and Neck Multi Action Serum
 

No7's Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum, €36, was created with specific ingredients to combat loss of firmness of the neck (or crepiness). From Boots nationwide

Best facial serum for those in their 40s

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111 Y Theorem Repair Serum
 

111Skin was formulated by a Harley Street plastic surgeon and space scientists, and this Y Theorem Repair Serum NAC Y², €320, is the cult classic in their range. Apply under your normal moisturiser for hydration and skin-toning help. From Harvey Nichols

Best eye serum

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Armani Crema Nera Youth Memory Eye Serum
 

Over the age of 25, you should be investing in an eye cream. From your 40s onwards, adding an eye serum into your skincare routine is a great way of easing expanding crow's feet. Try the new Armani Crema Nera Youth Memory Eye Serum, €160 - a gel-to-oil-texture serum that is mixed in with your own normal eye cream. From Brown Thomas nationwide and The Loop, Dublin and Cork Airports

Best growth serum for lashes and brows

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I BEAUTY Brow and Lash Enhancement Serum
 

Serums are not just for skincare - check out the new Brow and Lash Enhancement Serum, €64, from Image Skincare for fuller, longer, healthier brows and lashes. Apply daily under mascara and brow make-up. See renaissance-skincare.com/image for stockists

Best natural/best for those in their 20s

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Votary Toning Serum
 

This oil-based, natural skincare line has been making waves in the beauty world over the last few years. Mix Votary Toning Serum, €80, in with your usual moisturiser for a 100pc natural skin boost. From votary.co.uk

Best moisturing serum for those in their 30s

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Labs Hydraluron Moisture Boost Facial Serum
 

Most women should think about adding a serum into their skincare routines by their mid-30s. If you're thinking of trying out a serum, look no further than Indeed Laboratories' Hydraluron The Ultimate Moisture Booster, €35, for an injection of deep hydration that will make you a serum convert for life! From Boots nationwide

3 trending

Serum Foundations A new, and very welcome, addition to the serum family is the serum foundation. Basically, this is a skincare and make-up hybrid that cares for your complexion while it covers imperfections. These hardworking, multi-tasking options also have the added benefit of SPF.

BareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation SPF 20 €31 This has a non-chemical SPF and is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. A great option for problem skin. Department stores nationwide

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BareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation

Diorskin Nude Air SÉrum de Teint spf 25 €52 This is talc-free and made from oils that evaporate on contact with the skin, creating a glowing, luminous finish. Department stores nationwide

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Dior Nude Air Luminizer Serum de Teint

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 40 €50 This has the highest level of sun protection and is a great option for fairer skins this summer. Department stores nationwide

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Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation

@ruthgriffinbeauty

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