Serums 101: How to Find Your Perfect K-Beauty Serum
Serums 101: How to Find Your Perfect K-Beauty Serum
Finding the right serum for your skin can be a challenging task, especially with the multitude of serum types available, often leaving you feeling overwhelmed and confused. We've noticed an increasing number of queries from our Cherubs, all seeking guidance on which serum to incorporate into their skincare routines. Here, we're excited to present our updated serum guide, designed to help you navigate this complex world and discover the perfect serum for your unique needs. Whether you're new to K-beauty or looking to expand your skincare regimen by incorporating more serums to uncover your new favourites, join us on this journey.
How to find a good serum for you
Finding the right serum for your skin can greatly enhance your skincare routine and address specific concerns you may have. Here are steps to help you find good serums for your skin:
Identify Your Skin Type
Determine whether you have oily, dry, combination, sensitive, or normal skin. Knowing your skin type is crucial, as it will guide you in choosing a serum that addresses your specific needs.
☆ The Bare-Faced Test
Start with a clean face, free from makeup and skincare products. Let your skin be for about an hour. This allows your skin to return to its natural state after any cleansing or moisturising.
After the hour has passed, take a close look and feel your skin to determine its characteristics. Here's what to look for:
- Oily Skin: If your skin looks shiny, particularly in the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), and feels greasy to the touch, you likely have oily skin.
- Dry Skin: If your skin feels tight, flaky, or rough, and lacks any noticeable shine, it's likely to dry.
- Combination Skin: If some parts of your face are oily (usually the T-zone) while others feel dry or normal (cheeks), you may have combination skin.
- Normal Skin: If your skin doesn't appear too oily or dry, feels comfortable, and looks balanced, it's likely normal.
- Sensitive Skin: If your skin is prone to redness, irritation, burning, or itching, you may have sensitive skin.
Understand Your Skin Concerns
Identify any skin concerns you want to address, such as acne, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, dryness, or dullness. Serums are designed with specific ingredients to target these issues.
- Dehydrated skin and Damaged Skin Barrier
Struggling with a weakened skin barrier? Look no further than this powerful, lightweight ampoule designed to rescue and rejuvenate your skin's protective shield. Packed with antioxidants and nourishing elements, AXIS-Y Artichoke Intensive Skin Barrier Ampoule swiftly penetrates deep into your skin, accelerating the healing process.
★★ Column: What is Ampoule? ★★
Ampoules and serums are both popular skincare products, but they have some key differences. Think of an ampoule as a powered serum for your skin.
Ampoules are highly concentrated, containing a potent mix of active ingredients that target specific skin concerns, like acne, wrinkles, or pigmentation. They usually come in small, sealed vials or capsules and are intended for short-term use to give your skin a powerful boost.
On the other hand, serums are like the sidekicks. They are also packed with active ingredients but are less concentrated than ampoules. Serums can be part of your daily skincare routine and are designed to provide ongoing benefits like hydration and skin nourishment. So, if you have a specific skin issue and need a quick fix, ampoules are your go-to choice, while serums are there for daily support and maintenance.
- Brightening Dull Skin
Touted as Japan's top powerful serum, ROHTO MENTHOLATUM Melano CC Vitamin C Essence boasts a blend of Vitamin C, Vitamin E derivatives, and Alpinia Seed Extract to suppress melanin production and diminish dark spots. Fortified with dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, it not only nurtures the skin but also imparts a calming and hydrating effect. The easily absorbed formulation deeply permeates the skin without leaving any oily residue. It's conveniently packaged in a drop-style tube for precise application, despite being labeled as an "essence."
NUMBUZIN No.4 Collagen 73% Pudding Serum boasts a remarkable 73% Collagen content, effectively targeting dryness, reducing visible signs of ageing, and rejuvenating tired skin. Its powerful blend includes two different Collagen types and eight Hyaluronic Acid variants with varying molecular weights to provide deep skin hydration, resulting in a plump, pudding-like bounce.
- Fading Pigmentation and Acne Scars
The AXIS-Y Dark Spot Correcting Glow Serum is an exceptional brightening serum with a track record of effectively reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Packed with 5% Niacinamide, Rice Bran, and plant-based Squalane, it not only brightens but also softens and hydrates the skin, resulting in a radiant complexion. This versatile serum also addresses uneven skin tones and revitalizes dull skin. Its lightweight texture effortlessly absorbs into the skin, making it suitable for all skin types.
- Calming Irritation and Acne
Soothe, hydrate, and strengthen your skin with an 80% Heartleaf ampoule. Its non-comedogenic, lightweight formula easily absorbs, reducing redness, relieving acne, and protecting against irritants. Enriched with Hyaluronic Acid, Betaine, and Panthenol, it provides ultimate hydration for a radiant, glass-like complexion with triple-layer moisture.
Clinical tests show a 15.7% reduction in oil production and a 4.9% decrease in sebum levels after four weeks of use. Ideal for those with acne-prone or sensitive skin.
- Minimising the Appearance of Pores
Nacific's best-selling Fresh Herb Origin Serum hydrates, tightens pores, and brightens the complexion with its natural oil-rich formula. Packed with antioxidants, nutrients, and moisture from fruit extracts, it deeply hydrates and repairs the skin. The Pore Complex 3 clears congestion, eliminates trapped bacteria, and minimizes pores. It's no surprise that actress Jun Ji-Hyun loves it!
After applying, you may notice a slight tingling, giving it the name 'Damn Serum.' This sensation is due to Citrus oil and extracts reacting with damaged skin. Over time, with regular use, the serum reduces the tingling while enhancing skin repair.
If you use multiple serums, pay attention to the order in which you apply them. Generally, apply thinner, water-based serums before thicker, oil-based ones.
Adjust for Day and Night
Skincare ingredients suitable for day and night use can vary depending on their properties and benefits. Here's a breakdown of some common skincare ingredients and whether they are typically better suited for day or night use:
- Daytime Skincare Ingredients
- Antioxidants: Ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid help protect your skin from environmental damage. They can be used during the day to boost your skin's defence against free radicals.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is a hydrating ingredient that helps retain moisture. It can be used in the morning to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.
- Nighttime Skincare Ingredients
- Retinoids (Retinol): Retinoids are typically used at night because they can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. They help with cell turnover, reducing wrinkles, and improving skin texture.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid are often used at night to exfoliate and improve skin tone and texture.
- Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs): BHAs like salicylic acid are effective for exfoliating and unclogging pores. They can be used in nighttime routines, especially for acne-prone skin.
If you are using a serum with any of the acids listed above, we highly recommend you don’t combine the ingredients together!