FaceTime Friday: 3 Serums Everyone Should Have

By . - Friday, February 10, 2023

Today, I'm going to break down 3 serums I believe everyone should keep in their skincare arsenal. Serums don't need to be intimidating if you understand their purpose and what works for your skin.


What is it? - Retinol is a form of vitamin A with many uses in skin care. It’s used to treat acne and has anti-aging effects.

Why use it? - Retinol increases skin cell production (proliferation). It helps unclog pores. Retinol also exfoliates your skin and increases collagen production, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin a fresher, plump appearance.

How to use it. - Before you use a retinol product for the first time, try a little bit on a small area of skin (a patch test) to see if you have any negative reactions. If, after a couple of days, your skin patch isn’t very red or itchy, you can add retinol to your skincare routine at bedtime.

To use retinol, follow the instructions on the package or your provider’s recommendations for application. In general, here are the steps you take:

Clean your skin with a gentle cleanser and pat it dry. Don’t scrub your skin while using retinol products.
Apply retinol in a thin layer to your entire face (be careful not to get it in your mouth, nose and eyes). You should use a dose that’s about the size of a pea. For the first couple weeks of treatment, apply retinol only every other day.
Finish with a facial moisturizer that won’t clog your pores (non-comedogenic).

Don't Mix!: Retinol with vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and AHA/BHA acids. AHA and BHA acids are exfoliating, which can dry out the skin and cause further irritation if your skincare routine already includes retinol.

Vitamin C Serum

What is it? - Vitamin C is an antioxidant, so it helps prevent the forming of free radicals, which go on to break down collagen and elastin.

Why use it? - Vitamin C is best known for its ability to neutralize free radicals and improve aging skin. It can also improve collagen and elastin synthesis — which can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; help reduce inflammation, provide natural, mild exfoliation; and brighten skin. Topical vitamin C can also help with melasma and hyperpigmentation.

How to use it. - Follow the instructions on the package. It's recommended to use this serum every morning, and layer a moisturizer and sunscreen on top. A little goes a long way!


What is it? - Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). They’re both chemical exfoliants that help remove dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin.

Why use it? - Creams and lotions with AHAs may help against:
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Discolored skin
  • Age spots
  • Enlarged pores
Products with the most common type of BHA, salicylic acid, may help improve:
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • The color and texture of sun-damaged skin
  • Acne
How to use it. - Take some simple steps to protect your skin:
  1. Put a little bit of the product on a small area of your skin first. If you have a reaction, stop using it and talk to your doctor.
  2. Follow the product’s instructions exactly, and don’t use more than recommended.
  3. Don’t use products on babies or children.
  4. Put on sunscreen every day.

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