Korean Skin Care: What is a Face Serum?



Hail Korean skin care regime that is loaded with dozen of products claiming to provide you that “Celebrity Rosy glow”. Although Korean skin care works real fast, it is somewhat frustrating to figure out the purpose. Moisturisers, essences, fail oils & serums – all promise to help your skin retain its natural moisture while making it even radiant & healthy. But hang on, you are not alone if you find it difficult to begin with Korean skin care routine. Find out below how a face serum is different than a face oil & essence and why should you be incorporating it in your daily routine right away.

Why do you need a Face Serum?

Face serum is chock full of moisturising ingredients yet it is not a moisturiser. Your regular face moisturiser & lotion is richer yet you need a face serum, why? Because serums are high in active ingredients and are made of smaller molecules that penetrates deep and right away. A serum will help you retain the moisture while repairing the damage that has been done whereas a moisturiser will form a barrier and help you keep the goodness in.

Facial serums could be both oily & watery. The watery consistency does not make them an essence. Similarly, don’t let its oily consistency confuse you with a facial oil. Depending on your needs and personal choices you may need either of the two types or probably both if you are a skin care junkie.

Korean Skin Care: Watery Serum VS Oily Serum

Both types of serums are differentiated by the method of their application. A watery serum such as All Alive cloud 9 Korean skin care serum goes beneath moisturiser whereas Guerisson Signature Oil serum goes on top of that. A watery serum has the smallest molecules and it penetrates deeper. In order to get most of it, it must be the first skin care product. It is very important because it nourishes your skin. On the other hand oil serums are responsible to protect whatever you apply underneath. It maintain oil-moisture balance & protects the top (lipid layer) from environmental aggressors. Harmful UV rays, chemicals and pollutants can rip off the lipid layer which leads to dry, damaged & dehydrated skin. When the lipid layer is compromised your skin loses the ability to hold any moisture hence all your efforts to moisturize your skin seems to go waste.

Is Serum an Essence?

May be and maybe not. Essences and serums are supposed to provide basic hydration. They are watered down and are runny whereas serums are slightly gooier. You might not necessarily need an essence since as per the most skin care experts they are just the same thing but have different marketing terms.

How frequently should I use a Serum?

As per Korean skin care experts, face serums are highly concentrated and rich in active ingredients. When it comes to a serum; less is more. Only a dime size quantity is enough. Using once daily while your face is still damp allows you to maximize the skin care benefits. Use palms instead of fingers to heat-generate the active ingredients. Also, instead of rubbing in circular motion; pat the serum softly using palm for fast absorption.

The Break Down

This should be your everyday skincare routine in order to achieve that healthy glow

Cleansing > toning > water-based serum > moisturiser > oil-based serum (in case you have very dry skin) > other makeup products.

Remember a serum is rich in “active ingredients”. This means they are made for “spot treatment” or specific concerns such as ageing, wrinkles, dry skin etc. Always read the ingredients carefully when selecting a serum to incorporate it in your everyday routine.