4 Shopping Tips to Remember When It's Time For a New Facial Serum

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Does the process of finding a new facial serum seem overwhelmingly daunting to you? While that's an understandable sentiment (drugstore skin-care shelves are packed with hundreds of products!), there are some tips and tricks that can make your serum search a whole lot easier. That's a win because buying the right product for your skin type and concerns can do amazing things for your skin's appearance and overall health.

Target Your Skin Concern

Facial serums can be incredibly helpful for targeting specific skin-care concerns as they tend to have higher concentrations of active ingredients.

So when shopping for a serum, keep your skin goals in mind. There's probably a serum out there for you. If you're dealing with dryness, consider looking for a hydrating serum, like the e.l.f. Cosmetics Holy Hydration! Hydrating Serum ($10, originally $12) or one that focuses on supporting the skin's moisture barrier. For fading dark spots, boosting your skin's glow, and evening out skin tone, a serum formulated with vitamin C, like the e.l.f. Cosmetics Vitamin C Serum ($16), might be helpful.

Serums with niacinamide may also be a good choice for fading dark spots. The new Keys Soulcare Let Me Glow Illuminating Serum ($26) includes the trendy ingredient, as well as rose water to hydrate, in its formula.

Of course, those aren't the only concerns that serums treat. You can find serums that target fine lines and wrinkles, calm the skin, work to exfoliate, help heal acne, and more.

Avoid Personal Ingredient Sensitivities

In addition to looking for ingredients that target your skin-care concerns, you'll want to also scan over the label for any personal ingredient sensitivities. For instance, if you know your skin is very sensitive to fragrance, it may be a good idea to pick up a serum that isn't made with the ingredient. (Don't forget to look for the word "parfum," too).

Read the Product Description and Directions

To ensure you're using your serum the right way and to get the most benefit out of each application, be sure to read over the product's recommended usage. Some serums can be applied morning and evening, while others are meant to be applied just once a day.

Typically, serum should be applied after cleansing and before moisturizer. That's the general rule of thumb.

There are certain types of serums out there that are designed to be applied after moisturizer and before makeup. The Keys Soulcare Illuminating Serum, which is designed to give the skin a dewy glow, is one example of such a product.

How and when you use your serum will be influenced by your personal skin history and the other products in your routine, too. If you're unsure of how frequently you should use a serum or what products to pair it with, reach out to a board-certified dermatologist for advice.

Consistency Is Key

For your skin to benefit from your serum, you need to stick with it. Using it for two weeks and then calling it quits probably isn't going to yield any visible or noticeable results. As with many other types of skin-care products, consistency of use is key.