All About Serums
What is a Facial Serum?
Are you confused about when to use a facial serum and what it does? You are not alone in having little what a serum is; after all, the name sounds as if the product was created at Hogwarts! Even if you have tried a facial serum, it’s often not clear how it should fit into your skincare regime. There are so many contradictions: serums are moisturising, but you still need a moisturiser. Serums can be oily, but they’re not face oils. They can be watery, but they aren’t toners. So many questions and we haven’t even started on the ingredients, let alone discussed why camel milk makes a great base!
In this blog, we will attempt to de-misitfy serums and explain how CameLife’s Restorative Serum works. So lets start with trying to nail the question “what is a facial serum?”.
A facial serum is a skincare product that you apply to your face after cleansing but before moisturizing with the intent of delivering powerful ingredients directly into the skin.
Serums are light, fast-absorbing liquids used made up of smaller molecules that can penetrate deeply into the skin and deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients. This makes them a great tool for targeting specific skincare concerns, like wrinkles and blemishes.
The “Feel” of a Facial Serum
The biggest difference between a serum and a cream or lotion is what the formulation doesn’t include. Serums leave out occlusive moisturizing ingredients such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil that keep water from evaporating. They also contain fewer lubricating and thickening agents, like nut or seed oils. Indeed, many serums are water-based, eliminating oils altogether. CameLife’s Restorative Serum is unique in that it uses camel milk as its base. The finely homogenised fat structure of the milk means it can naturally penetrate deep into the skin, taking with it the ingredients we add to the facial serum.
Along with this prestige fusion of ingredients, serums typically have a distinguishing smooth delicate lotion and silky fluid texture. When you drink camel milk, it feels silky smooth on the tongue because the fats are so homogenised. CameLife’s Restorative Serum has that same silkiness, enhanced by a tiny amount of Dimethicone for an extra silky finish.
Serums should apply easily and feel lightweight, even though the formula is packed with the best of the best. Apply a small drop of CameLife Restorative Serum to the back of your hand and you will see how far it spreads, how quickly it is absorbed and how silky smooth your skin feels.
Facial Serum Ingredients
Serums should contain a balance of proven, premium, natural beneficial ingredients targeted to act as antioxidants and to replenish, sooth and restore. The best serums contain high concentration and blends of these research-proven ingredients.
CameLife founder, Dr Jane Rose suggests keeping an eye out for the following ingredients in your facial serum:
Antioxidants protect against photo-ageing and fight the damaging free radicals responsible for much of what we perceive as skin aging, including fine lines and wrinkles. Camel milk contains natural Vitamin C, a key anti-oxidant. We add Dunaliella Salina algae to give a big hit of Beta Carotene. Argan Oil contains Vitamin E and we add natural Tocopherol to give more of this vital anti-oxidant.
Anti-inflamatories include zinc, arnica, aloe vera and goldenseal, which can neutralise redness and prevent inflammatory cell damage.
Our Restorative Serum uses Aloe Vera, but the real anti-inflamatory hero is the camel milk itself. The protective proteins and antibodies in camel milk are unique and are thought to modulate the immune reactions that cause inflammation in the first place. Also, the flavonoids in Saponaria Officinalis (soapwort) have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Hydrators such as ceramides, amino acids and essential fatty acids strengthen the skin’s barrier and help build strong cell membranes. These ingredients protect against dryness and fine lines by replenishing naturally occurring skin lipids, improving moisture retention and protecting skin from the environment. Many skincare experts recommend using natural oils such as avocado, olive and coconut oils which are high in long-chain fatty acids, but they tend to stay on the surface as the oil is not finely homogenised. Camel milk also contains these vital highly nourishing long-chain fatty acids, but the fat structure is highly homogenised, so it penetrates deeper and faster.
Look out for hydrolysed soy. Soy is an awesome source of isoflavones, which appear to protect the skin against hormone-related aging, such as menopause. Isoflavones can have oestrogenic activity, for instance if during menopause the body’s natural level of oestrogen drops, isoflavones can compensate by binding to the same receptor sites. As we age, our hormone levels drop and our skin, our biggest organ, shows the results. Hydrolysed soy protein helps bring back a youthful radiance in skin care.
Using a Serum
One of the most common questions we are asked is whether to use a both a serum and a moisturiser. Like most skincare questions, the answer is “maybe?”; it really depends on your skincare needs. For some, just following the basic steps of cleansing and moisturising with a product like CameLife’s Facial Cleansing Bar might be enough for their skin type. For others, especially those with visible signs of ageing, more advanced skincare routines that include a serum will produce better results.
If you have more specific concerns, such as advanced signs of ageing, uneven skin tone, pronounced dehydration, dry patches, or rough texture, a serum should be a good product to add to your skincare regime. A good serums should provide what your skin needs to look beautifully restored, revived and renewed, fortifying your skin to make it feel and look healthier.
Serum can be used twice a day. In the morning, apply it before your daily moisturiser and sunscreen. At night, smooth serum on before applying a deeply nourishing and moisturising night cream such as Restorative Night Cream. Some people decide to use a serum only in the evening, applied before their night cream. Others use it only in the morning, before their day cream.
For those with oily skin, a facial serum may be all they need. Applied by itself it can be both your night time and daily “moisturiser.” Some serum manufacturers even recommend applying their product around the eyes too, followed by an eye cream if desired. Here at CameLife, we do not recommend this course; better to use an eye cream specifically designed for the delicate skin around the eyes, such as our Restorative Eye Cream.
Serums and Sensitive Skin
The highly concentrated ingredients in serums can sometimes be too potent for sensitive skin; they may actually penetrate too quickly, causing irritation. Eczema and rosacea sufferers are often advised to avoid serums, whilst there are specific acne treatment serums on the market. CameLife’s Restorative Serum contains Camomile essential oil for its calming properties, whilst the camel milk’s bio-active ingredients help to moderate irritation at source.
Acne sufferers are finding that CameLife’s Restorative Serum doesn’t sting or irritate and that it is highly nourishing for skin that has been damaged by conventional acne treatments that contain benzyl peroxide and synthetic retinol, both of which dehydrate and thin the skin. A skincare regime that includes cleansing with our Facial Cleansing Bar, targeting individual spots and scars with the Original Camel Balm and nourishing the face with Restorative Serum can be very effective.