Serums nourish the skin with moisture, antioxidants and soothing compounds. Featuring a small molecular size, these formulas penetrate deeply into skin without leaving greasy residue. Their wellness benefits include:
What is Serum?
Skin serves a number of purposes, including regulating body temperature, maintaining fluid balance, housing the nerve endings that are essential to the sense of touch, and protecting the body from the environment. Skin is composed of three main layers: The subcutaneous, the dermis and the epidermis. The deepest layer, or subcutaneous, is comprised of fat, blood vessels and sweat glands. The middle layer, or dermis, keeps the rest of the skin supplied with necessary nutrients. It is comprised of proteins, nerves, glands and blood vessels. The outer layer, or epidermis, is made of pigments and skin cells. Each layer also contains collagen and elastin; these building-block proteins impart the smooth and supple appearance youthful skin.**
Over time – due to a combination of exposure to the environment, the effects of free radicals and the natural aging process – all three layers of skin undergo changes. Serums deliver active ingredients that help to slow these changes, repair damage and inhibit future damage. Unlike lotions and creams, which contain larger molecules that can’t penetrate deeply into skin, serums are formulated to have smaller molecules. This allows these rich, thick liquids to penetrate into all three layers of the skin, acting as a delivery system for nutrients, inflammation-modulators, antioxidants and other compounds that optimize skin health, appearance and feel.**
Serums may contain ingredients that protect against environmental stressors, such as heat, humidity, wind and especially sunlight. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays causes a process known as photoaging. Studies indicate that even minimal amounts of sun exposure trigger the creation of matrix metalloproteinases, or MMPs, which are enzymes that degrade collagen. While the body can repair some degraded collagen, repeated exposure leads to tiny amounts of scar tissue that turn into wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, thinning skin, and rough patches. Liquid serum products deliver collagen-boosting ingredients to the dermis, helping rebuild and protect skin.**
These skin-nourishing liquids also supply antioxidants that fight the cell-damaging effects of free radicals. These radicals are created naturally when the body turns food into energy, but they also come from exposure to toxins in the environment, such as pollution, tobacco smoke and chemicals. Free radicals are missing an electron, so they “steal” electrons from cells within the body, causing damage known as oxidation. Oxidation can change DNA, disrupt cell function and even kill cells. Antioxidants fight free radicals’ effects by donating an electron. Common antioxidants found in these products include vitamin C, vitamin E and alpha-lipoic acid or ALA.**
These skin products may also ease the effects of aging. As skin ages, it undergoes a series of changes. Known as intrinsic aging, these changes include a loss of elasticity and strength skin due to collagen and elastin loss, fewer fat deposits in the subcutaneous level, and a thinning epidermis. Skin glands produce less oil, leading to rough, dry patches and reddened, inflamed skin. In addition, some cells that contain pigment decrease in number, while the ones that remain grow larger, causing hyperpigmentation commonly known as sun spots or age spots. Liquid serum skin products help fight these issues by delivering inflammation modulators, natural skin firming agents such as hyaluronic acid, ingredients that ease hyperpigmentation such as vitamin C, and skin matrix strengtheners such as DMAE.**
Some of the most popular skin serums supply:
- Hyaluronic Acid: Naturally found in connective tissue throughout the body, hyaluronic acid or hyaluronan strengthens and plumps skin. Hyaluronic acid attracts and holds moisture, providing skin with a full, youthful appearance. Studies indicate that the substance improves skin hydration, soothes inflammation, and supports skin firmness and elasticity.**
- DMAE: DMAE, or 2-Dimethylaminoethanol, is a naturally occurring substance related to the B-complex vitamins that appears to firm skin by supporting its tensile strength. Studies suggest that this substance may help to reduce the depth of wrinkles.**
- ALA: Alpha-lipoic acid or ALA is a potent antioxidant. Studies indicate that not only does ALA destroy free radicals, but that it also boosts the antioxidant action of other substances, such as vitamin C. Found in every cell, ALA may modulate skin inflammation while helping to ease the effects of UV exposure on skin.**
- Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is a necessary micronutrient that the human body must obtain from food or supplements. The vitamin plays an essential role in the body’s production of collagen. Studies suggest vitamin C’s antioxidant and collagen-building properties help reduce the signs of photoaging and hyperpigmentation.**
Formulated for topical use, these products are available in the form of a thick liquid that’s easily absorbed into the skin.
Serum Directions for Use
These products supply varying amounts of active nutrients, so there is no set dosage. Always consult a healthcare provider before starting supplementation.**