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Face Serums 101 - Everything You Need to Know

by Kim (follow)
Serums, oils, oil-serums, gels, moisturizers, rich creams… skincare can be confusing!

Which do you use and when, what goes first, and do these even go together, are just a few of the questions we're sure you ask yourself when staring into your growing beauty arsenal at night - so we asked our partner BOOST LAB to help clarify a few things...

What is a face serum?
Serums are a type of skincare product that are designed to deliver high concentrations of targeted active ingredients to the skin. They are filled with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other anti-ageing ingredients that help protect your skin against damaging environmental factors like UV and pollution all the while diminishing the visible signs of ageing leaving you with healthier, younger looking skin. Serums are mostly clear, gel-based or liquid and they tend to be less thick than a moisturiser. Serums are often able to hydrate more effectively than even the heaviest creams as they penetrate the skin and hydrate the deeper layers of the epidermis whereas heavier creams tend to sit and act on the surface. To help lock in that deep moisturising effect, serums are typically applied before moisturisers.

How do you use face serums?
Apply serums onto bare skin after cleansing and before moisturiser and/or sunscreen.
If using more than one serum, layer them in order of thinnest to thickest texture.
Apply water-based serums before oil-based serums.
If using two serums with a similar consistency, apply in the order of your main skin concern:
E.g. If your primary skin concern is congestion, apply your exfoliating serum first.
E.g. If signs of ageing are your primary concern, apply your vitamin A serum first.
E.g. If you're most worried about hydration, apply your hyaluronic acid serum first.

Not sure which serum is right for you? Try the BOOST LAB skincare advisor!


What is a Brightening Serum?
Vitamin-C Brightening Serum's contain a Multivitamin boost blend of Vit-C (sodium ascorbyl phosphate, Vit B3 (niacinamide) and Vit E designed to deeply penetrate skin and provide long term dermatological benefits.

What does Vitamin C do to help your skin?
It gives firmer skin; protects from redness, inflamed skin caused by UV/pollution and acne; and gives a more even skin tone, diminishing dark spots.

What's with all the different types of Vitamin C and which one should you use?
Many skincare products contain the more potent but much less stable and more irritable l-ascorbic acid. BOOST LAB serums’ contain Vitamin C in the form of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. This molecule penetrates deeply and then converts into the bioactive ascorbic acid once it's in the skin. This conversion process is what makes Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate much less likely to cause irritation.

The other major benefit? Most forms of vitamin C, l-ascorbic acid in particular, are notorious for being highly unstable, and easily degraded when exposed to light or oxygen. Not the case for BOOST LAB serums as sodium ascorbyl phosphate is considered to be one the more stable forms of Vitamin C as it is light, oxygen and water stable. Meaning our Brightening serum won’t lose any of its potency.

What are the benefits of having Vitamin E in your skincare routine?
Vitamin E occurs naturally in human skin, but can become depleted due to constant environmental exposure in the absence of sun protection. It offers significant antioxidant properties to help defend from pollution and discourage sebum oxidation (stops blackheads from forming), accelerates healing of skin damage, improves hyperpigmentation and keeps the skin's protective lipid barrier intact which helps retain moisture.

Is combining so many Vitamins a good thing?
Without a doubt, combining vitamin E and vitamin C is great for skin. Together they can improve the appearance of uneven skin tone, brighten a dull complexion, and strengthen skin’s defenses against the impact of environmental assault. These vitamins work extremely well together as vitamin C acts mainly on the surface level, whereas vitamin E is oil-soluble so it acts on deeper layers in the epidermis, giving you the best of both worlds.


What is in a Blemish Rescue Serum?
Blemish Rescue Serum contains a clinically supported bioactive blend of Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) & Zinc PCA at a combined concentration of 6% that acts to deliver blemish free & refined skin, protect from UV related premature ageing of skin, improve skin elasticity and help to control acne.

What is Niacinamide?
Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 is a key skin building block that helps maintain a healthy skin barrier and improves skin elasticity by promoting collagen and reducing collagen cross-linking. The scientifically documented topical benefits of using Niacinamide include
acne control, blemish-free & shine-free skin, protects from UV-premature aging of skin, reduces appearance of wrinkles/lines, keeps skin well moisturised, and rebalances uneven skin tone for beautiful, radiant looking skin.

What is Zinc-PCA?
Zinc is an essential mineral for DNA and protein synthesis and PCA is a key natural moisturising molecule found in the skin. This bioactive complex not only keeps skin hydrated but also has astringent (reducing visible pores) and antimicrobial properties due to its ability to control excess sebum-oil production.

What is Pollustop?
Pollustop (Biosaccharide Gum-4) is a natural polysaccharide that forms a breathable, transparent film (a glycofilm) on the skin trapping airborne carbon particles, particulate matter (PM2.5) and toxic heavy metals from entering skin, significantly reducing oxidative stress that results in chronic inflammation and overactive skin immune effects which brings about symptoms (redness, rash, itchiness, pain) of sensitive skin.


What is in a Eye Reset Serum?
Bio-Active Eye Reset Serum contains a number of natural extract, peptide and essential mineral blends with a total of 10 active ingredients that work in concert to visibly reduce wrinkles/lines/eye bags and dark circles. Providing youthful, smooth skin around your eye contours.

What is in the SYN-EYE 4-IN-1 Active Blend?
This powerful blend of eye actives contains Dunaliella Salina (Green microalgae) Extract Hyaluronic Acid (low molecular weight) Palmitoyl Tripeptide Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5)

What is in the Eyeliss 3-IN-1 Active Blend?
The Eyeliss Active blend is a mix of two peptides (Dipeptide and Palmitoyl-Tetra Peptide) and a bioflavonoid (Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone) that work cooperatively to visibly reduce puffy eye bags by strengthening the eye’s microcapillaries (reducing blood leakage), supporting microcirculation (increasing lymphatic fluid drainage) and soothing inflamed eyes.

What is in the SEPITONIC 3-IN-1 Chrono-Energising Blend?
The Chrono-Energising blend is made up of essential minerals (Magnesium, Copper and Zinc) as bio-complexes with either natural amino acid Aspartic Acid or plant-derived Gluconic Acid that help to protect skin against oxidative stress and immediately revitalises skin by boosting energy in cells that leads to increased skin oxygenation and natural collagen production.


What is s Hydro Boost Serum?
Hydro Boost Serum uses a clinically supported moisturising system made of up 3 actives, at 3.6% concentration, of Hydrolysed Hyaluronic Acid (20-50kDa) at a low molecular weight allowing it to penetrate deeply and replenish the skins supportive matrix. While Hyaluronic Acid with Chondrus Crispus (algae extract) acts as an external humectant to the skin and Provitamin B5 (Panthenol) promotes skin barrier moisturisation and protection from irritation.

What is Hydrolysed Hyaluronic Acid?
BOOST LAB uses Hydrolysed Hyaluronic Acid (20-50kDa) in their Hydro Boost Serum as it is a low molecular weight hyaluronic acid molecule that is able to penetrate all layers of the skin’s epidermis. Compared to high molecular weight hyaluronic acid which forms an external moisturising film, this smaller hyaluronic acid molecule exerts a deeper moisturisation effect by helping skin cells of the epidermis to stick closer together thus reducing water-loss in the skin.

What is Panthenol?
D-Panthenol (or Pro-Vitamin B5) is a simple molecule with amazing properties for dry skin that absorbs into skin without disrupting the skin’s lipid layer, attracting water into skin and strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier. Topical panthenol is effective for those with sensitive skin and helps to calm irritated skin, reducing visible skin redness.


What is in a Anti Ageing Serum?
Anti-Ageing Serum contains a multipeptide blend of SYN-AKE and Argireline at a clinically supported concentration of 4% that target wrinkles and fine lines to reduce the visible signs of ageing.

What is SYN-AKE?
Syn-Ake works as a neuropeptide to control muscle contractions so that wrinkles and fine lines caused by involuntary facial movements are relaxed. Use of 4% Syn-Ake peptide in a cream shows up to 52% wrinkle reduction after 28 days.

What is Argireline?
Argireline hexapeptide is able to efficiently control muscle contraction, significantly reducing deep wrinkles and expression lines. Use of 2% Argireline in a cream shows significant reduction in wrinkles after 7 days.

What do Natural Plant Sugars do?
BOOST LAB's Natural Plant-Sugar blend (Xylitylglucoside Anhydroxylitol Xylitol) forms a hydrating complex strengthening and restoring the skin’s moisture barrier for immediate and long-term moisturisation (up to 48 hrs) providing visible relief with smoother skin.


What is in a Night Renewal Serum?
Night Renewal Serum is a night-time skin hydration formula with a dermatologically tested mix of Retinol & Granactive Retinoid designed to reduce skin damage that causes wrinkles, dry skin, loss of firmness and elasticity, and uneven pigmentation.

What is Retinol and why should it be included in your skincare routine?
Retinol is just a term for the entire Vitamin A molecule. All of BOOST LAB's serums with retinol contain it in it’s stabilised form which acts to reduce the effects of photo-damage on skin, minimises the appearance of wrinkles and lines, improves firmness and elasticity of the skin, provides smooth skin by promoting the natural production of collagen, elastin & hyaluronic, reduces skin roughness by assisting with the skin’s renewal exfoliation process and improves skin tone, reducing blotchy skin pigmentation and rebalancing uneven skin tone.

What is Granactive Retinoid?
Retinoid is a broad name for any product that contains a derivative of Vitamin A. BOOST LAB use Granactive Retinoid at a clinically supported concentration of 2% that contains two different forms of Retinoids that are easily absorbed by the skin.

The active ingredient in Granactive Retinoid is Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, a non-therapeutic and less irritating form of retinoic acid. It is able to penetrate skin, releasing ‘active’ retinoic acid in the skin to improve multiple signs of aging, including reverse the signs of acne, accelerate skin cell growth and to protect skin from photodamage.


What is in a Resurfacing Serum?
A dynamic exfoliation Resurfacing Serum is built around a Lactic Acid-Arginine Complex that provides the exfoliating benefits of lactic acid (belonging to a class of exfoliants called alpha-hydroxy acids or AHAs), removing dead surface skin cells to reveal fresh, young radiant skin. Without the stinging or burning sensation of AHAs due to the slow release mechanism of lactic acid from its arginine complex.

Natural ingredients
Aloe Vera naturally rich in mucilaginous polysaccharides, vitamins and minerals is used in Boost Lab serums for its high moisturisation activity which helps calm and soothe dry and sensitive skin, leaving a smooth, soft feeling to skin.

Manuka Honey, nicknamed the ʺchampagne of honeysʺ has high antibacterial activity due to the presence of methylglyoxal, high antioxidant activity due to the presence of a range of phenolic compounds and is a good moisturiser due to the high content of glucose and fructose.

To learn more about how to refine, enhance or change-up your skincare routine, check out the BOOST LAB blog.

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