The beauty word: Serum
You might have heard the term, but do you know what it’s all about?
Serums are a category of skincare product used to treat existing skin concerns most commonly linked to premature signs of ageing; think uneven pigmentation, dehydration and wrinkles, to name a few conditions.
According to Forbes magazine this anti-ageing product dates back as far as 1935 when UK-based skincare and cosmetic brand No7 (created by health and beauty retailer Boots) launched its first line of serums. But modern-day hype about serums was sparked in 2009 after a clinical trial conducted by the dermatologists at the University of Manchester, and published by the British Journal of Dermatology, showed that 70% of individuals who used No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum had “significantly fewer wrinkles after 12 months of daily use compared to volunteers using a placebo”.
Serums are light, fast-absorbing skincare products, applied after cleansing and before moisturising; they are designed to deliver active ingredients directly to the skin. It is the inclusion of active ingredients (active substances that can have physiological effects on the skin) as well as the product make up that aims to target specific skin concerns such as fine lines, skin dullness, skin dehydration and hyperpigmentation.
Unlike moisturisers, serums are typically lighter as they are made up of small molecules that allow the product to be easily absorbed into the skin.
Whether you adopt a serum into your skincare routine or not depends entirely on your skin type and specific skin concerns. Choosing the right serum for your skin means understanding how the different active ingredients work and what concerns they are said to address – this glossary will help you navigate the (sometimes) confusing names of skincare ingredients and what they do.
You might like to try:
sk.in Marvel Hydro Shot for dry or dehydrated skin. This reparative serum is said to not only boost the skin’s moisture content but also boost collagen production.
ESSE Sensitive Serum, for distressed and sensitive skin, contains high doses of live probiotics that can prevent irritations and reactions by improving the skin’s natural barrier.
La Prairie Anti-Ageing Rapid Response Booster is a gel serum said to target fine lines and wrinkles while at the same time adding hydration and moisture to the skin.
Note: These serums have not been tried and tested by the author of the article
The new product: DIY micro-needling patches
According to a report on the global cosmetic products market, published by Zion Market Research, “personal care and beauty product sales are on the rise and are projected to register a growth from 3.5% to 4.5% between 2015 and 2020”. New products are popping up every day, all fighting for a share of the market through more innovations, more sustainable and ground-breaking ingredients and more original claims.
Not so new as a procedure but new as a cosmetic product is the DIY micro-needling patch. Micro-needling is said to be an effective way of treating skin concerns like scarring, fine lines, wrinkles and skin pigmentation.
Usually, micro-needling procedures are done by a dermatologist or aesthetic practitioner; the method involves rolling tiny, short needles over the skin. The microscopic needles then create small, surface-level puncture wounds that may lead to skin rejuvenation through the rebuilding of the dermis, which can promote collagen production and cell renewal.
Today, skincare companies like UK-based Vice Reversa and Australian brand Zitsticka™ are mimicking the claimed benefits of the procedure with cosmetic patches you can buy over the counter. In July 2019, online skincare retailer Dermastore® was the first to bring these patches to South African shores.
Vice Reversa’s Micro Needling Pimple Patches have “needles” made from crystallised active ingredients that are attached to a hydrocolloid (biodegradable, breathable and transparent) patch.
The idea? The needles are supposed to assist in better absorption of the ingredients, while the patches also aim to prevent bacteria from entering the treatment area. When applied, the crystallised needles dissolve into the tiny skin abrasions so that the ingredients – here, salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid – are delivered straight to the targeted area.
The future of beauty: Cannabidiol
The range of products containing cannabidiol (also known as CBD, the non-psychotropic component of cannabis) is growing at a rapid rate. The beauty world is catching on to this cannabidiol craze with a rise in skincare products containing CBD.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the plant extract are said to offer the most potential in the realm of skincare. According to the CBD Awareness Project, an American organisation that focuses on cannabidiol research and information, products containing this component may improve the skin’s appearance by reducing redness, smooth and tighten the skin, and promote collagen production.
Swiss-based CBD oil brand Cibdol, available online in South Africa, has created a range of skincare products with cannabidiol as their main ingredient; from moisturising lip and body balms to antioxidant-rich anti-ageing creams. Herb Essentials Cannabis Infused Body Lotion, fortifies the healing properties of the cannabis extract with other organic ingredients such as aloe vera, shea butter and chamomile and is said to leave your skin feeling hydrated, soothed and supple.
You can also find CBD bath bombs, which – although we cannot confirm – are supposed to target dry skin, taught muscles, stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling relaxed, calm and “in a good mood”. ML
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