As we move through the steps of the Korean Skincare routine, which is quite involved, to say the least, one step that always comes up, no matter the source, is face serums.
What is a serum exactly, and do you really need one?
A serum is a different product than a moisturizer or cleanser in that it is designed to target specific problem areas of the skin, hence the added step in the skincare process. A serum is applied after cleansing, but before moisturizing, and is designed to deliver a punch of powerful active ingredients--like antioxidants-- in concentrated form. The smaller molecules target the inner layers of the skin and may or may not create a change in the skin itself.
So, this is where it gets tricky.
Do serums actually do things like remove wrinkles, treat acne, or have an anti-aging effect? I haven't found a lot of studies to support this, so no claims here either way. I have surely seen a lot of companies claiming these serums do indeed have this effect and there is a hefty price to pay, but is the science there to support them?
The question remains, and if there is not a lot of science behind the use of serums, it is just as simple to keep one's cleansing routine to a wash and moisturize - perhaps a mask every now and again? Are all of these steps truly necessary?
One accessible study can be found here that demonstrates it may not be necessary to go through so much, when a simple approach will suffice.
Basically, this seems to be the theme emerging from much of the research, which is what has kept my personal skincare routine simple, and effective.
The final blog posts will address moisturizers and face masks. Stay with us!