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How to Choose the Right Serum for Your Skin Type & Why You Want One

Nov 11, 2019

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Facial serums <— I have to admit, I used to do the eye roll whenever I heard that phrase…and if you are anything like me, you probably pretend to know what a face serum is…but what does it actually do? Does it moisturize? Is it magic?

The short list: Serums are hero products, so pretty much they get all the glory without being the daily worker bee! They are highly concentrated and provide targeted support for your specific skin needs—a few drops is all you need and trust me you’ll notice an instant difference in your skin’s glow, clarity and texture!

Here’s the secret sauce details on why I absolutely LOVE facial serums and how to find the right one for YOU!

AND…don’t forget to download my Troubleshooting Your Skin Guide to give you a kickstart!

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What is a facial serum?

Facial serums are filled with highly concentrated ingredients specifically designed to deliver powerful ingredients directly to the skin for a specific purpose (anti-aging, acne, discoloration, hydration, etc). Because of the smaller molecules size of the ingredients, serums can penetrate deep into the skin and provide a high concentration of active ingredients designed to give your skin the targeted support it needs. They are zero fluff, not diluted, jam packed superhero products!

…and trust me, you’ll see a pretty *instant* difference in your skin’s look and texture!

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Moisturizer vs serum

Moisturizers do just that—they provide moisture and hydration to your skin and have filler ingredients to keep the skin hydrated and provide a barrier between your skin and outside elements.

Serums are highly concentrated with powerful active ingredients and will only minimally moisturize. They are often are combined with the moisturizing step.

Serums are just the cherry on top that your skin craves…and with the *right* serum, sparks will fly…leaving your skin glowing, never greasy! Depending on the weather and your skin type, you might be able to use just a serum on occasion, at least I was able to in the hot, humid summer. Otherwise, cleanse your face, apply a few drops of serum (5-10) and then moisturize.

But the price??

Ultimately I believe that good skincare + nutrition is not just a fly by night expense, but a true investment in my skin, health, hormones and future generations! Yes, the products we use raise our bodies chemical burden, disrupt our hormones + impact our DNA aka future generations too!

Serums offer *targeted* support with no fluff ingredients, so they are highly concentrated to have a big impact! You only need a few drops, not an entire spoonful, so a little goes a LONG way. These small bottles will last you a year or even more, and your skin in a few decades will thank you!

…aka superheros!

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My cleansing + serum routine

Step 1: Remove your makeup, always, never skip this step. This allows your products to work more efficiently for you, yielding better results and saving your money and product!

Step 2: Cleanse with Cleansing Balm—> here’s my tutorial.

Step 3: Tone with Everything Spray—> This is a key step many people forget. Toners help prepare your skin for the incoming moisture and will lock in your skin’s moisture, aka let your serums and moisturizer (typically the most expensive product) actually do the work!

Step 4: Serum —> a few drops is all your need!

Step 5: Moisturize —> Blue Tansy Beauty Cream or Countertime Antioxidant Soft Cream

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How do I find the right serum for my skin type?

Serums are *highly* concentrated to provide targeted support. They aren’t a one size fits all product and I recommend getting specific with your needs and choosing a serum that fits your profile. I now incorporate 2-3 weekly but I would recommend starting with 1 that fits the most important issues you are trying to resolve!

Due to the concentrated nature of serums and companies wanting to deliver big results to their clients, most conventional and even ‘natural’ serums still contain some of the worst offenders when it comes to skincare ingredients. Check out my post on Greenwashing in the Beauty Industry. The ones I personally use and recommend use only the best ingredients and are tested for safety! 

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Blemish prone, oily, and acne prone skin: Clarifying Serum

*use code FLOURISH for 10% off!

This is the serum I use almost daily and I am totally in love! I struggle with clogged pores, blemishes and pesky hormonal breakouts and have noticed a big difference since using this—in fact, sometimes within an hour or two I see my skin start to clear! Your skin NEEDS oils, even acne prone skin, in fact, often acne is caused by stripping the skin of its natural, healing oils leading to over production of oil and clogged pores aka acne. With the *right* oils, your skin will balance out its natural oil production and clear up!

Turmeric Oil, Marula Oil and Green Tea balance oil production, purify pores, diminish discoloration from scarring + sun damage, and even skin tone to create clear, glowing skin…and you have my word it does just that!

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Discoloration, dull skin, blemish prone, uneven skin: Overnight Resurfacing Peel

Okaaay, this technically isn’t a serum, its more a ‘treatment’ but I feel like it can fit in this category, especially since I LOVE it! This peel changed the game for my irritated postpartum skin! I use it consistently every 2-3 days and notice blemishes clear up much more quickly and my skin texture is very even!

This peel won’t actually ‘peel’ your skin as many chemically derived peels will, rather it uses botanically derived acids to gently resurface the top layer or your skin, increasing cell turn over, leaving your skin soft, smooth and clear!

*PS, you can get it for FREE with Beautycounter’s band of beauty membership (aka rewards) program this November!*

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Gracefully aging skin: Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum

Ok, I also fell instantly in love this this anti-aging Tripeptide Radiance Serum after first use—my skin was ‘plum’ in the best way and glowing, yes there’s a reason its called the radiance serum!

Beautycounter’s plant-derived Retinatural Complex, featuring bakuchiol and Swiss Alpine rose, delivers retinol-like results without retinol’s safety concerns.  This is HUGE. Retinol is a 9 on the EWG score and not safe for pregnancy or breastfeeding…in my mind it is not safe at all! The new Countertime line features Retinatural to help your skin age gracefully! Remember, our skin actually starts aging for us females about get 25, so I would recommend this product for everyone!

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Irritated, inflamed, sensitive skin: Soothing Serum

*use code FLOURISH for 10% off! 

Typically stress is the biggest trigger for irritated, red or inflamed skin and I have certainly seen that to be true during stressful seasons in my life. I love this soothing serum because it is packed with anti-inflamatory and nourishing oils such as squalane oil, evening primrose oil (my favorite oil for balancing hormones), tamanu oil and ashwaghanda, my favorite adaptogen that is so calming to both the body and skin!

This serum does smell a bit earthy, but I LOVE incorporating it when I am a bit more stressed and see my skin pretty quickly calm down! If you have sensitive skin, this would be your best starting point for a calming facial serum.

There you have it! I have been giddy with excitement waiting to publish this blog post for you all because I know serums are so powerful and incredible! There’s truly no one size fits all skincare routine, so if you have questions, reach out…let’s chat!

Leave me a comment below with your favorite facial serum 👇🏼

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Photos by kylie martin

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