Although there are many creams that have been formulated with similar ingredients, they cannot function as efficiently as those same ingredients found in a serum. In short, a serum is the high impact part of the facial regiment designed to be bio-available to the skin in an interactive way. A cream serves as the protective barrier holding nutrients and the moisture in while at the same time helping to protect from environmental scavengers.
Although there are always new ingredients entering the market – Applier Beware – many are misleading in their claims for better skin. When looking for serums, formulation can actually be more important than the key ingredient. In many cases, companies will add enough of a particular ingredient to take the benefit of using that "ingredient" as a buzzword and not give the clients the actual benefits of the ingredient. In order to function properly, many key ingredients need to be within a certain percentage range and coupled with the correct complimentary ingredients. For example; vitamin C is a great topical application for the skin. It is the only topical ingredient that is accepted by the FDA as being a collagen stimulant as well as a free radical scavenger. It also has the benefit of being a natural lightener. That is all great stuff but it must be between seven to nine percent for efficacy and it is only bio-available in a water soluble formula. As soon as you add oil for stabilization, it is no longer bio-available to the skin. The big challenge with a topical vitamin C is the stabilization of the actual vitamin C itself because it oxidizes and looses its benefits.
There are some interesting products out there and you might get some nice response for them but check the formulation because it might have something else in there that is benefiting your skin. If it works – use it. I am a huge believer in trying a product, getting past the claims and relying on the results.
There are some traditional Ingredients that have worked well over the years in serum format. Because of great leaps in the technology used in formulations, many of these tried and true ingredients have gotten better; collagen, actually first came out in a serum form for the professional industry in 1984. Since then it has had many evolutions as it waxes and wanes in popularity. We keep coming back because it still serves several functions in an anti-aging regiment. Vitamin C because of its water soluble nature must be applied in a serum formulation. As soon as oil is introduced you maintain the lightening effects but you lose the bio-availability necessary for collagen production stimulation. Amino acids, also identified as the building blocks of life are found in many caviar bases formulation. Their key function is as free radiacal scavengers and relies on interactions with the dermal structures. Many times they utilize vitamin E as a support ingredient for stabilization. Oxygen has proven to be a great ingredient for serums. It has had a controversial history as a topical skin care application and has gone through many formulation evolutions. The key question being; how do you maintain the integrity of a gas in liquid format? Since this is also a challenge in the medical fields there have been some tremendous leaps in technology that we in the skin care feild have been able to benefit from. At this time the carrier that has shown the best measurable results is proprietary synthetic hemoglobin, just now coming to the U.S. from Europe.
Things are moving fast in every area of the technological race. In the business of beauty, the fastest growth of technology will be in the serum. It is simple formulation that offers the fastest and most obvious benefits. They are easy to apply and yet maintain their place as the cutting edge of the skin care industry.
Barbara Schumann is the founder of Touché Beauty and the Schumann Legacy Foundation. As a licensed skin therapist and skin care line developer since 1991, she has made it not only her business to bring out the best in people, but also her calling. The German-raised daughter of a skin care legend, Schumann is using all of the bedrock knowledge she learned and taking it to another level.
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