Cover Photo: Tata Harper

What is a face serum, and why it should be part of your skincare regime

A skincare regime should never stress you out but when you come face-to-face (no pun intended) with an endless stream of choices, you do wonder where to begin. On top of your regular face wash, toner and moisturiser, there's also something called the face serum. Is this just another marketing gimmick or an essential component of beauty care? Let's demystify the face serum.

What is a face serum?

The serum is lightweight but packed with powerful active ingredients that reduces fine lines, repairs damaged skin, and retains moisture for a more radiant complexion. It is usually applied before the moisturiser that also acts as a shield to lock in the serum's potent ingredients.

If you prefer something even lighter than the serum, you can go for the essence water, which works like a serum except that it has a lighter texture. One of our favourites is the Fresh Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence. 


There are different types of serum for different skin. If you suffer from breakouts, seek out serums infused with Vitamin C that reduces inflammation and hasten skin recovery. Other ingredients that also help include salicylic acid and zinc that unclog pores, soothes irritation and regulate oil production.  

For dry skin, essential ingredients to look out for are Vitamin E that has anti-ageing benefits as well as hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid that retain moisture and gently exfoliates skin. 

For dull-looking skin, the serum should be formulated with anti-oxidants such as green tea extracts and Kakadu plums as they promote cellular repair and healing, and brighten skin.  

Some serums are very potent so a drop or two are all you need to experience the full benefits. Serum also works best at night, so apply before bed. 

To get a better idea, take a closer look at some of our favourite serums:

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

A cult favourite, the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate has a subtle botanical scent derived from the lavender and evening primrose oil. The therapeutic scent complements the light texture that absorbs instantly into skin. 

See also: 6 Face Masks To Help You Reset Your System

La Mer Regenerating Serum

This new regenerating serum is fortified with powerful marine ingredients to boost natural collagen, diminish lines and restores vitality to the skin. 

See also: Revitalise With La Mer's Hydrating Serum

Dior Capture Youth Glow Booster

Infused with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as salicylic acid and Vitamin C, the Dior Capture Youth Glow Booster promises to give your skin a luminous glow with just a single drop. The addition of antioxidants like Kakadu plum also make it an effective age-delaying serum. 

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

This fragrance-free serum combats ageing with its powerful formula of antioxidants and hyaluronic acid. 

Drunk Elephant T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum

Infused with alpha and beta hydroxy acids (AHA/BHA), it gently lifts dead skin cells away without any drying effect. Plant extracts such as horse chestnut, bearberry, white tea and raspberries calms skin during repair mode.

See also: Reset Yourself With These 7 Beauty Products Launching In January 2020

Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum

Its popular resurfacing mask reimagined as a serum, it is packed with natural antioxidants such as tomato carotenoids and Kakadu plum to give you healthy, glowing complexion. 

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