As people who are really passionate about skin care, it’s natural that the more we learn about it, the more questions we have! In Skin Care FAQ, our new ongoing series, we’ll be taking every week one of the top-searched skin care questions and bringing it to top dermatologists, aestheticians, and skin care specialists to give you the most complete and accurate answer. This week’s theme is: What type of serum should you use for your skin type?
If you’re a skin care devotee, by now you probably know that using a serum is imperative to your daily and nighttime skin care routine. But what you may not know is that you might be using the wrong serum for your exact skin type.
If you have normal skin type, you can pretty much use any kind of serum you’d like, but for many of us who have oily, combination, dry, or sensitive skin, we may feel like the formula we’re using isn’t doing much to help us out. Even worse, your serum could be making your skin conditions worse. We reached out to Joshua Zeichner, the director of clinical and cosmetic dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City, and asked him to break down serums by skin types.
Oily Skin: “Look for serums that contain salicylic acid, which can help remove excess oil from the skin and minimize the appearance of pores,” says Zeichner. We love the Neogen Dermalogy Pore Refine Serum, it reduces excess sebum while keeping your skin hydrated.
Dry Skin: “If you have dry skin, look for a serum with natural oils that directly moisturize and can repair a damaged skin barrier to help the skin maintain its own hydration,” says Zeichner. One of my favorite natural Korean serums is the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum, which contains herbal extracts, like dwarf lilyturf and licorice to amplify your skin’s synergy.
Combination Skin: “Look for a serum with hyaluronic acid, which is like a sponge that pulls in hydration into the skin,” says Zeichner. “You want it to be light enough for oily areas, but powerful enough for drier spots.” He recommends the Neutrogena Hydroboost Hydrating Serum. We also like COSRX’s Centella Blemish Ampoule, enriched with Centella Asiatica to normalize sebum protection while maintaining your natural protective barrier.
Sensitive Skin: “Look for calming serums that contain ingredients like vitamin B5, which can soothe the skin and promote healthy barrier function,” says Zeichner. Skinceutical’s Hydrating B5 Gel is a good call.