How Paula’s Choice Serums Work


In This Article:

Confused by why or if you should use a serum? You're not alone! Many women wonder what exactly a serum does and how it differs from a moisturizer. Paula's Choice Skincare offers several serums, so we obviously feel they're worth considering because of their specialized formulations. We will explain what makes them unique and how to find the perfect serum for your skincare needs.

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What is a Serum?

First, it's important to know that moisturizers, whether they’re labeled anti-aging or otherwise, should contain a premium balance of the beneficial ingredients we talk about all the time: Antioxidants, skin-replenishing ingredients, soothing ingredients, and skin-restoring ingredients. We don’t want anyone cheating their skin by using leave-on skincare products that don’t contain there precious ingredients, because they can help everyone’s skin look and feel better.

Serums must also contain these exceptional ingredients, but their special characteristic is the concentration of the ingredients they contain and their distinctive textures.

The best serums need to contain the highest concentration and blends of these research-proven ingredients. Along with this prestige fusion of ingredients, serums typically have a distinguishing smooth delicate lotion, gel-lotion, or silky fluid texture. Serums should apply easily and feel lightweight even though the formula is so packed with the best of the best. A great serum will be compatible with your moisturizer, complementing its benefits rather than competing with them.

Do You Need a Moisturizer and Serum?

The answer is maybe because it depends on your skincare needs. For some, just following the basic steps of our Paula's Choice Skincare Essential routine might be enough to address their skin type and minor concerns. For others, especially those with visible signs of aging, following one of our Advanced Skincare Routines that also include a serum will produce enhanced results that build on the basics of cleansing, toning, exfoliating, protecting from sun exposure, and moisturizing.

If you have more specific concerns such as advanced signs of aging, uneven skin tone, pronounced dehydration, dry patches, or rough texture, a serum can be the best product to add. A well formulated serum can take your skincare routine to the next level! Serums provides what your skin needs to look beautifully revived and renewed. Their fortifying qualities can make skin feel protected and look healthier.

A serum can be used twice per day: In the morning, apply it before your daytime moisturizer with sunscreen; at night, smooth on before applying your nighttime moisturizer. You can also choose to use a serum only in the evening, applied before moisturizer. For some people, especially those with oily skin, you may prefer using a serum all by itself and that would be your nighttime "moisturizer". Serums can and should be applied around the eyes, too, and you can follow with eye cream if desired.

It can be beneficial to alternate between our different serums or to layer them as needed for more customized results, (this is what all of us at Paula’s Choice Skincare do). This method is a great tactic if you can’t decide between two of our serums or feel both could help your skin improve. The other reason to think about doing this is because skin isn’t static; its needs can and do change for numerous reasons.

Choosing the Best Paula’s Choice Serum for You

At Paula's Choice, we developed a range of serums that vary by texture and potency. Their concentrated formulas can address advanced concerns such as multiple signs of aging (including wrinkles), signs of environmental damage, loss of firmness, dehydrated, dull-looking skin, and uneven skin tone.

The following guide can help you decide which one is best for you. If you still have questions, please call our wonderful Customer Care team or chat with us online. This team is well-trained with Paula's expertise, and would love to provide their professional advice!

To visibly safeguard your skin from environmental assault such as visible effects of pollution, we recommend one of our Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serums. Choose according to your skin type, and feel free to alternate or layer two serums based on your skin’s needs.

  • For normal to very dry skin, use our SKIN RECOVERY Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum to provide a calibrated amount of antioxidants to protect from environmental assault and nourishing non-fragrant plant oils to relieve dryness. This serum also contains anti-aging superstars retinol, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
  • For normal to dry or slightly dry skin, our RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is an ideal option. Those who are looking for a concentrated anti-aging serum, and are sensitive to retinol, find that this serum’s vitamin C and peptide-spiked formula works brilliantly.
  • For signs of aging, large pores, and skin prone to clogs and bumps, use our oil-free RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum. Its combination of niacinamide and hyaluronic acid smooth skin’s surface without a slick or greasy feel.
  • For normal to oily skin that tends to get clogged pores, our SKIN BALANCING Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is a weightless wonder to help safeguard skin from environmental assault and quickly improve hydration with its feather-light touch. Its special texture helps minimize the look of large pores while retinol goes to work on wrinkles.

For more advanced signs of aging or to alternate with any of the serums above, our RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum is an ultra-silky anti-aging formula celebrated for its nourishing mix of retinol and hydrators.

If you have extra-sensitive skin prone to redness, your skin will love our CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum. This lightweight formula comforts skin and eases redness but still contains potent concentrations of skin-replenishing ingredients like glycerin and ceramides.

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth scientific research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! See Paula's Choice Serums.

References for this information:

Indian Journal of Dermatology, May-June 2016, pages 279-287
Cosmetics, 2015, issue 3, pages 259-276
Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, 2014, issue 2, pages 173-81
Life Sciences, October 2014, issue 1, pages 1-7
Phytotherapy Research, February 2014, pages 159-66
Clinical Dermatology, March-April 2009, issue 2, pages 159-65
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, December 2006, pages 447-51
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2007, pages 183-8
Journal of Investigative Dermatology, October 2005, pages 826-32
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2005, issue 4, pages 243-9
Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, 2013, volume 2013, article 827248
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 107-29

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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