This Is Why (and How) You Need to Be Using a Skin Serum

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Serums, creams, oils, tonics – when it comes to skincare, the list of things we’re supposed to use seems to be getting bigger by the day. But if there’s something you definitely should not be skimping on, it’s your serum.

For the ultimate tips and tricks on how to use one and to make the most of its beauty benefits, we tapped Marie-Helen Lair, the Scientific Communication Director at Clarins. Read on to see why she believes serums are the key to beautiful skin and discover the amazing new ‘Double Serum’.


What exactly is a serum, and why it so important?
A serum is a skincare formula with a specific texture. It’s formulated to penetrate quickly and deeply into the skin, and its texture is designed to boost the penetration of active ingredients in your skincare. It is not supposed to have a role on the skin surface – that is the mission and purpose of the cream applied just afterwards.

At what age should women use a serum, and why?
There is no specific age that you should start using a serum. The use of a moisturizing routine – made up of a hydrating serum and cream – can be started in your 20s, especially if your skin has been altered by harsh conditions.

Should we use serums in the day or at night? Or both?
The application of a serum follows the rules of the skin’s chronobiology. During the day, your skin needs protection and moisturization. At night, it works a lot for its regeneration. That is why you can select a hydrating serum in the morning, and a regenerating serum at night before using your night cream. As the ‘Double Serum’ stimulates all five vital functions of the skin – regeneration, hydration, oxygenation, protection, and nutrition – it can be applied one or two times a day, before a cream.

This Is Why (and How) You Need to Be Using a Skin Serum

Clarins ‘Double Serum’

AED520

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What should we look out for in serums?
It’s not really about the ingredients, but a matter of texture. A serum’s texture has to be light and in perfect affinity with the skin to boost the penetration of active ingredients, which is what it’s there for! That’s one of the major strengths of ‘Double Serum’ – it is a perfect example of bio affinity as it has the same texture as the hydro-lipidic film on the top of the skin: 1/3 lipidic, 2/3 hydric. That is why it’s so effective at delivering active ingredients deep into the skin.

What’s the best way to apply a serum?
The right application of a serum is not a matter of quantity, but frequency. You should apply two drops on your face and neck every day on cleansed skin before your cream. There’s no need to follow a specific massage method.

What mistakes do women make when using serum?
The main mistake women often make with serums is forgetting to use a cream afterwards. You’re using the serum to get the best benefits of your active ingredients deep down, not to treat the surface of the skin. That’s why you need to use it with a skin cream.

This Is Why (and How) You Need to Be Using a Skin Serum

Clarins ‘Hydra-Essentiel Bi-Phase Serum’

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What’s your ultimate skincare routine?
My regular skincare routine is made up of four mandatory products:

– Cleanser: Even at night after a late party or dinner, it is compulsory to remove makeup and deeply cleanse the skin! This also helps to stimulate skin regeneration at night.
– Serum: I don’t use the same serum all year long as I prefer to use several different serums according to the season. I use the ‘Hydra-Essentiel Bi-Phase Serum’ in the summer, ‘Double Serum’ in fall and spring, and anti-aging serums during the wintertime.
– Cream: Hydration is a vital function of the skin, so this moisturization step is a key daily one. That’s why it’s the basis of all Clarins creams. All of our anti-aging creams contain moisturizing ingredients as well as anti-aging actives.
– Sun protection: 80 percent of signs of aging are linked to an excess of sun exposure without sun protection, so you’ll always find a ‘UV Plus’ in my handbag. I apply it on top of my makeup, or as a touch-up if I have a lunch outside or on a terrace.

What’s your top skincare tip?
Implement the daily routine that I just described, and combine it with the right diet. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. A good tip is to select fruits of different colors, so they contain several anti-oxidant molecules.

Complete the sentence: To me, beautiful skin is…
Radiant skin with smile lines and a glowing complexion!

This Is Why (and How) You Need to Be Using a Skin Serum

Clarins ‘UV Plus Anti-Pollution’

AED221 / SAR226

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