Dry January: There’s a Serum for That
Winter blues are probably hitting you real hard right about now (especially if you’re partaking in the REAL dry January aka no alcohol all month long). It’s cold & dreary & no matter how much lotion you put on your skin is STILL dry. Well, we don’t have all the answers to that problem, but it got us thinking about serums. What are serums? Why do people use them? Will they help this dryness situation?
Serums are lightweight moisturizers & can be used in tandem with other skin care items. Not everyone needs a serum so take into consideration what issues you’re having & do your research.
A few of us here in the office decided to test out three different serums for a week & here’s what we discovered.
Clarins Double Serum
Tested by: Lauren Grasso, Macy’s Creative Manager
Best for: All skin types
Super power: Minimizes pores, hydrates & smooths, targets lines & wrinkles
Use it: AM & PM & follow with your usual skin care routine
Lauren says: When it comes to skin care, I am the most low-maintenance person you’ll ever meet. I don’t wear any makeup, I cleanse my face in the shower each night & sometimes I put on a moisturizer after (if I remember). So diving into a serum was a whole new world for me. The first thing I noticed about this one was that you could customize your dosage. I chose the smaller one to start with, but used the larger one for subsequent applications since I felt like I needed a bit more. This one has a light scent & went on easily. It felt super light on my skin & wasn’t overly oily or messy. It’s important to note, this serum is also used to combat anti-aging blemishes (lines & wrinkles) & uses turmeric for that component. Other notable ingredients include organic green banana (firmness), myrothanmus (smoothing & toning) & teasel extract (antioxidant). After using this morning & night for a few days, my skin felt decidedly smoother & less dry. For someone not used to a routine, this serum is an easy step & has inspired me to pay a little bit more attention to my skin.
Caudalie Vinopure Serum
Tested by: Nicole McGovern, Macy’s Creative Copywriter
Best for: Oily or sensitive skin
Super power: Minimizes pores & clears breakouts sans parabens, formaldehydes & phthalates
Use it: AM & PM after cleansing your face
Nicole says: All winter long I hear “moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!” Well, if you’re like me & have oily, oily, oily skin, you probably feel personally attacked by that statement. When asked to test a serum I may or may not have visibly shuddered. More oil on this skin?! Fine, I’ll try it & I’ll gladly prove you all wrong. Fast forward to the moment the magic potion that is Caudalie Vinopure Serum hit my face. It went on silky smooth & was immediately absorbed into my skin, leaving it feeling all “I-just-got-a-facelift-but-in-a-really-good-way” tight. It was firm, it was smooth & there was no greasy residue in sight. After a few days of using it, I saw a little less of my blemishes & a little more of a natural, subtle glow. What I learned: as much as it pains me to admit, I was the one proven wrong—all serums are not created equal. With the right mashup of ingredients, they’re actually a dream for oily skin. This one is packed with the highest concentration of natural salicylic acid (that superstar ingredient that tackles breakouts, blemishes & blackheads) plus hydrating rosewater & noncomedogenic (read: non-pore clogging) essential oils. Bonus points for that light, fresh lavender-lemongrass-spearmint scent that transported me right to the spa.
Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate
Tested by: Adrienne Heller, Macy’s Creative Director
Best for: All skin types
Super power: Making skin super strong (yes, skin can be strong—read on)
Use it: AM & PM post face wash, pre moisturizer
Adrienne says: I’ve always approached skin care as a solution—fix this dryness, heal this blemish, give me that glow. It wasn’t until I was a few days into testing this Shiseido goodness that I had a revelation: my skin looooves (also really needs) attention even when it’s not having a massive breakdown…or rather, breakout. Milky at first sight & intoxicatingly wonderful in scent, this miracle worker made my face feel luxe & refreshed within a few days of application. I’m serious, I could actually feel a difference. Made with botanical extracts (reishi mushroom for hydration, iris root for moisturization & a mix of gingko biloba leaf, shiso & thyme for a healthy complexion), this concentrate is a warrior for my skin, fortifying it & recharging it behind the scenes. I don’t have especially angsty skin, but the few irritations & blemishes that usually pop up around my jawline quietly faded into nothingness. It was more than that though, my skin felt resilient, constantly soft & never wind-lashed after being out & about in the freezer that is January. By incorporating this one extra step of maintenance to my routine, I really feel like my skin is now low maintenance—equipped to stay strong, hydrated & healthy in the face of all the elements (& winter has plenty of those).Plus, the mere scent of it reminds me that I am doing something just for me—it’s a small thing, but my skin really does feel mighty.