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InstaNatural Serum 101

Serum 101: An Esthetician's Guide

InstaNatural Team
acne acne prone blemish glycolic acid hyaluronic acid natural retinol serum skin skin care spf tips vitamin c

InstaNatural Serum 101: An Esthetician's Guide

In the midst of all skin care products, facial serums continue to offer new innovation for incredible skin care results. However, with any great product comes many questions.

Is a facial serum necessary in my routine? How do I choose a facial serum and what are the benefits? Are they really as powerful as we are told? The questions can really go on forever – and the answers might surprise you. Facial serums are an invaluable addition to most skin care routines, and we’re excited to tell you why!

What is a Facial Serum?
While there is no standardized definition for a facial serum, they are commonly the most concentrated treatment product within a skin care regimen. They are lighter in texture because they are designed to be layered, and they combine proven ingredients to target specific skin concerns or conditions. Most importantly, their molecular weight is typically smaller than moisturizers, which allows them to work more effectively because of their ability to penetrate the deeper levels of the epidermis. This unique formulation allows you to experience incredible skin benefits from facial serums.

Ingredients to Look for in Serums

For Lines, Wrinkles and Dark Spots
Ingredients like Vitamin C and Retinol are considered the “gold standard” in anti-aging. Serums containing these ingredients are the best way to incorporate these ingredients into your routine. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that defends the skin from free radical damage during the day, while also supporting healthy collagen production for firmer skin. At night, retinol works with your body’s natural recovery cycle, creating a burst of exfoliation to increase cell turnover to reveal brighter, healthy skin cells.

For Dry, Sensitive and Oily Skin
Few ingredients are as universal as Hyaluronic Acid – but this powerful ingredient is perfect for any skin type looking to balance oil production, hydrate and soothe. Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring substance found in our bodies and plays a crucial role in healthy joints. Applied topically, Hyaluronic Acid acts like a drink of water for the skin. Increasing your skin’s hydration levels help to soothe and nourish dry and sensitive skin types, while also helping oily skin types regulate excess oil production. The result is radiant, balanced skin that is resistant to external aging factors.

For Breakouts, Blackheads and Blemish Prone Skin
Whiteheads, breakouts and clogged pores are a frustrating concern that can benefit from the use of a facial serum. Ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Niacinamide and Glycolic Acid are powerful ingredients to address these concerns. While Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid target cell turnover and clear away breakout causing oil, Niacinamide works as a powerful skin clearing ingredient, targeting both inflammation and scarring caused by breakouts. Niacinamide also helps to support a healthy skin barrier, which is crucial in the treatment of breakout prone skin.


How to Apply a Facial Serum
Knowing which ingredients to look for in your serum is important, but proper facial serum application is just as valuable when introducing this product into your routine. Serums should be applied on cleansed skin, after your toner and before your moisturizer. The use of a toner before your serum helps to prep the skin and balance its pH, while following your serum with a moisturizer provides the skin with moisture and supports a healthy skin barrier. Since serums are highly concentrated, you should only need about a dime sized amount for the entire face. To apply, dispense the serum onto your fingertips and press into the skin in light, upward motions. Once applied to the skin, massage gently to disperse. Be careful not to tug or pull on the skin, as that can further aging concerns. Depending on your skin care concerns, you can layer multiple serums for enhanced benefits – just remember to apply products thinnest to thickest for maximum absorption.

It is also recommended to use your serums morning and night, as twice daily application of these key ingredients will provide enhanced and quicker results in the skin. Ingredients like Retinol and Glycolic Acid should only be used at night, and followed with an SPF Moisturizer during the day.


We believe serums are a crucial piece in every beauty routine. With that in mind, we’ve worked diligently to create a wide range of targeted treatment serums, leveraging proven ingredients with natural extracts and botanicals to offer powerful results for healthy, radiant looking skin.