Serums have become a regular part of the daily beauty regimen, yet when asked, most women (and men) find it hard to explain what the difference is between a serum and a cream.

The products known as serums were first used in beauty salons before being introduced to the mass market. Dafna Ziv, head consultant of Vichy Israel, says that a cosmetic serum is a highly concentrated product, containing approximately 10 times more of active substances than creams.

Therefore, it deals with cosmetic problems more quickly and effectively.

Serums have active ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbal essences, oils, hormones, enzymes, proteins or hyaluronic acid. The small size of the molecules used in most good serums helps them penetrate the skin better.

First introduced as long as 20 years ago, today there are many different kinds of serums that target different problems.

Most serums are divided into categories such as lifting, revitalizing (rejuvenating and regenerating), moisturizing, nourishing, anti-inflammatory, soothing and anti-stress, and are used as a base before applying cream.

Says Ziv, “Using a serum under cream helps deliver moisture deeper, beyond the outer layer of the skin, thus helping delay the appearance of fine lines, and treats sun damage and age spots.”

Iris Agiv, head consultant at Lancome Israel, says that today serums are the most important part of daily skin care. “The active ingredients in the serum are very concentrated and can be used either to enhance the effect of the cream used – using a serum and a cream that focus on the same problem – or to complement it, using a serum that addresses a different problem.”

Agiv says that serums are good for all ages. For those in their 20s, it can help protect the skin and prevent the appearance of age signs later in life. For women 30 and up, it is recommended to use serums both day and night before applying the cream.

“It’s important to remind women that serum is not enough; they need to use cream on top of it.”

The serum penetrates the skin, and a cream creates a special protective layer that will safeguard the serum against evaporation and protects the skin against discomfort and dryness.

Most cosmetic companies now have more than one serum in their line. Here are a few that are available in Israel. When choosing the right serum for you, make sure it targets the problem you want to address and use it daily. Like all active cosmetics, serums have an expiration date, so don’t save them for later.

THE PRODUCTS

Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 has a unique, highly concentrated formula that provides an immediate firming effect but is suitable for sensitive skin. NIS 369. Available at private pharmacies only.

Overnight Repair Serum by Dermalogica is designed to help skin repair itself and delay signs of aging. NIS 398. Available at cosmetic stores. Call 073-210-2030.

Perfecting Serum by Dr. Murad has a silky texture and can be used over makeup, providing a smooth finish to the skin. NIS 395. Available only at April stores.

Innovate MesoMix Cocktail Serum is part of the Innovate series, designed to prolong and enhance the effects of the Mesotherapy treatment. NIS 320. Sold only by beauticians.

Kart Cosmetics Brookosome Ace is an active concentrate that aims to rejuvenate the skin by activating the genes within the deep dermis. The serum, designed for home use, uses active ingredients never before used outside clinics. Available at licensed cosmetic centers.

Derma Solution Vitamin C Serum. NIS 183. Available only at licensed beauty centers.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector helps to eliminate and prevent dark spots and skin discoloration. NIS 435.

La Mer Regeneration Serum combines all the known qualities of the brand, based on its secret Miracle Broth, with added active ingredients extracted from a marine plant called Eryngium maritimum, which enhance the rejuvenating qualities of the broth. NIS 1,450. Available only at Hamashbir in Ramat Aviv.

Bobby Brown Intensive Skin Supplement is designed to smooth and refine the skin, adding radiance to one’s appearance. NIS 300.

Hlavin Love Line Serum should be used as a base before the cream as part of the daily routine. NIS 99.

Fibrogene Response Nourishing Serum by Darphin is for women with very dry skin. The serum helps reduce the appearance of fine lines. NIS 430.

Shiseido Future Solution LX promises the ultimate regenerating effect thanks to an extremely high concentration of active ingredients that reduce stress in the skin, bringing back its inherent ability to renew itself. A new capsule technology helps the active ingredients penetrate the skin and reach deep into the dermis. NIS 2,300 at most pharmacies, Hamashbir and Super- Pharm stores.

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