Beauty: Serums reign in the pores
Lotions and potions have been surpassed by the trendy-sounding 'serum'. We find out its skin and hair-friendly benefits...
One of the industry's best-kept secrets - serums - are fast becoming the new darling of women around the country thanks to a little Boots number that is rapidly flying off shelves nationwide.
Sales of No7 Protect & Perfect Serum increased by nearly 2,000pc with 13 being sold every minute, after it was touted by the BBC Horizon programme as a 'wonder cream' that reduces wrinkles.
But beauty insiders aren't too surprised by the sudden popularity of serums.
Dr Barry Cohen, founder of pH Advantage, says: "The molecules in a serum are smaller than that of a traditional moisturiser, and therefore are able to absorb more effectively into the skin's pores."
Concentrated ingredients are packed into a serum which can penetrate the skin much quicker and more deeply for an intensive treatment. They can also help to address certain skin problems such as dehydration and dullness.
To get a serum's full benefits you should add a drop onto cleansed skin before applying your moisturiser in the morning and again before you sleep at night.
Boots No7 skin-firming and complexion-brightening Protect & Perfect Serum (£17) was scientifically shown to repair photo-aged skin and improve fine wrinkles on the programme.
But it's not the only serum on the market that's been proven to boost the appearance of skin.
Elemis' new Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Serum, £95 (01278 727 830/www.elemis.com) lifts and firms skin, while Lancome High Resolution Collaser-48 serum (£49) boosts collagen to slow down the signs of ageing.
Vitamin C is a popular ingredient, with Darphin Arovita C Line Response Firming serum (£45, 0870 034 2566) including it in their formulas.
Not to be outdone, REN has launched two new anti-ageing serums - Revivo-Lift Radiant Day (£40) and Revivo-Lift H11 Night (£46 0845 225 5600). Both claim to smooth lines and correct skin tone.
And Origins Modern Fusion (£27.50) contains rice. Inspired by an ancient Asian tradition, the rice butter hydrates, while purple rice protects.
Ensure your eyes don't reveal your true age with Darphin Lifting And Firming serum, or Dark Circles Relief And De-Puffing serum (£44), or Lancome High Resolution Yeux Collaser-48 (£37).
But you don't have to spend a fortune to look better, as the No7 serum proves. The Sanctuary Line Smoothing Serum (£9.95 at Boots) is reported by 77pc of testers to be effective in smoothing wrinkles and fine lines.
HEAVEN FOR HAIR
Serums are also potent little products in hairland. Applied drop by drop, they can transform extremely damaged hair into silky, healthy and strong locks. A bottle of serum is sold every 20 seconds, proving that actions speak louder than words.
John Frieda caused a revolution when he launched his hair serums 20 years ago. The Frizz-Ease serum has miraculously tamed all degrees of frizz and led Vogue to declare John as the "founding father of modern hair-styling products".
The new Frizz-Ease Thermal Protection serum (£5.99), now available at supermarkets as well as Boots and Superdrug, and Charles Worthington Eternal Shine serum (£5.99) are perfect for people with fine, flyaway hair. Neither will leave your hair greasy, and they make locks look sleek rather than static. Andrew Collinge Salon Shine (£4.49) and TRESemme No Frizz (£3.99) are great for frizz-holics. All three will help calm down panicky breakouts of the dreaded frizz, fluff and flyaways.
VO5 Perfect Lengths Shine Serum Mist (£2.99) is a lightweight serum mist to add shine while enhancing the hair's natural movement and bounce. It's non-sticky and won't weigh your hairstyle down.