Belfast Telegraph

Make-up masterclass: Skin saving serums

Paddy McGurgan is one of NI's best-known beauty experts and each week he tells us all we need to know about the latest make-up techniques and trends

Paddy shares his top five tips for using serums
Paddy shares his top five tips for using serums

By Paddy McGurgan

Everyone is talking about serums — but what are they? Here’s my guide to the latest hero product hitting the shelves.

Face serums are lightweight moisturisers that penetrate deeper to deliver active ingredients into your skin. Serum is particularly suited to this task because it is made up of smaller molecules that can penetrate deeply and deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients, making it a great tool for targeting specific skincare concerns, like wrinkles.

To maintain already good skin, it is important to not use harsh chemicals on the skin, or anything that will cause irritation. I cannot recommend enough the GloTherapeutics range for this. I love the Vitamin C Serum (£102) as its lightweight texture leaves the skin feeling hydrated and fresh.

I am always wary about placing oil on my clients’ skin as I do not want to upset the natural pH balance, but this serum is so gentle that it does not act as a pH trigger, instead adding natural hydration and moisture that the skin needs to renew its cells.

Vitamin E Moisture Serum, £12, The Body Shop

Cheap and cheerful but seriously effective, this serum is great if your skin is lacking in moisture. It relieves dryness and helps to activate the hidden ingredients in your existing moisturiser.

This lightweight, pre-moisturiser treatment boosts the skin, giving enhanced all-day moisture and protection. Formulated with protective vitamin E and moisturising wheatgerm oil, it leaves skin feeling instantly smooth. Follow with the vitamin E day and night moisturisers as part of your personalised skincare programme.

Ren Evercalm Anti Redness Serum, £28

Ren’s serum boosts your skin’s tolerance to redness. Apply the serum before moisturising morning and night. This serum has a cooling effect on the skin — and who doesn’t love that?

Image Restoring Youth Serum, £42.50

This is definitely a treat for any skincare lovers! This highly concentrated blend of peptides and plant-derived stem cell extracts corrects and improves the appearance of lines and wrinkles, resulting in firmer and more elastic skin. The serum also contains a powerful fruit extract which acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that brightens skin tone and prevents collagen breakdown.

Estee Lauder’s New Dimension Shape + Fill Expert Serum, £62 

I love Estee Lauder’s New Dimension Shape + Fill Expert Serum. It acts as a barrier for your make-up so that the skin is not harmed by it, but also creates a layer on the skin to aid and allow the foundation to build more evenly. Perfect for anyone conscious of fine lines.

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.90, The Ordinary

The Ordinary is all about keeping skincare fuss-free and to the point, as well as keeping their products as affordable as possible. This is an amazing serum which offers the heroic hydrating properties of hyaluronic acid, yet with an extraordinarily low price tag. This oil-free treatment penetrates deep into the skin’s layers to deliver intense, long-lasting moisture that swiftly smooths and perfectly plumps.

Truth Serum, £47, Ole Henriksen

Truth Serum is like a daily multivitamin for the skin. Ole Henriksen was an early adopter of vitamin C in skincare, believing that its antioxidant properties and role in promoting collagen made it a crucial ingredient. Supercharged with Ole Henriksen’s trademark True-C Complex and boosted with collagen, this powerful age-defying serum helps brighten and firm, and delivers all-day hydration. Enriched with orange and green tea extracts, this fast-absorbing, oil-free formula revives the complexion.

Paddy's top five tips for using serums

1. Tailor your serum to your skincare needs (ie, if you have dry skin, opt for a hydrating serum, etc).

2 To apply a serum, use clean fingertips as you would with other products, and adopt light, upward strokes.

3. When choosing a serum, consider brands that have good reputations, that clinically test their products and divulge their ingredient list. The higher ingredient concentrations they have, the better. 

4. Serums are the first products that should be applied to your skin after cleansing and toning.

5. A sunscreen should be applied over the serum in the morning and a moisturiser appropriate for your skin type should be used over the serum at night.

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