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Body Serum: These Are The Best For Hydrated, Glowing Skin

There’s a reason “body serum” has over 124 million views on TikTok: it can take your body care routine to the next level (think: ultra-hydrated, glowing skin) with little extra effort. 

It’s no secret that these days, there’s a skincare and body care product for everything. Elbows, knees, toes — you name it, there’s a sauce to make it smoother. But before you start thinking “what’s the point in using a body serum and a body moisturiser?” hear us out, because you might end up falling in love with it. 

 Body serum is the hard-working predecessor to body moisturiser, but does body serum actually work? We sought out the help from Spirithoula Koukoufikis, Senior Medical Aesthetician at London-based clinic Skinfluencer to find out everything you need to know about this growing market of products.

How does the skin on our body differ from the skin on our face?

Before diving into what body serum is and which are our faves, let’s look into how the body and face skin differ. Essentially, the skin on our body is much thicker than our face, with the exception of the décolleté. “In addition to the varying thickness, the number and size of hair follicles, sweat and oil glands varies too,” says Koukoufikis. “These skin appendages are reservoirs of skin cells and oil that help protect and heal your skin. Areas with more appendage concentration (such as the face) heal more quickly and are better at tolerating injury than sites with fewer appendages, such as the neck and chest.”

What is body serum?

Body serum essentially goes beyond basic moisturising with a cream. Just like a serum for your face, a body serum is packed with high-performance actives and ingredients that deeply hydrate skin. “Depending on which serum you use, its formulation can include plant extracts, minerals, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants. With the right choice of active ingredients, a body serum can address and help target various skin concerns,” says Koukoufikis. “They can help with anti-ageing, reducing wrinkles, healing wounds, repairing damage, hydrating the skin, and preventing acne and scars,” she adds. Think of the serum as addressing any concerns and the moisturiser as locking it in and simply hydrating. 

What ingredients are typically used in a body serum?

You can get a body serum to address all kinds of things, so it really does depend on what concern you’re hoping to tackle. “A moisturising body serum containing AHAs will work with the skin to naturally exfoliate, leaving skin radiant with a natural glow,” Koukoufikis explains. “A serum packed with antioxidants will protect your skin from damaging free radicals and minimise the signs of ageing.” And a serum that aims to intensely hydrate the skin will be packed with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides.

Is it a good idea to layer a serum with a moisturiser on the body?

Definitely! Koukoufikis says that a serum isn’t a replacement for skincare and must be combined with a routine, including a moisturiser for optimum results.

What time of the year is a body serum best for? 

Since body serums are much lighter in texture, they are great additions in the summer especially. “Usually, they are immediately absorbed into the skin and leave no residue,” says Koukoufikis. “If you choose a formulation that includes actives and a humectant such as hyaluronic acid, then the potent blend of active ingredients will improve any skin issues, while providing much-needed hydration to the skin.” But there aren’t any hard and fast rules, you can use body serum whenever you fancy.

Are there some skin types that should avoid body serums?

If you’ve got a skin condition, it’s always best to seek skincare expert advice beforehand because the last thing you want to do is exacerbate the problem. Koukoufikis always recommends looking out for ingredients and formulations that are tailored to your skin type, which is what will give you maximum benefits — this includes body serums, too.

“If you use a product that is not suited to your skin type, it can have potential side effects such as dryness or sensitivity, as well as exacerbating skin conditions like rosacea, acne or eczema,” she adds. For this reason, people with these conditions should be extra careful when introducing a new product into their routine.

“People with eczema can benefit from serums that contain moisturising hyaluronic acid, as well as ceramides to promote a healthy skin barrier for moisture retention,” says Koukoufikis. “Products with niacinamide will stimulate collagen and elastin, which are the skin’s structural support proteins,” she adds.

How to use body serum?

After jumping out of the shower (possible using a body scrub while you’re there) whilst your skin is still slightly damp, apply the body serum of your choice and let it sink in. Follow this with one of your favourite body moisturisers and you’re good to go!

Our favourite body serums for summer 2022:

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