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How to Include Facial Serums In Your Skincare Line

Facial serums have been trending in the beauty community for well over a year, but many smaller skin care brands still aren't including them in the range. In part, that's because many beauty brand owners still aren't exactly sure what serums are or what they're for. If you're in the same position, don't feel bad—facial serums are still a relatively new addition to the market, and the definition of their properties and purpose varies somewhat from person to person. Here's the low-down on what a serum is at its core and the two main types of facial serum.

What Is a Serum?

While there's no one 'true definition' of a serum, in general, most of them are liquids that deliver a moderate concentration of high-performance active ingredients to the skin. They're generally light enough to use daily and they're applied after cleansing and toning. Different serums have different purposes; some tackle acne while others refresh the skin. They're also made in a variety of formulations with different bases.

Facial serums can be formulated as emulsions, gels and even pressed balms, but the majority of them fall into two main categories: oil-based and water-based. Each of these two serum types has different benefits, and you can choose to include one or both of them in your skincare line depending on your target market and business goals.

What Are Oil-Based Serums?

One of the most common types of serums is the oil-based serum. Oil-based serums are usually made with carrier oils like grapeseed, hazelnut and safflower because of their fast absorption. This ensures that the serum fits seamlessly into a typical skin care routine and can be used daily without making the skin greasy. Most oil-based serums also contain antioxidants like vitamin E, green tea extract or CoQ10. The antioxidants increase the shelf life of the oils and add anti-ageing properties to the serum. Since oil-based serums contain antioxidants and don't use water, they can be formulated without preservatives. So if you have a more natural skin care brand or one that targets older women and men, oil-based serums are perfect for you.

What Are Water-Based Serums?

On the 'opposite' side to oil is the water-based serum. Unsurprisingly, these are great for hydrating the skin. They're often formulated with humectants (hydrophilic compounds) like glycerine and aloe, delivering high levels of moisture into the skin's deeper layers. They're best when layered under creams or oils, as this traps the serum on the skin's surface so it can soak in thoroughly. The humectants deliver a long-lasting feel that soothes the skin, so they're great for skin care lines aimed at those with dry and sensitive skin.

A skin care manufacturer should carefully consider their main audience when choosing which items to include in their skin care lines, and that includes serums.