A face serum is more lightweight than a moisturiser and contains a higher concentration of active ingredients. Amino acids should be at the top of your list as they serve an important role in retaining moisture, which is key to ensuring skin looks its best possible.
Air pollution is a major contributor to skin ageing and sensitivity, due to the formation of free radicals, which attack the skin’s structure, causing what’s called oxidative stress. This compromises our skin’s barrier function, causing an increase in irritation and sensitivity. Compensate for this by choosing a serum that contains good concentrations of antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C, D and B-complex.
Serums containing mild exfoliating acids, such as lactic and salicylic acid, help remove the top layer of dead skin cells from your face, aiding cell turnover and restoring radiance to the skin. While mild exfoliating acids can be used on sensitive skin types, it’s advisable to avoid stronger forms of acids such as retinoids as they can be too harsh for the weaker barrier of sensitive skin types. It is also advisable to exfoliate the skin once or twice a week to remove excess dry skin and improve the absorption of the serum you are planning to use.
If you’re ever unsure about a new ingredient or formula causing a reaction, ask for a sample of the serum and do a small patch test at home to check how you react to it.
Sensitive skin can be irritated by a number of factors – many of which are out of our control. Sensitive skin is very prone to inflammation and damage caused by environmental stressors, so a serum containing active ingredients can help protect, repair and strengthen the skin. This is very important in keeping inflammation and signs of premature ageing at bay, but you do need to be careful about the ingredients. A serum suited to sensitive skin should be free from ingredients that are likely to cause a reaction such as alcohol, fragrances and essential oils.