Why you should be using face serums?

If I can give one reason for using Face Serums it would be for intense Anti-Ageing

As we get older we start noticing the 7 Signs of ageing:

  1. Uneven Skin Pigmentation
  2. Loss of Firmness
  3. Dehydration
  4. Increased Roughness
  5. Impaired skin barrier protection eg. dehydration, dull complexion etc
  6. Erythema/Redness, Patchy skin, age spots, broken capillaries
  7. Enlarged pores

With ageing, the outer skin layer (epidermis) thins, the number of pigment-containing cells (melanocytes) decreases and the remaining melanocytes increase in size. Ageing skin looks thinner, paler and clear (translucent). Large pigmented spots (age spots, liver spots) start appearing. Changes in the connective tissue reduce the skin’s strength and elasticity. The blood vessels of the dermis become more fragile leading to broken capillaries, bruising and bleeding under the skin. Sebaceous glands produce less oil making it harder for skin to keep moist.

NIGHTMARE!!! I know!!!

We can however prevent and slow down this horrid process by living a healthy lifestyle, and pumping some amazing and powerful ingredients into our skin.

Serums are light, non-greasy treatments with a very high concentration of anti-ageing ingredients that target specific skincare concerns. They are super nourishing and have huge anti-ageing benefits such as smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and brightening, evening out and keeping the skin hydrated. They can help take dull, dry skin to a more supple and glowing skin. Serums are basically loaded with skin loving ingredients!

All serums should be applied to cleansed skin, before your moisturizer and sunscreen. Serums can definitely be layered, just give them a few minutes time to absorb properly before applying the next one.

When it comes to deciding which serum is best for you I believe in targeted treatments, and most serums are designed this way. One product packed with powerful ingredients for one specific skin care concern.

Serums do tend to be a bit more pricey, but all with good reason as they are packed with way more powerful ingredients than your daily moisturizers.

Here are the Tried & Tested serums that I have been loving.


One of the most versatile Anti-Ageing ingredients. I wrote an entire post on how Retinol is an Anti-ageing Wonder Worker. Click Here if you would like to read more on that. With all Retinol Serums it is important to introduce the serum to your skin slowly, and always wear sunscreen.


Optiphi’s Intense Retinol Infinity Serum-  An easy to use light-weight cream that spreads evenly. This intense serum focuses mainly on Cellular resurfacing, enhancing and improving overall complexion, stimulating cell turnover and working against the visible signs of ageing. It contains pure medical grade Retinol which means it can be used day and night and around the eye area (once your skin is used to the high dose of Retinol)

RRP R1095 for 30ml Available at select salons and skin clinics


4002_Activ_Retinol_05Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 0.5 Serum- This innovative, highly concentrated formula combines powerful active ingredients, including Retinol Complex, pure Vitamins C & E and essential minerals to support the natural cell regeneration
process and reduce the appearance of signs of skin aging. In clinical trials, 90% of patients reported that this treatment improved skin texture! It repairs and protects skin. This serum has more of gel-like texture and needs to be applied fairly quickly to ensure it gets spread well. It absorbs very fast. Also available in a double-strength 1.0.

RRP R700 for 30ml. Available at www.skinid.co.za



Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair- Recently launched and as amazing as any of Dermalogica’s products. A Powerful treatment cream that accelerates skin renewal and reduces the appearance of skin ageing overnight. 0.5% Pure Retinol helps increase collagen production and cell turnover. Powerful peptides and antioxidant Vitamin C help fight signs of ageing, including uneven skin tone and discoloration. This product comes with a buffer cream to help ease your skin into the high dose of Retinol/VitA. I love the light-weight texture of this cream that melts into the skin.

RRP R1350 for 30ml. Available at select salon and skincare centres.



Hydrated skin is happy skin! Hydrated skin has enhanced elasticity, intense nourishment, increased cellular longevity and structural support for cellular vitality. Dehydrated skin can not function properly, or absorb any other anti-ageing ingredients. Think of your skin as pot plant. If you want to feed your plant with extra compost you need to wet the soil in order for the plant to get the maximum benefits of the extra nutrients. Your skin works in the same way.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) or something that stimulates your skin’s production of HA is the main ingredient to look for in a serum that promises intense hydration. HA can hold up to 1000 times it’s own weight in moisture.



Optiphi Intense HA Infinity Serum- Packed with 8% pure medical grade HA this serum is an absolute dream. A light-weight cream that spreads easily. My skin felt instantly plump after application. This serum promises to retain skin’s moisture, improving hydration, elasticity and structure of the skin.

RRP R1095 for 30ml. Available at select salons and skincare centres.



Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster- A non-greasy, almost watery liquid that spreads easily and absorbs quickly. I literally use 4 drops for my entire face, neck and chest area. It is a Hydrating fluid concentrate that relieves dryness and fine lines. Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol, Glycolipids and Algae Extract help restore moisture balance. It can be used all over or as a spot treatment.

RRP R935.00 for 30ml. Available at select salons and skincare centers.


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SENSAI Prime Solution- This product is extremely hydrating, but it is also so much more than just a hydrating primer. Sensai’s Prime Solution is applied after double-cleansing, before moisturising, as the essential first step to double moisturising. Koishimaru silk (like Hyaluronic acid holds up to 1000 times it’s own weight in moisture) pumps the skin full of moisture and stimulates hyaluronic acid synthesis in epidermal and dermal cells. Sanzashi Extract boosts cell receptivity, priming the skin to better absorb any subsequent anti-ageing products that will be applied.

In short Prime Solution optimises the daily skincare ritual, promising enhanced cell receptivity and increased moisture retention. Recommended for use mornings and evenings. My 75ml bottle lasted me about 3 months.

RRP R2255 for 75ml. Available at select Edgars, Stuttafords, Red Square stores, as well as select DisChem stores and select pharmacies.



The production of melanin, a pigment present in the skin, can become excessive due to photo-ageing, hormone variations, inflammation, scarring, treatments, cosmetics or fragrance, among other factors which causes brown spots on skins of all ages and skin tones.

Pigmentation, I believe, is one of the hardest things to get rid of. A combination of powerful serums, exfoliating, staying out of the sun and skin peels all go hand-in-hand to combat those pesky dark spots. The below mentioned products will surely help get you closer to brighter, more even toned skin.


Dermalogica C-12 Pure Bright Serum- Part of Dermalogica’s Powerbright range specifically designed for skin suffering from pigmentation. Their new-improved C-12 formula absorbs quickly, it is lightweight and a highly-active topical treatment. It works at combatting hyperpigmentation (brown spots, discoloration and uneven skin tone) day and night, while helping to increase skin luminosity. I found it to be a very potent formula that I had to slowly introduce to my skin. I only apply this serum to the areas of pigmentation, not all-over my face.

RRP R1320 for 30ml. Available at select salons and skincare centers.


La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Serum- The most define smelling serum! This ultra luxurious serum is part of the White Caviar Illuminating Système with Powerful brightening and firming at the heart of each product. A light-weight, watery liquid that is easily applied to the effected areas and absorbs fast. This serum interrupts the cycle that creates age spots and discoloration to insure clearer, more even-toned skin. Packed with powerful ingredients this serum comes with a list of benefits. Whitening peptides for even skin-tone, Dioic Acid to slow down the production of pigmentation, dark spot prevention with Licorice Root Extract, it is skin detoxing providing nourishment, it contains anti-wrinkle ingredients and a powerful anti-oxidant in the form of Resveratrol. Resveratrol increases cellular longevity and protects collagen, maintaining skin’s moisture barrier and delaying the signs of skin ageing. Wow!

It can be used am / pm all over the face and neck avoiding the eye area.

RRP R5995 for 30ml. Available at La Prairie counters in select Woolworths and Stuttafords stores.


Noreva Iklen Anti-Brown Spot Serum- Noreva is a French skincare brand that is new to South Africa. Developed by Dermatologist, and with a long-standing reputation of 20 years, it is truly a beautiful brand. They cater for all skin types and concerns, from very sensitive skin, to sun exposed, pigmented, dehydrated, ageing and damaged skin. I have been trying the Iklen Anti-Brown Spot Serum. AHA-free, this range is ideal for sensitive/reactive skins. You can also use this serum post-laser or peeling treatments as it helps to prevent post-inflammatory pigmentation. It is also safe to use during your second trimester of pregnancy. As I’m sure many women know, pregnancy hormones can cause terrible pigmentation breakouts! This serum contains a patented ingredient called Rucinol, with a similar formula to hydroquinone and similar de-pigmenting properties, BUT without the negative side effects. This fine, non-greasy formula absorbs easily into skin. Recommended to apply this twice a day for a minimum of 8 weeks to see the best results. Fragrance and paraben free.

RRP R799.95 for 3oml. Available at select Clicks stores.



Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Spot Solution- A smooth clear liquid that absorbs quickly and leaves the skin feeling incredibly soft. This formula targets a broad range of dark spots, including those caused by UV exposure, post-inflammatory and age spots. With it’s anti-cluster technology this formula attacks the deep-set dark spots breaking them apart and preventing the formation of new clusters. Key ingredients are Vit C, White Birch and Peony which forms a potent recipe for clearer, corrected skin. Use morning and night as a spot treatment or over the entire face.

RRP R655 for 30ml. Available at Kiehl’s counters at select Edgars stores.



Avene D-Pigment Light Dark Spot Corrector- Avene is a French brand that incorporates Avene Thermal Spring Water in their range of products. Bacteriologically pure, with a PH close to neutral, Thermal Spring Water has a low mineral content and incorporates essential trace elements and silicia, leaving a thin softening and protecting film on the skin. The soothing and anti-irritating properties of the Thermal Spring Water have been demonstrated by numerous scientific studies to decrease reaction in skin cells implicated in skin hypersensitivity, and an improvement in the quality of skin’s surface. Making it ideal in the treatment of sensitive, irritated and damaged skin by soothing, comforting and softening the skin. For more on the rest of this amazing product range see: http://www.eau-thermale-avene.co.za/

The D-Pigment pigmentation treatment combines the action of Melanyde, Pre-tocopheryl and Retinaldehyde to reduce excess epidermal pigmentation. It promises to fade dark spots, smooth uneven areas and skin tone. Fragrance and Paraben free. The D-pigment Light is suited for normal to combination skin. Apply in the evening only and avoid sun exposure. The packaging warns that if stinging occurs reduce the frequency of use. I did not experience any stinging.

RRP R359,95 for 30ml. Available at select Clicks stores.



We need to feed our bodies with Antioxidants! Antioxidants are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage – the common pathway for cancer, aging, and a variety of diseases. Free-radicals cause cells to function poorly or die. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged.


Skin Ceuticals Resveratrol BE- I have been reading so much about the powerful antioxidant Resveratrol. How it boosts radiance, improves elasticity and restores density to the skin. Then this wonderful Skin Ceuticals’ serum landed on my desk, and it promises to do just that. It is a gel-like formula that spreads easily. Resveratrol helps sustain healthy longevity by neutralizing intracellular free radical damage and repairing the visible effects of age-accelerated skin.

RRP R2300 for 30ml. Available at select salons and skincare centres.


The skin around our eye area is extremely delicate and needs to be treated with extra TLC. This is why we have eye creams and serums that are formulated specifically for our eye area. Products that are not suited for the eye can actually cause damage. The eye area is also one of the first places where we can start noticing ageing in the form of fine lines, scrow’s feet, dark circles and dehydration.GENIFIQUE-YEUX-CMJNLancome Advanced Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl  Eye Illuminator – Youth Activating Concentrate- Lancome’s first eye serum engineered with a flexible massage applicator to help reach the inaccessible eye areas. I love the light fresh texture of this formula and the cooling effect of the applicator. This serum promises to reduce the appearance of eye bags, dark circles and wrinkles leaving the eye area looking fresh, rested and smooth. I apply dots around my eyes, top and bottom with the applicator, and then gently massage the serum in circular motions using the applicator.

RRP R850 for 20ml. Available at select Edgars, Red Square, Stuttafords, Woolworths, Truworths and Foschini stores.


The skin on and around the lips is extremely delicate. It has fewer protective layers compared to the rest of the face. The lip area is therefore prone to dryness which causes fine lines and wrinkles. And with age lips lose their vibrant colour, suppleness and definition.

Marli Make-up

SENSAI Cellular Performance Total Lip Treatment- This treatment is specifically designed for the lip zone. It has a silky soft texture that blends beautifully into the skin. It contains Sensai’s Koishimaru Silk, Mandarin Tree Extract, Apricot Pulp Extract and Yuzu Extract which together minimizes age-related dullness, boosts collagen synthesis, repairs roughness and boosts circulation, leaving lips smooth, plumped and youthful-looking.

Recommended application: Apply an appropriate amount (1 push) onto the lips and around the mouth in the mornings and/ or evenings, also when needed during the day. Even more effective when massaged into the O-Zone (lips and the area surrounding) and apply Shiatsu (finger pressure massage) by pressing the middle finger of each hand in the following order: (1) above the lips (2) below the lips (3) on each side of the lips

RRP R1365 for 15ml. Available at select Edgars, Stuttafords, Red Square stores, as well as select DisChem stores and select pharmacies.



Dermalogica MAP-15 Regenerator- One of my all-time favourite products. It comes in a fine powder form, that when applied to the skin, melts into a rich creamy consistency. It is a highly-active Vitamin C concentrate that minimizes multiple signs of aging. It delivers the highest concentration of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) directly into the skin to help dramatically improve skin firmness and clarity. This product can be applied directly to wrinkles/areas of fine lines, or mixed in with your moisturizer for an all-over treatment.

RRP R1320 for 8g. Available at select salons and skincare centres.





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