With the dawn of the Korean 10-step skincare routine, should we all be using multiple beauty potions? The answer to this question depends on the active ingredients in your anti-ageing serums and ampules.
The anti-ageing skincare shelves are bursting with products that promise to protect, rewind, work with your DNA, erase wrinkles, fade age spots, protect your collagen ... Navigating your choices and their lists of claims can be overwhelming!
When you're in this situation, you're probably going to ask yourself, 'Will using multiple serums really show a difference? Should I be using more skincare ingredients? How many products are enough?'
The answer to these questions is twofold:
- First, you need to know what the active ingredients in your current product are. (This is the key.)
- Second, you need to determine if the formula is compatible with your skin type. (This is your switch indicator.)
1. What are the active ingredients in your anti-ageing serum?
The answer to this question is very important, because using two serums that contain the same ingredient won't add any further benefit to your anti-ageing skincare routine.
Does using two serums with the same anti-ageing active enhance results?
It's a common misconception that by using skincare products containing the same actives, you're actually doubling the concentration your skin receives. But this isn't the case at all.
The best way to think of this is in the context of diet. If you eat one grape, your body gets the nutrients of one grape. If you eat another grape, your body gets the nutrients of two grapes.
Each grape is equal in nutrients, so when you've eaten two, the total quantity of nutrients is higher, but the concentration is the same. You can't get the nutrients of two grapes by eating one grape (this would be a higher concentration per grape).
Similarly, layering sun-protection products doesn't increase the total SPF.
This concept is important because it illustrates that you need to use only one serum with your key anti-ageing ingredient. The exception is if you were considering a new skincare product that has a higher concentration of a specific active. In such a case, you're best off switching to the higher-dose product.
Not sure which anti-ageing actives you should be using in your anti-ageing skincare routine? Take a read of this Ultimate Guide article, which tells you more about three well-proven anti-ageing actives.
Does using two serums with different anti-ageing actives make a difference?
Using anti-ageing actives that offer different benefits can create positive changes in your complexion. This is the same as the concept of having a varied and nutritious diet.
Eating just carrots, although healthy, won't provide your body with the well-rounded sustenance it needs. Eating a diet of many fruits and vegetables will.
For example, you could use:
- Hyaluronic acid, such as that in Hylamide Low-Molecular HA Booster, to help increase hydration, plump skin, and support collagen production. This product would pair well with a vitamin A serum, such as SkinCeuticals Pure Retinol 0.5, which is a highly effective anti-ageing ingredient but can also be drying.
- You could pair the vitamin C in Hylamide C25 Stabilised Vitamin C Booster with the vitamin B3 in SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 Emulsion. While both ingredients offer an improvement in collagen health, each offers benefits the other doesn't.
2. Is the formula compatible with your skin type?
If you're already using two serums that contain the same single active ingredient, and you do see a difference in your complexion, it's likely due to product compatibility.
- Some formulas work best on oily skin, whereas others work best on dry skin.
- Some formulas deliver active ingredients to the surface layers of skin, whereas others deliver actives to deeper levels.
- Some formulas are just more compatible with your skin than other formulas containing the same ingredients.
If you're not seeing a difference after three months of using a serum, it's time to switch to a different product. Try a serum with the same active ingredient to determine whether the active doesn't work for you or the first formula that wasn't compatible with your complexion.
Will using multiple serums really make a difference?
Using multiple serums can lead to increased results if combined strategically. Serums with different active ingredients and different anti-ageing benefits will provide skin with a varied 'diet' that rewinds damage and protects against future stress.