How to Choose a Face Serum

How to Choose a Face Serum

Shopping for skincare isn’t that hard most of the time. It’s easy to choose a cleanser (as long as it washes the grime off) and a night cream (it has to be rich and nourishing with your fave oils). All you have to do is try out fun, new products until you find the ones you love.

But it’s a lot more intimidating when you start branching out to those extra steps, like essences and actives. These all fall under one category — facial serums. And any skincare junkie knows that choosing one isn’t as simple as finding the bottle with the cutest packaging and plucking it off the shelf at the drugstore.

You have to do research to make sure your skin will jive well with certain acids and compounds. Serums are more potent, so it’s scarier to simply do trial and error.

Worried about making mistakes as you shop for a serum? Read on to learn the right way to choose a face serum that will make your skin glowy and happy. Celestolite is here to guide you through it all. 

What is a Serum? Do I Really Need One in My Skincare Routine?

Celestolite Mars Serum

A serum is a potent concentrate of active acids or botanicals. It’s thicker in consistency than a toner, but is way thinner than an emulsion or cream. It doesn’t have the same heavy oils, butters, and emollients as your moisturizer. So it ends up being more lightweight and breathable on your skin.

Serums are usually formulated to have an intense slip with the help of hydrating glycerin or smoothing silicones. This helps it spread and glide like a dream on your skin. Our Jade Spectra Phyto Silk serum is a great example of this! But the star of each serum is the potent ingredients that make it powerful enough to target your most pressing skin concerns.

Unlike heavy, creamy, oil-based moisturizers, serums are typically water-based. That makes it easier for the potent actives to absorb into the deeper layers of your skin. These actives include fan favorites, like vitamin C, and gentle exfoliants to brighten up the skin, like glycolic acid.

Serums are known to be concentrated and undiluted, containing only the good stuff without the fillers like oils and large amounts of water.

Because it has a higher percentage of actives, it can be more expensive than other skincare products. But if you want to target specific skin issues, it’s going to be worth the hefty price tag.

The Most Popular Types of Serums and What They Do

Celestolite Venus Vitamin C Serum

Everyone goes through skin issues of their own. While one person deals with hyperpigmentation, another could be concerned about dehydration. As a mom starts to notice wrinkles and deep lines on her face, her teenage daughter could be struggling with acne.

That’s why serums are formulated in many different ways — to target specific skin concerns, depending on what you need. There are so many types of serums out there, and you’ll find several of them here at Celestolite. Here are three of the most popular kinds:

Brightening Serums

These are serums formulated to even out your complexion and eliminate scarring. The most popular type is a serum full of vitamin C, which helps inhibit the overproduction of melanin, keeping discolorations and dark spots at bay.

One brightening serum that puts vitamin C centerstage is our Venus Vitamin C Serum. It’s infused with ascorbic acid and orange peel oil to fade dark spots and eliminate fine lines from your complexion, leaving it clearer and younger-looking.

The Venus Vitamin C Serum can be found in the Celestolite Venus Collection, a line of products designed for sensitive skin that need a boost of radiance and smoothness.

Hydrating Serums

Those with dry, parched, flaky skin need an extra layer of hydration to balance out their skin’s moisture levels. By applying a weightless hydrating serum, such as the Celestolite Mars Stellar Serum, before your night cream, moisture penetrates deeper into your pores.

These serums contain humectants and hydration-boosting actives, such as ceramides, aloe vera extracts, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and more.

Anti-Aging Serums

These serums are designed to plump up the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. They contain botanicals with anti-aging properties, like green tea, grape seed, or acai extracts.

More often, they’re rich in skin vitamins that can boost collagen, like vitamin C. Promoting collagen production is the secret to anti-aging because collagen renews your skin cells, preventing fine lines and wrinkles from forming. This is exactly what the Jade Spectra Bead Serum from Celestolite does. 

There are tons of other types of serums, but these are among the most common. If you’re lucky, you can score a multifunctional serum that offers all of the benefits listed above, like the Venus Vitamin C Serum. It brightens the skin, hydrates thoroughly, and can combat wrinkles and fine lines.

But because there are so many kinds of serums to choose from, it can be overwhelming to buy one. Here are some quick and easy steps you can follow to assess which serum is best for you.

Step 1: Assess Your Skin Type and Learn What Kind of Formula It Craves

Woman looking at skin in mirror

You can’t just select any random serum and cross your fingers that your skin will love it. A lot of research and thought has to go into understanding your skin before you even look for potential serums. You need to know what ingredients your skin loves, and what it can’t tolerate.

The most basic way of assessing your skin is determining your skin type. Do you have oily skin that feels uber greasy as the day goes by? Or dehydrated skin that feels parched and flaky? Or even super sensitive skin that only puts up with the gentlest ingredients? The serum you choose will depend on that.

For instance, if you have oily skin, you’re likely prone to breakouts. A serum with salicylic acid helps treat your acne while clearing up your face of blackheads and other blemishes. You can also look into niacinamide, an ingredient that controls shine and excess sebum on your skin.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have dry skin. It’s important to look for hydrating actives in your serum if you feel that your skin is thirsty. These include hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, aloe vera extracts, ceramides, and more. The Jade Spectra Night Capsules are great for upping your skin’s moisture levels. 

Step 2: Think About Your Most Pressing Skin Concerns

What are the skin issues that cause you the most trouble? Is it those pesky dark spots your pimples leave behind, or intense flaking during the colder months? Or maybe your skin is sensitive and feels like it’s been rubbed raw recently?

Determining what exactly you want your serum to fix makes choosing one a lot easier. Serums are made to target specific concerns. So before you even look at your options, you have to know precisely what problem you’re trying to solve.

For example, if you’re struggling with acne scarring or age spots that make your skin look uneven in tone, you might like a brightening serum. Specifically, one that has melanin inhibitors, like the Venus Vitamin C Serum. Vitamin C is known for clearing up issues with skin pigmentation and melasma. The Celestolite Nova Dark Spot Corrector is another formula that has been created to target hyperpigmentation. 

If you have flaky skin that looks like the top layer is peeling off, you need an exfoliating serum. This helps shed dead skin cells, smoothing out the top layer of skin and promoting faster cell turnover.

Look for serums with glycolic, lactic, or mandelic acid for this. They’re very gentle chemical exfoliants, making them a better alternative to abrasive scrubs.

Step 3: Look for High-Quality Skincare Brands to Get Your Serum From

Celestolite Cosmic Serum

Never settle for cheap, sketchy brands, even if they’re more affordable. Always go for a skincare brand that is renowned and has a good reputation in the industry.

High-end brands like Celestolite may be more costly, but our price tag is only living proof that all your serum’s ingredients are high-quality and sourced properly.

If you have extra cash you can burn, don’t scrimp on skincare, especially on your serums. It’s an investment — this is your skin we’re talking about! Future you from 10 years down the road will thank you for getting it only the best serums. Your skin deserves only the best. Don’t settle for anything less!

Step 4: Read the Serum’s Ingredients Carefully to See If They Can Help You

When a serum from a brand of your choice has caught your eye, the next step is to assess its ingredients. You have to make sure they’ll actually benefit you and help target your skin concerns.

Let’s look at the Venus Vitamin C Serum as an example. Obviously, it’s got ascorbic acid, also known as the gold standard among all forms of vitamin C. This acid is an antioxidant that fights free radical damage that can age your skin faster than normal. That makes it a terrific serum for more mature skin.

Mica is another key ingredient in the Venus Vitamin C Serum. This mineral is used for adding a luminous radiance to the skin. It has a special shimmer effect that makes your skin glow to the heavens. It’s perfect for those with dull skin looking to brighten their complexion a bit.

The Venus Vitamin C Serum also contains titanium dioxide. This substance is laced with UV filters, giving your skin extra protection against the sun. This is very important when it comes to vitamin C serums, since they can increase your skin’s photosensitivity when you’re out and about.

If you feel that one or more of these ingredients can benefit your skin type, concerns, and lifestyle, the Venus Vitamin C Serum will be a fabulous addition to your skincare arsenal.

Step 5: Incorporate the Serum into Your Skincare Routine Correctly

Woman using oil

You should apply your serum after cleansing and toning and before moisturizing. Since serums have a light and weightless feel, they’re very easy to layer under your thicker products, like creams and sunscreen. These emollient ingredients will help lock in all your serum’s vitamins and hydration in the deeper layers of your skin.

As for when to use serums, you can technically use them during the day or at night. Just make sure you’re not doing it both times if you’re dealing with a powerful active, like exfoliating acids. Use those during your bedtime routine instead of both day and night to avoid irritation and inflammation.

Most other serums can be used in the daytime. But note that if you have a serum with melanin-inhibitors, you always have to follow up with SPF. So when using your Venus Vitamin C Serum in the morning, slather on the sunscreen right after to protect your skin from UV damage. If you don’t yet have a go-to sunscreen, try Celestolite’s Nova Bright Skin Cream SPF 30

A Word of Caution to Those with Sensitive Skin

If you’re looking to use a vitamin C serum, it’s worth noting that it can be very acidic. This can cause skin irritation for those with delicate skin conditions, especially when the concentration is very high.

To prevent any adverse effects from your vitamin C serum, make sure you only apply a thin layer each time. If you’re just starting out with actives, use your serum once a week first, building up to every other day, gradually making your way up to daily use.

Those with sensitive skin should always do an arm patch test of any serum before applying it to their whole face. That way, you can quickly flag whether you might have an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients. This is highly important for all skincare products, but especially so for serums, since they’re very potent.


The possibilities are endless when it comes to serums. Some exfoliate those nasty dead skin cells off, others that hydrate your skin deeply, and a ton that brighten your skin for a clear, radiant complexion. You could have an arsenal of serums that each target a different skin problem.

And that’s great news, because it means there’s always going to be a face serum out there for you, no matter what your skin type and most urgent skin concerns are. You just have to do proper research to snag the one that’s going to be perfect for you.

If you want to target multiple skin concerns at once, look no further than our Venus Vitamin C Serum. It evens out your skin tone, boosts collagen, protects your skin from sun damage, and so much more. Just a pump or two and you’ll be glowing all day long.

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