The Magic of a Face Serum


Your daily skin care routine should not miss a face serum. If it does, you are missing its benefits. Serum helps clear dark spots and wrinkles and slows down aging.

Dr Don Othoro, a cosmetic doctor at Valentis Clinic in Nairobi says serums are amazing skin care products that he has been using on his clients for over 10 years, and they always produce fantastic results.

“Serums have concentrated doses of highly effective ingredients (mainly antioxidants and anti-inflammatories) that give the skin the vibrant rich glow that a lot of women are searching for. This is because unlike other skin care products which remain superficial, serums penetrate a lot deeper into the skin, delivering a potent shot of ingredients where it matters most. That’s why they can be pricey but are definitely worth it,” he says.

Serums can also be used to treat dull skin that has lost its vibrancy, sensitive skin and even oily acne-prone skin. When skilfully combined with retinol and salicylic acid, it can work wonders to treat and correct these skin conditions.

“There are two types of serums, those that can be bought over the counter and those that can be bought from a skin care specialist. The over-the-counter serums tend not to be as effective because the active ingredients are not as concentrated. Some of the well-respected brands available locally are Jan Marini and Obagi also popular in top London clinics,” Dr Othoro says.

Before recommending serum to someone, he says, he first must ask them three questions. What are you trying to achieve or what is your skincare concerns? What is your skin type? What have you been using on the face and is it from a trusted source?


“It’s amazing what a lot of women put on their faces without knowing where it comes from. I have seen many in my clinic who have paid dearly in the name of ‘getting a bargain’,” he says.

He adds that one should first see a cosmetic skin care specialist who can inform the choice of serum to be used.

Even if you do not have any specific skin problem, everyone needs an antioxidant serum which should be applied in the morning to protect the face from harsh weather and pollutants.

For your daily skin care regime, start with a cleanser, toner, serum, and then moisturiser. Even if you are in a hurry, do mix a serum into your moisturiser. This weakens the ability of the serum to absorb effectively into the skin. Learn to apply all the products one by one, leaving a few minutes in between before you add another layer.

Juliana Githieya, a beauty therapist who has worked in the industry for more than 10 years says that immediately a woman turns 25, she should start applying serum. At 35, look for products with high levels of hydration. This is because mature skin tends to be dry up.

“All women need to hydrate their skins, so use a hydrating serum which acts as a plus to the normal moisturiser,” she says.

This does not mean that you should do away with the moisturiser for they work hand in hand, she says. The moisturiser works on the top layers of the skin while a serum goes to the inner layer.

“A serum can also be used during a face massage so that it gets absorbed deep into the skin,” Ms Githieya says.

At night, apply it before you add the night cream.

“Many women are conscious about the way their skin looks and feels and that is why serums are gaining popularity because they can be used as a lifting agent, toning, to remove dark eye circles, as a corrective product and to deep-cleanse,” says Ms Githieya.

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