The word "Harvard" conveys a sense of intellect and superiority, and the world of skincare is not immune to this effect. Harvard Health recently spoke to Abigail Waldman, an instructor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School, about the intriguing yet confusing world of facial serums, and her answers changed our outlook on these potent anti-aging elixirs.
Simply put, "a skin serum is not a moisturizer, like a lotion or cream," explains the publication. Instead, they are potent elixirs infused with high concentrations of ingredients designed to fight signs of aging. "I definitely recommend serums for anyone who is concerned about aging," says Waldman. "It's a really good way to get extra anti-aging effects, more than your typical moisturizer and sunscreen."
More specifically, Waldman uses and recommends serums that contain "a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid," she tells the publication. "There is good literature that shows that vitamin C, in particular, can prevent brown spots, reverse damage from ultraviolet rays, and stimulate the growth of new collagen."
She adds that antioxidants like tea polyphenols and resveratrol can help target wrinkles, in addition to anti-inflammatory retinol and a type of vitamin B3 called niacinamide. Best of all, Waldman argues that the $20 serums are just as good as the formulas in the $100 range. "To be honest, I don't think price makes a difference," she concludes. Scanning the ingredients label carefully is the best way to find the best formula for your skincare needs. Shop some of the best serums below.