What Does Serum Do for Your Face? Here’s Everything You Should Know

Share this:

Serums have become a very popular term and product in the beauty world. Face serum is known for its water-based formula that helps deliver different active ingredients, according to the formula, to target specific conditions that plague the skin.

Some of these active ingredients include hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, retinol, and niacinamide. Each ingredient is a hero at treating one or more skin concerns. Before you grab those little bottles, you should know what serums are available and what they can do for your face.

Every serum cannot do everything for your face. Now, don’t get your forehead wrinkled. This article contains a list of common face serums and it details what they do for your face. Continue scrolling to see what’s in a bottle of serum for you.

What Does Hyaluronic Acid Serum Do for Your Face?

Hyaluronic acid is the undisputable skin hydrator when it comes to skincare ingredients. As a natural humectant, this serum binds to water molecules in the atmosphere and pulls them to your skin, and retains them there.

As a result, hyaluronic acid serum keeps your face hydrated. You can call it the saint of all actives; hyaluronic acid is very gentle on the face and works for every skin type.

While it looks as though only dry skin can benefit from this hydration, it indirectly helps to keep sebum levels steady and aid the effects of acne treatment in oily and acne-prone skin.

Hyaluronic acid serum soothes sensitive skin, calms redness, and reduces the risk of skin irritations.

Additionally, it stimulates the production of collagen to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It also strengthens the skin barrier thereby preventing moisture loss and consequent dehydration.

What Does Retinol Serum Do for Your Face?

Retinol serum has a reputation for reversing aging and stimulating cell turnover. Infamous yet powerful; this vitamin A derivative helps to make up for the depleted levels of collagen that come with aging.

Insufficient collagen levels lead to saggy skin and the development of wrinkles. As part of its anti-aging benefits, retinol serum helps fade age spots that form as a result of prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Retinol serum also benefits oily and acne-prone skin. It is a mild exfoliator that helps to treat acne. It breaks the bond between dead skin cells and lifts them off your skin. The serum penetrates your pores and gets rid of clogs that cause acne breakouts. 

Retinol serum works as a preventative treatment for acne and can also help manage existing acne. Consistent application of retinol serum improves the overall health of your skin and refines texture.

By increasing cell turnover, it fosters the development of new skin cells thereby enhancing your complexion and clearing off hyperpigmentation.

What Does Vitamin C Serum Do for Your Face?

Vitamin C serum is both a skin brightening and anti-aging serum. With weeks of consistent use, the serum brightens up scarred skin and dull complexion which could be a result of aging.

This serum absorbs into the skin and inhibits the production of melanin, fading away dark spots. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your skin from free radicals.

The protection factor of vitamin C is at its peak during the day when your skin is most exposed to ultraviolet radiation and pollution that can cause the formation of these free radicals.

Additionally, vitamin C serum is an anti-inflammatory agent that protects the skin on your face from the breakout of inflammatory acne and calms skin redness.

Vitamin C also plays a role in reversing aging. It inhibits the degradation of collagen and prevents loss of skin elasticity.

What Does Vitamin E Serum Do for Your Face?

If you find yourself a bottle of vitamin E serum, your skin is in for a dose of hydration and optimum protection. As a humectant, it increases your skin’s ability to hold down moisture and prevent dehydration.

Vitamin E serum is a friend to your skin and an enemy of free radicals. These electron scavengers are almost inevitable if you choose to go out every day. They are in the air and can form as a result of prolonged and unprotected exposure to sunlight.

Applying vitamin E serum creates a protective barrier over the skin on your face and prevents them from penetrating. Therefore, it enhances the health and texture of your skin.

Moreover, it keeps your skin moisturized and helps to soothe inflamed skin. As it keeps your skin hydrated, the serum strengthens skin barrier function and increases resilience against environmental irritants.

Another benefit of using vitamin E serum on your face is that it speeds up the healing of wounds like acne scars. It also has natural sunscreen properties. Vitamin E works by absorbing harmful UV rays and keeps your skin protected.

What Does Niacinamide Serum Do for Your Face?

Niacinamide serum is also a hydrating serum but not a humectant like hyaluronic acid. In addition, it helps to regulate sebum production thereby controlling and treating acne.

Alone, it cannot help clear acne but it does play a significant role in acne management. As it hydrates your face, it stimulates your skin to produce collagen and reduces the prominence of facial wrinkles and fine lines.

It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that treats skin issues like rosacea, and it helps to calm inflammation on the face.

Furthermore, niacinamide serum absorbs into the skin and stimulates ceramide production. Ceramides are lipid molecules responsible for strengthening skin barrier function, preventing skin permeability, and consequent moisture loss.

Just like every serum, niacinamide enhances your complexion and gives your healthy-looking skin.

What Does Collagen Serum Do for Your Face?

Nothing amps natural collagen levels like a collagen serum. Dry skin looks aged, with the development of fine lines, wrinkles, sagginess, and a dull complexion. Using collagen serum effectively reverses these signs and restores your skin to youthfulness.

Facial skin is one of the most exposed skin on the body. It is therefore prone to pH changes and this can expose the skin to pathogen invasion and consequent skin breakouts. All of that can be managed and reversed with collagen serum.

Collagen serum provides antioxidant protection from free radicals to give you healthier skin. Moreover, the results of using collagen serum can be felt immediately upon use and they are long-lasting.

Can Serum Be Bad for Your Face?

Serums can be the wrong pick for your face if your skin barrier has been compromised. As a lightweight product that quickly absorbs into your skin, the active ingredients can be too irritating and this may aggravate skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.

However, serums are generally safe for the skin. They are soothing and hydrating. Possible side effects are seen on first-time applications, when you use the wrong formula on your face, and when you overuse serum.

It could be in the form of skin redness or a burning sensation on your skin. The good news is that these effects are temporal. They usually go away after some days or weeks.


Should you wash serum off your face?

No, serums are leave-on products. Allow your skin to absorb the serum and take in the necessary ingredients for improvement.

Can you use serum on your face every day?

Yes, you can. Serums are safe for daily use- during your morning and evening routine. However, if your skin shows sensitivity to a certain serum, you can space out use until it builds tolerance.

Does serum work for acne?

Yes, it does. The right serum can help control acne breakouts, manage existing acne and even fade away acne scars. Serums that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and retinol are in this category of serums.

Do serums burn your face?

Your serum is likely the reason for the burning sensation on your face. And this could be a way of your skin trying to adjust to a new formula. This naturally doesn’t last long, but if it does and progresses into an allergic reaction, rinse off the serum.


A serum is a skin treatment product that makes a great addition to any skincare routine. It may take weeks and maybe months to see clear-cut changes in your skin but eventually, they are worth it.

Serums best deliver the active ingredients every skin needs to address possible skin woes.

There is an array of ingredients to pick from. Each ingredient works to improve the health and appearance of facial skin, which is commonly plagued by breakouts, dryness, and a quick spot for the manifestation of the signs of aging.

All these benefits and more come with the right bottle for your face.

Thanks for reading.

Check Serum101 for relevant articles on the benefits of using skincare products.