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Why Is Your Serum Not Working?

Published : December 19, 2022 10 mins read Updated On : Mar 22, 2024

It may be popular, but that doesn't imply it will work for you. Have you experienced this when we see people raving about a serum, and it seems that it is everyone's holy grail product, but that serum just doesn't work for you?

So, what could cause the skincare ingredient to fail on your skin? To grasp the reasoning behind this perplexity, we have created this blog in which we will examine the various reasons why the serum is not giving you the desired effect.

So, if your serum isn't working, don't immediately blame the formulation; there could be other key reasons for this failure. Let us examine each of these factors one by one.

What is a serum

A facial serum contains a high concentration of active components. Serums can be used to address a single or a combination of issues. A serum generally contains fewer other ingredients than a moisturiser or cleanser. Instead, a serum contains more effective actives penetrating the skin more deeply and efficiently. Your skin will benefit from a concentrated solution that will offer your complexion a much-needed lift.

Why Is Your Serum Not Working?

When to use which serum

It is important to know which type of serum you can use when as using retinol during the day can really damage the skin.

Day Serum: daytime serum contains antioxidant ingredients. These serums can include vitamin C or E, as they can safeguard the skin against free radicals and pollutants. Vitamin C also protects the skin from photodamage when combined with a sunscreen.

Night serum: when it comes to night time serums, you want to look for repairing ingredients. Retinol serum can be included in the night time to help prevent signs of ageing. Follow up with a sunscreen in the day as retinol leads to photosensitive skin.

AHAs and BHAs can also be included in the night routine as they help chemically exfoliate the skin and target skin conditions like acne, clogged pores and texture. Acids, when used at night, are to be followed with a sunscreen in the morning.

All-time serum: hyaluronic acid and niacinamide serums can be used in the daytime and night time. Niacinamide helps calm redness on the skin, while hyaluronic acid is the moisture magnet and helps pull water to your skin to provide intense hydration, providing a plump and dewy look. They do not cause photosensitivity, therefore, using them at any point in the day or night is okay.

Types of face serum:

There are a lot of serums in the market that help target different issues related to the skin, and knowing about them helps make an effective choice for the consumer.

Brightening Serums: brightening and antioxidant serums are intended to reduce discolouration and hyperpigmentation. vitamin C is an antioxidant that suppresses the enzyme responsible for melanin formation and is commonly found in these brightening serums. Another popular component for eliminating dark spots and levelling out skin tone is niacinamide. Most brightening serums are not age-specific and can be used by adults of any age.

Anti-ageing serums: this is for someone in their 20s as collagen starts to reduce with age by 1%, which leads to wrinkles, fine lines and crow's feet. People in their 30s often complain about fine lines and crow’s feet but don’t realise that this process of ageing beings in their early 20s itself. Anti-ageing serums can aid in the prevention or reduction of signs of ageing. These typically include active ingredients such as retinol (vitamin A). Choosing a retinol-containing serum will help accelerate cell turnover, which begins to stall as you hit your 20s. People with sensitive skin or beginners often experience breakouts or purging due to retinol, which can be irritating at times, but don't worry; we have the perfect retinol serum for all, so keep reading till the end to know about it.

Hydrating serums: most hydrating serums can be used by people of all ages. They can also be layered with skin sensitising actives to prevent irritation. Hydrating serums provide your skin with an extra dose of hydration. They are used in addition to conventional moisturisers. The most frequent element in moisturising serums is hyaluronic acid.

The beauty of hyaluronic acid is its capacity to hold 1,000 times its weight in water, which means that it holds the water in your skin for longer and makes it supple. This component also draws water from its surroundings as a humectant.

Reasons your serum is not working:

There are many factors that influence the working of the serum from layering of products to using the appropriate quantity, someone which are discussed below:

Not cleansing the skin: the primary step in your skincare routine is to thoroughly cleanse your face and neck. Cleansing is essential because it removes dirt from your pores, allowing your serum to enter deep into your skin. Cleaning your face with a gentle cleanser will do the job as using harsh cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oil. Remember to softly rub your fingertips in circular motions throughout your entire face and to not aggressively pull at the facial skin.

Not using the right amount: you get the best results when you use the proper amount of any skincare ingredient. This rule applies to serum application as well. Because serums are so concentrated, less is more. The recommended dosage is pea-sized; this is efficient and effective for your face. And then another for your neck. Using more will waste the product and money, and you will ultimately end up with irritated skin.

Not being consistent: applying the serum once a month or a week won't yield the best results. Serum is a part of daily skincare. It is not a mask or skin treatment to be applied only once or when needed as a pick-me-up. To achieve the desired effect, serum application must be made regularly. Once beneath your day cream, and once beneath your night cream.

Not using the right serum for your skin type: being specific about your skin concerns can bring you closer to your desired skin. Whether its acne free, youthful and supple, or glowing skin, your skin type should be recognized first. A hydrating serum for dry skin will be beneficial, while a salicylic acid serum will be the right choice for someone with oily skin. Your skin's condition will worsen if you do not use a suitable serum.

Not exfoliating: for optimal skincare absorption, dead skin cells that are on your skin must be removed. Consider dead skin as a physical barrier to your new, healthy skin. Dead skin cells can obstruct pores and eventually lead to the production of blackheads. Blackheads might get irritated and develop into pimples. Even if your pores aren't clogged, or you don't have acne, dead skin cells might obstruct appropriate skincare penetration. Serum must pass through the pores to reach the skin beneath and provide results. Exfoliate the skin once or twice a week with a chemical exfoliator to gently remove the dead skin layer. If you exfoliate more often, it can lead to damaged skin.

Apply on damp skin: have you ever noticed how smooth and silky your skin feels just after you walk out of the shower and apply a body lotion right after, and opposed to how parched your skin feels when you apply a lotion on dry skin? Your skin on the face is also very similar. When the skin is moist, it absorbs much more (which is why Korean skincare experts recommend to slather on your skincare products within seconds after cleansing and rinsing). Before applying a serum, you can lightly spritz your face with a face mist. This is especially important when using a hyaluronic acid serum to prevent the moisture from being pulled from the deep layers of the skin.

Using expired products: if the product has been unused for 6 to 12 months, it may have expired. Be mindful when buying products during a sale as they can be near expiry. They don't cause any reactions they still have time before they expire, but the efficacy of the actives would decrease and the skincare will not give you the desired effect.

Not storing your serums well: storing your items in your bathroom, where the temperature might rise quickly owing to hot showers, may reduce the efficiency of some skincare ingredients. Extreme temperatures can have a substantial impact on product’s stability and efficiency. This means it can change how your product reacts, looks, feels and even works. Overheated sunscreen products in cars may no longer be effective against UV radiation or may cause skin discomfort.

Low–quality ordinary skin serums: a product may fail due to poor-quality ingredients. As potential areas for quality checks, you should consider inferior chemicals, bad formulations, unstable compounds, or packaging. vitamin C is sensitive to the sun and may become unstable; therefore, when buying vitamin C serums, check if the bottle is an amber-coloured bottle and not a clear bottle. Open-jar packaging can allow a lot of air, causing active substances to destabilise.

The wrong skincare layering - sunscreen before serum: there's a chance you're using the right product, but if you're not utilising it correctly, it won't benefit your skin. According to skincare experts, applying the products in a specific order is just as crucial as developing a healthy skincare routine. Layer your products in the correct format. Begin with the thinnest formulation and work your way up to the thickest. As a result, the product with a light formula will quickly seep into the skin, while it might otherwise struggle to penetrate the thick layer that you may have already applied to your skin.

Using too many serums at a time or using wrong ingredients: when looking for brightening serum, you might often use only vitamin C serum, and if you also want to hydrate your skin, you look for hyaluronic acid serums, which leads to the usage of multiple serums for multiple issues which eventually overwhelms the skin and causes irritation; this can tire you to follow the routine religiously. Therefore, look for multiple ingredients in a single bottle which complement each other and help target your skin issues.

High concentration of acids: if your skin loves low acid concentration and you are achieving your desired skin goal, it is not necessary to build your skin to take high-concentration acids. High-concentration acids cannot be incorporated into a daily skincare routine as they will harm the skin in long run.

Our Favourite serums:

Chicnutrix serums are great for all skin types. They are lightweight, fast absorbing and water-based. Their balanced formulation has the right concentration and combination of actives to target your skin needs. The skincare range is made in Korea and is formulated especially for Indian skin.

When it comes to brightening serum, Chicnutrix Outshine serum has a unique formulation of Niacinamide, Arbutin, Glutathione, vitamin C & Triple Hyaluronic Acid where each ingredient helps to reduce pigmentation & dark spots, adds glow & radiance, fights free radicals & protects against damage, improves skin texture, makes skin even-toned while hydrating the skin.

Chicnutrix Reverse is an anti-ageing formulation with Hydrolyzed Marine Collagen Peptides, Retinyl Palmitate, Triple Hyaluronic Acid Complex and Arginine. Hydrolysed Marine Collagen Peptides are a type of collagen which are broken into small particles for easier skin absorption. It penetrates the skin and provides elasticity, moisture and tightness, improving fine lines and wrinkles by replacing the lost collagen. Reverse is great for sensitive and beginners as it has Retinyl palmitate, the milder, more stable precursor to retinol. When topically applied to the skin, it converts to retinol and afterwards reacts with skin enzymes to form the more potently active component- retinoic acid. It speeds up cell turnover on the skin's surface for a smoother, more even texture while working on the deeper layers to stimulate collagen production and fight wrinkles. Arginine is known for its anti-ageing effects, while Triple Hyaluronic Acid Complex helps provide intense hydration.

Chicnutrix Hydrate has the right percentage of humectants because when it comes to serum, more isn't always better. Applying high concentrations of humectants can increase water loss from the skin and lead to irritated skin. Chicnutrix Hydrate has 5% of 10 Hyaluronic Acid Complexes of low, medium, and high molecular weights together for deep penetration in the skin. At the same time, Panthenol helps to soothe the skin, and glycerine helps to maintain the skin's protective layer.

Hope this blog as enlightened you about the multiple reasons why your serum is not working and how you can tackle the issue and reap the benefits of incorporating a serum in your skincare.  


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