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How to Choose the Right Serum

From Sea Culture to Vitamin C Serum, get the breakdown of which serum is best for your skin type

Written by: 100% PURE®
100% PURE Main Serums

Wondering how to really amp up your natural skin care routine? The best way to fast-track results is to implement a serum after you tone, and before you apply your moisturizer. Specifically designed to deeply infiltrate the deepest layer of skin, serums are made for people who are serious about getting real results. Looking for the best serum for dry skin? How about a vitamin C serum, or a serum for blocking free radical damage? That’s the beauty of this skin care hero: it can be formulated to hydrate all skin types, while delivering targeted nutrients based on your needs. Not sure what you’re looking for in a serum? You’ll know it when you see it! Keep reading to find the best serum for your skin type.

How Natural Serums Work

Our natural serums are carefully formulated with a smaller molecule size, to better deliver complex nutrients through skin’s surface. We use a nano-spinning method during formulation, which is our answer to avoiding synthetic polymers found in the majority of facial serums on the market today. During the nano-spinning phase, the molecules in our serums are slowly minimized, until they are small enough to be easily absorbed into the deepest layers of skin.

No matter which serum you choose, you’ll be getting a healthy dose of hydration from hyaluronic acid or aloe juice. The ones meant for intensive hydration for dry or aging skin types will contain hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. That means that when the serum is applied to skin, the small molecule size of the serum will carry hyaluronic acid deep into skin to deliver a mega dose of water. The small molecule size that defines our serums is what makes all of them able to hydrate skin from within for a more sustained, healthy glow.

Choosing the Best Serum for Your Skin Type

Each of our expertly stabilized serums are customized by 100% PURE founder Susie Wang for both specific and varying skin types. Made with high potency natural ingredients, these facial serums are ready to hydrate and moisturize while delivering much needed nutrients deep into your skin. Time to dive in!

100% PURE Fermented Rice Serum

Fermented Rice Water Serum

SKIN TYPES: Dull, normal, aging, acne-prone, oily

Key Ingredients: Sake, Bearberry, Shiitake Mushroom

When to Use It:☀️🌙

Looking to perk up your complexion? This skin-illuminating serum is made with our most comprehensive mix of natural lightening ingredients. The goal here is to get glowing skin that looks and feels more youthful, with the added benefit of plumping hydration. Japanese sake is the key ingredient here, and brings with it ferulic, malic, and kojic acids that delay signs of aging, even skin tone, and stimulate cell turnover with gentle exfoliation. Niacinamide, shiitake mushroom, licorice, and bearberry arbutin are all natural skin lighteners that have been added to this powerhouse brightening serum. Scented with purifying essential oils like bergamot citrus, vetiver grass, and blood orange.

PRO TIP: To go full-force with your skin brightening routine, start with a brightening cleanser and brightening toner. With their synergistic ingredient lists, using Fermented Rice Water Cleanser and Fermented Rice Water Toner before this serum is a winning strategy for getting a luminous complexion.

100% PURE Sea Culture Serum

Restorative Sea Culture Replenishing Serum

SKIN TYPES: Dry, sensitive, aging, combo, oily

Key Ingredients: Chia, Hyaluronic Acid, Algae

When to Use It:☀️🌙

All hail the best serum for dry skin! For dry skin types, sometimes a moisturizer just won’t cut it. That extra level of hydration should be pursued with a hydrating serum, especially one made with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid holds 1,000 times its weight in water -- drops of hyaluronic acid enter the deepest layers of skin through the small molecules of a natural serum. This is the most effective way to hydrate dry skin (or any skin type) from within for longer lasting suppleness and hydration. Chia gel water, sea kelp, and algae aid in water absorption with their gelatinous texture, and yeast ferment detoxifies and helps to cycle out aging skin cells. This super hydrating serum is also a great option for aging skin, to keep it looking youthful and healthy by supporting water retention in skin’s lipid barrier. Scented with purifying essential oils like cedarwood, sage, and lavender.

100% PURE EGCG Serum

Green Tea EGCG Concentrate Serum

SKIN TYPES: Normal, oily, dry, combo, aging, acne-prone

Key Ingredients: Green Tea EGCG, Goji Berry, Yerba Mate

When to Use It:☀️🌙

This serum is truly a skin care superhero, since it caters to many different skin types. A polyphenol of green tea, EGCG contains interleukin-12, a protein that can repair cellular DNA, and is even used in cancer therapy to boost the immune system. When applied topically in a deep penetrating face serum, EGCG can also reduce inflammation from sun damage, and delay signs of aging (especially after UV exposure). Goji berries and acai are added to this serum to double down on anti-aging antioxidant power, and to brighten the complexion with their vitamin C content. Both goji and caffeine rich yerba mate support healthy collagen production, which can increase firmness and elasticity while lessening fine lines and wrinkles. Caffeine content from both green tea and yerba mate helps to depuff, improve skin circulation, and stimulate blood flow for a more vibrant, awakened complexion. Green tea and the fatty acid content in yerba mate are also useful for cutting down on excess oil, making this a great serum for oily skin types. Scented with purifying essential oils like bergamot citrus, blood orange, and lavender.

100% PURE Multi Vitamin Serum

Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Potent PM Serum

SKIN TYPES: All skin types, especially dull or aging

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, Retinol, Niacinamide

When to Use It:🌙

Perhaps the most potent anti-aging serum you’ll find, this vitamin and antioxidant packed concoction has definitely earned its name. Nighttime serums are a must for any natural skin care routine. This serum is packed with potent dosages: 10% vitamin C, 10% niacinamide, 10% vitamin E, 1% retinol, and 1% CoQ10. These plant-based ingredients will work their magic while you sleep, soaking deeply into skin. This natural serum will deeply moisturize, brighten your complexion, fade dark/ age/ sun spots, increase suppleness, minimize appearance of pores, support collagen and elastin production, firm skin, and lessen fine lines and wrinkles. Whew! Last but not least, the retinol in this nightly serum will increase cellular turnover to reveal fresh, more youthful layers of skin when you awake. Scented with purifying essential oils of grapefruit, bergamot citrus, and sweet orange.

PRO TIP: Looking to see super fast results from your anti-aging skin care routine? Double up this PM serum with its partner, the luxuriously nourishing Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Ultra Riche Creme. And remember, any time you’re using vitamin C or retinol, be SURE to follow up with a natural sunscreen the next day!

100% PURE Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C Serum

SKIN TYPES: All skin types, especially dull or aging

Key Ingredients: Aloe gel, Vitamin C, Alpha Lipoic Acid

When to Use It:🌙

Finding the perfect Vitamin C Serum can be tough. The perfect serum should restore skin to its former, glowy glory -- but without the unnecessary fillers. Enter the original Vitamin C Serum! This natural skin care treatment means business when it comes to boosting collagen and illuminating skin from within. This serum is super lightweight and absorbs quickly. Made in a base of hydrating and soothing aloe gel, it won’t feel greasy or sticky. It contains Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, grape, and green apple -- three major sources of skin-brightening and collagen boosting vitamin C. This Vitamin C Serum also contains alpha lipoic acid (ALA), an antioxidant which fights oxidative damage that prematurely ages or darkens the skin. This serum isn’t scented with essential oils, but has a light natural scent.

100% PURE Dark Spot Remover

Dark Spot Remover

SKIN TYPES: Dull, aging, dry, normal

Key Ingredients: Bayberry, Matsutake Mushroom, Lime

When to Use It:🌙

This dark spot removing serum is designed to target hyperpigmentation in your skin. That means sun spots, age spots, and melasma can all be improved by using this natural face serum every night before bed. This serum utilizes melanin regulating ingredients to balance the production of pigment in the skin. Some of these pigment regulators are sake, bayberry, matsutake mushroom, and licorice. Gentle fruit acids from lime and papaya lightly exfoliate and resurface the skin, to break down layers of darkly pigmented skin. Because of the vitamin C content in this serum, we prefer to use this serum at night.

100% PURE Brightening Serum

Brightening Serum

SKIN TYPES: Dull, aging, normal, oily

Key Ingredients: Rose, Lemon Juice, Kojic Acid

When to Use It:🌙

Like its daytime counterpart, the Fermented Rice Water Serum, this serum uses sake as a main ingredient to lighten and brighten the skin. Aloe and rose help to soothe skin as gentle fruit acids from lemon, cranberry, and pink grapefruit reduce excess oil and gently resurface dull, lackluster skin. Infused with collagen-boosting vitamin C and sake, this night time brightening serum rejuvenates skin’s texture and tone while you sleep. Because of the vitamin C content in this serum, we prefer to use this serum at night. This serum isn’t scented with essential oils, but is lightly scented by the citrus fruits present in the formula.

Serum Dos and Dont’s

DO start with a patch test. Serums tend to be ultra-concentrated. This is great because it means that they’re packed with potent ingredients - but it also means that a serum might be more likely to irritate sensitive skin than a less concentrated product (like a moisturizer). Before liberally applying serum all over your face, apply a small amount to your wrist or neck to see how your skin will react.

DON’T rub it into your skin too hard. Many of us are guilty of being rougher than we need to with our delicate skin, contributing to skin damage over time. To apply your serum, just apply a few “dots” of the product to your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin, and then gently blend by swiping it over your skin with clean fingertips.

DO prep your skin to absorb the serum. You should make sure to cleanse your face, exfoliate (if it’s an exfoliating dayexfoliating day), and rinse with warm water before applying your serum. You could even prep your skin by applying a warm washcloth to it for two or three minutes. By making sure that your skin is cleansed and your pores open, you will prime your skin to properly “drink in” the serum.

DON’T apply moisturizer before the serum has dried. Applying a moisturizer after your serum can help to lock in the hydration and beneficial ingredients. However, it’s important to let your serum sink in for a few minutes before adding the moisturizer overtop of it. If you layer on the moisturizer before your serum has sunk in, you might be effectively wiping away some of the serum before it has had the chance to deliver its benefits.

DO match your serum to your cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Above, we’ve discussed the best serums for a range of different skin types. To maximize the effectiveness of your skincare routine, try pairing one of our serums with a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer that complement its ingredients. For instance, if you love our Restorative Sea Culture Replenishing Serum, you could follow up with our Restorative Sea Culture Extra Riche Creme for maximum hydration and invigoration.

To complete your natural skin care routine, hop on over to our cleanser guide and toner guide. If you aren’t sure which type of product is best for your skin type, we’ll break it down for you! When it comes to your serum game, leveling up is easy if you remember to use them daily, follow up with sunscreen, and lock them in with a natural moisturizer. Cheers to your journey towards beautiful skin!

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