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Have you ever wondered why you should use a serum?

We’ve been using cleansers, moisturisers and SPF forever, but in the last few years a range of other products have been working their way into our daily regimens. Key among these are serums. But you’d be forgiven for not really knowing what these light-weight, nutrient packed liquids actually are. Or when and how you’re supposed to use them.

In a nutshell, a serum is a potent and deep-penetrating product that contains molecules smaller than those found in a moisturiser, so it’s able to penetrate the skin more deeply to deliver a very high concentration of active ingredients. That’s why serums are a great tool for targeting specific skincare issues, such as dryness, dullness, acne and ageing skin.

Using a serum regularly can give your skin a firm, smoother texture, make pores appear smaller and increase moisture levels.

The key point to remember is that serums don’t replace moisturisers – they’re just another tool in your skincare arsenal. Afterall, you can’t have too many antioxidants in your regime. Serums don’t contain the rich, creamy thickeners of moisturisers which help to create a barrier on top of the skin, nor do they have sunscreen as your daytime moisturiser might, so don’t ditch your moisturiser! Instead, using a serum as well as a moisturiser offers a double-pronged approach to improving the skin.

So how does it work? Use a few drops of serum on clean skin in the morning before you moisturise or apply eye cream to help protect the skin from pollution and other free radicals you’re faced with during the day. At night, apply another layer of serum after cleansing the skin and before applying moisturiser.

So now you know what a serum is and how to use it, the next issue is choosing the right one. Antipodes Nature, the scientifically-validated organic beauty brand from Wellington has six serums – three water-based and three oil-based – which are rich in antioxidants, perfect for targeting skin conditions such as pigmentation, dehydration, dry, flaky and ageing skin. What’s more, Antipodes serums have been scientifically shown to stimulate either Type I collagen, elastin or inhibit oxidative stress in-vitro, helping to protect the skin cells and keep the skin firm and flexible.

For example, Antipodes Worship Skin Defence Antioxidant Serum is a water-based serum which contains boysenberry, blackcurrant and the revolutionary antioxidant Vinanza Grape, which has been proven to protect skin cells and provide your ‘daily shot of youth’. Another of the water-based range is Apostle Skin-Brightening Serum which helps inhibit the melanin production that causes pigmentation, while Hosana H2O Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum quenches the skin’s thirst and, thanks to the addition of Mamaku black fern, helps to foster healthy skin renewal.

When it comes to Antipodes oil-based serums, the Chia and Kiwi Seed Superfood Serum lives us to its ‘super’ name, helping to lock in moisture and feed the skin to restore youthful vitality and natural sheen. The oil-based Divine Face Oil is, indeed, divine, using avocado oil and rosehip to lift tired, stressed and sun-damaged skin, as well as reducing the appearance of lines, age spots and scars. The final super-hero in Antipodes’ oil-based range is Joyous Protein-Rich Night Replenish Serum, whose use of Himalayan goji berries delivers up to 19 amino acids to help restore elastin, deliver natural radiance, purify and protect.

Just remember that serums do their job over time, so don’t expect an immediate transformation. But daily use will super-charge your skin condition and future-proof it, nourishing and protecting it at a deeper level.