Chosen for their super-powers to moisturise, smooth and firm, serums are ahead of the pack in combating the signs of ageing. But are these new formulations, highly concentrated in active ingredients, suitable for sensitive skin? Florence Benech, International Director for Skincare Development for L'Oréal's Active Cosmetics Division, answers our questions.
It all depends on the active ingredient
According to Florence Benech, “not all anti-ageing serums are suitable for sensitive skin.” To check tolerance, women generally look at the dosage. But the most important thing is to look at the type of active ingredients used and at how they are formulated. Some components are preferred for their resurfacing effect or peeling action. You have probably heard of AHA (alpha hydroxyl acids). Used in high doses on skin that is already irritated, it can cause discomfort. This is also the case with retinol, which needs to be specially formulated to ensure perfect tolerance. However, other active ingredients discovered more recently combine both efficacy and tolerance. As well as a highly effective anti-ageing action, they also have recognised soothing powers. “This is the case with Rhamnose for example, a sugar extracted from silver birch. Even when formulated at high concentration levels in a serum, it is very well tolerated by sensitive skin.”
Is the serum texture the right one for me?
The first step is to check that the serum has been tested on sensitive skin under dermatological control and that is labelled as “hypoallergenic.” But that is not all. Serum formulas are often quite light and refined, which is what makes them so pleasant to apply.
Their fluid textures are quickly absorbed and leave no film on the skin. However, sensitive skin is often dryer than other skin types. Although some serums contain moisturiser, we recommend that you also apply a day or night cream to avoid discomfort for normal to dry skin.