Reader question: Do we really need serums?

I received an interesting question on my Kiehl's post last week. Says Dewi:

Hi liz! I'm really clueless about skincare... I'm in my mid 20s and my only regimen is cleanse, tone, sunblock (AM) and eye cream. Do i really need a serum especially kasi acne prone ako? I'm afraid na serums might cause me to break out or be more oily! Help! 

Oh, you! You're not clueless about skincare at all. You have the basics down pat, although I would recommend that you invest in a good night moisturizer to keep your skin supple. I don't think that a sunblock is enough to maintain your skin's moisture barrier (and by extension, its elasticity) since you're probably using something that's very light.

I do think that everyone should moisturize their skin at night, especially if they have a fan or an aircon unit in their room. These appliances can dry up our skin much more than we think. Besides, night time is the best time to heal our skin from the day's stresses (like pollution, sun exposure, etc). Most moisturizers - especially those designed for evening use - have the basic properties to recharge your skin for the day ahead.

Some people need an extra boost, however. That's where serums come in!

Serums are highly potent products that target specific skin concerns. Wrinkles, blemishes, dullness, and enlarged pores are some of the things that serums claim to fix. Think of them as, well, super heroes with special powers. They're made of a concentrated cocktail of ingredients that can help you deal with your skin problems more quickly and effectively.

That's not to say that everybody needs a serum all the time, twice a day. If you have good skin, just keep doing what you're doing and don't mess with it already. But if you want to target a specific skin issue then it's best to add a serum (under your moisturizer) for good measure.

Will serums cause you to be more oily and pimply? No, not if you're using a good one that suits your skin type. :) You can also use serums exclusively at night so that they won't interfere with your makeup and oil-production during the day.

I highly recommend the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate - I use this both as a serum and moisturizer at night. The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrate is also fantastic. It's not oily like Kiehl's, helps lighten blemishes faster, and has some anti-aging properties as well. 

Other promising serums I've come across (but haven't used) include the Lancome Visionnaire serum and  Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer. They are best-selling products from both brands.

Some not-so-expensive options to try are the Avon Anew Genics Treatment Concentrate (P1,799) and the L'Oreal Youth Code (P1,495). I can't vouch for them since I haven't used them long enough, but both are for anti-aging. The Yves Rocher Elixir 7.9 (P990) is another fairly famous product overseas that helps boost your skin overall. 

And that's it! Hope you find your perfect serum, Dewi. I can't guarrantee that what worked for me will work for you, so just research your choice intensively and hope for the best. Hey, at the very least, you need a night moisturizer so look for that first!