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InUrSkn is more than just a skin a hair and body clinic. It is Dr. Sejal's promise of providing minimal intervention patient care which is holistic, personalized and humane.

December 2023
By - Dr. Sejal Saheta
Everything you ever wanted to know about Face Serums.


There was a time when you thought about the word serum, the first thing that came to your mind was ‘truth serums’, with which nasty villains would coerce the truth out of their helpless subjects. Or if you were a medical professional maybe you thought of blood serum. But in the last two decades the word serum has come to be more ubiquitously associated with skin care as skin serum rather than anything else. Today you may find face serums being called workhorses or mainstays of skin care, but is there any truth to this?

The search for elixirs for skin

When you see a bottle of skin care serum, it is hard to ignore the fact that irrespective of what the serum is, it is always packaged in really beautiful glass vials with or without droppers. This is deliberate, mainly for marketing purposes rather than practical purposes. The small glass vials make the skin care serums look more medical, exotic and potent, all attributes that can also mean expensive.

But then, is there any truth to the magical claims of these face serums or are they just very expensive placebos?

There are definite advantages to a skin care serum, like the fact that their light consistency makes it easier to dab it onto your face or the fact that they are often made in more concentrated forms. The important thing to understand is that face serums complement the creams and lotions that you may be prescribed and are not a replacement for them.

Also while all face serums may look the same, they are not created equal. All serums have a very light consistency and are generally water suspended solutions of active ingredients, but the difference actually lies in the active ingredients used and their potency levels. This also means that skin serums need to be suited to your skin type and skin concerns.

How do I choose a serum suitable for me?

While the easiest way for you to select a face serum is to ask your dermatologist. A basic understanding of face serums can go a long way in your discussion with your dermatologist.

Start with what you want to achieve. Most face serums are created to target a group of concerns and hence have a specific group of ingredients.

  • Aging Concerns – Fine Line, Wrinkles, Sagging Skin etc.
  • Pigmentation Concerns – Patchiness, Marks, Blemishes etc.
  • Hydration & Texture Concerns – Dryness, Reduced Elasticity etc.

Also one should look into the ingredients that are promised by the face serums. Here is some basic understanding of the skin care ingredients that go into face serums.

  1. Antioxidants: These reduce the oxidative stress on your skin and also increase collagen synthesis. These features help control the melanin formation in your skin and also help decrease formation of fine lines and wrinkles. The most common antioxidants for skin care are vitamin c derivatives. There are also other lesser known but equally effective anti-oxidants like glutathione, niacinamide etc.
  2. Collagen Boosters: These are ingredients that encourage cellular turnover and stimulate collagen and elastin production in your skin. Collagen is a protein that helps keep your skin elastic and supple and hence staves off wrinkles. The most common collagen boosters are retinoids which are nothing but derivatives of vitamin A.
  3. Moisture Penetrating Agents: These are ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid or Lecithin which can hold large quantities of moisture and help it penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and hence effectively making the skin more hydrated and supple.
  4. Humectants: These are ingredients like Glycerine, PCA etc. which help attract moisture to the upper layer of skin from the deeper layers and also the atmosphere.
  5. Emollients and Anti-inflammatories: These are ingredients like squalene which help soothe the skin and reduce any inflammation.
  6. Growth Factors & Peptides: These are lesser known than other skin care ingredients. Growth Factors are proteins that can help in the repair of your skin cells, while peptides are amino acids that can help with improvement in collagen and elastin levels.
  7. Having said this, it is important to understand that your skin type should also play a role in selecting a skin care serum suitable for you. As an example if you have dry skin, using serums which are rich in antioxidants can cause your skin to dry up further. Or if you suffer from acne breakouts a serum that moisturizes and improves the barrier function of your skin may actually cause more flare ups.

Some more truths

  • Face Serums v/s Targeted Serums:

When you think of serums also consider using serums that are used in a more targeted manner such as under eye serums which do have formulations suitable to solve specific problems and need not be applied all over the face.

  • Ingredients not cost or trending brands:

Choose a serum which has the right ingredient, in most cases expensive does not mean better or a more trending brand does not mean better. It is better to choose serums from established pharmaceutical majors which are more likely to be better tested.

  • Natural v/s pharmacological:

Unfortunately nature does not provide any skin care ingredient in the concentration levels that are needed to affect your skin topically. The presence of absence of a natural ingredient should not be the determining factor for choosing your skin care serum.

So while there are no miracle elixirs for your skin, serums if chosen carefully and used diligently can have a huge impact on your skin health and appearance.


The objective of this article is to educate the reader and help them make wiser choices under the guidance of a trained dermatologist. It is not meant to be used by patients for self-diagnosis or for avoiding proper medical treatment. The images used in the above blog are only for visual representation purposes. Actual procedures and results may vary from patient to patient.

About Dr. Sejal Saheta and InUrSkn:

Built on more than a decade of experience of Dr. Sejal Saheta, we are an honest and affordable skin and hair care clinic in Powai, Mumbai. Our goal is to make each patient comfortable and happy with their appearance with the least amount of intervention.

Dr. Sejal Saheta has dual degrees of MD and DNB in dermatology and venereology and has worked alongside some of the senior-most doctors at the largest hospitals in Mumbai.

Located in Powai, InUrSkn is the largest skin and hair clinic in the central suburbs of Mumbai and offers the latest technology in the safety of world-class infrastructure.

We are happy to be a part of your journey to reach your health goals. If you think we have been able to help you, please do review us:

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How can Dr. Sejal and InUrSkn help?

No matter what your skin and hair needs, Dr Sejal Saheta ensures personal attention to each patient and creates customized and scientifically-backed treatment plans for each patient. Through her years of experience and use of technology at her clinic (InUrSkn – Skin and Hair Clinic) located in Powai, Mumbai, she has been able to consistently deliver great results in the field of dermatology and trichology to thousands of patients. All of the above is done with the best-in-class machines within the comfort and safety of world-class infrastructure.

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