The Truth About Serums: Do You Need One?

The Truth About Serums

Serums are an important piece to any complete skincare regimen but why? Even if you already use a serum, it’s not always clear what it’s meant to do. They range in texture, consistency, and function making it hard to really categorize, let alone choosing one for your skin. Essences, extracts, concentrates … where to even begin? Skincare should be straightforward, so we’re breaking it down and revealing the truth about serums. 

What are serums?

Serums are concentrated skincare products that you apply after toning and before moisturizing (the DHC exception is our oil-absorbing Pore Essence, which is applied after moisturizing). Think of them as supplements for your skin.

We refer to our serums and essences as “boosters” because these potent formulas enhance your skincare regimen. Serums are designed to deliver a high concentration of beneficial ingredients directly into the skin making them a great way to reinforce your entire regimen.

Serum and essences vs. moisturizer

Serums can have moisturizing properties. A prime example: Beauty Lift Essence which contains our signature olive oil and a proprietary complex of oat kernel extract, ceramides, peptides, and mevalonolactone. While serums and essences can be hydrating, their textures are often lighter and more fluid since they’re meant to be layered and absorb fast. Moisturizers, both lightweight and intensive, have richer textures, contain more emollients, and impart long-lasting hydration.

Which is right for your skin?

Since serums and essences are formulated to be potent, a good rule of thumb is “less is more.” If you have sensitive skin, always do a patch-test first as these powerful formulations can cause irritation.

Oily/acne-prone: Formulas boasting a high concentration of vitamin C, sulfur, or salicylic acid are the way to go. Sulfur and salicylic acid dry up excess sebum and help unclog pores. Vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) helps even skin tone, which is great for dark spots due to blemishes. These boosters, like our Acne Spot Therapyare a gentler alternative to many over-the-counter products made with benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil.

Dry: Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid boosters will be your skin’s BFFs. Vitamin E (aka tocopherol) is an antioxidant and skin conditioner; hyaluronic acid is protein that helps prevent skin dehydration.


You bet. Here’s a quick guide to DHC boosters.

Acerola Extract

Concerns: dullness, oiliness

Features: Extract of the acerola berry, which contains more vitamin C than an orange.

Platinum Silver Nanocolloid Milky Essence

Concerns: dullness, dryness

Features: Olive leaf extract, mulberry, and nanoparticles of platinum and silver

Pore Essence

Concerns: large pores, oiliness

Features: Delivery Microcapsule technology (which releases beneficial ingredients where needed), artichoke leaf extract, vitamin C, antioxidant oxyresveratrol

Extra Concentrate

Concerns: fine lines, rough texture

Features: collagen, royal jelly, oat kernel extract, and allantoin

The Olive Essentials Set
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