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    Facial serums and radiance

    Q. How does a facial serum improve radiance?

    Many of the newer facial serums claim to improve radiance immediately after application. This is confusing to the dermatologist who knows that one application of vitamin C will not make much of a physiologic or appearance difference.

    How can this claim of improved radiance be substantiated? Radiance is a visual assessment of the smoothness of the skin surface, so anything that improves skin smoothness will enhance radiance. The most popular technique for enhancing radiance is a polymer containing small-particle hyaluronic acid. The polymer is stroked over the skin’s surface to create a thin film. If too much is applied, the polymer balls on the face when rubbed resembling peeling skin. The polymer provides a smooth occlusive film over the hyaluronic acid that draws water and hydrates the skin. The effect is immediate and remains until the film is disrupted or removed. This is how the new facial serum formulations instantly improve skin radiance by smoothing the skin surface.

    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.
    Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., is a consulting professor of dermatology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. She is investigator, ...


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