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From toners and cleansers to creams and essences, we’ll be the first to admit that the sheer number of skincare products available to us can be dizzying. Throw in different skin types and concerns, and we’re often left scratching our heads wondering what our skin actually needs.

Most people have plenty of products on constant rotation, but one product’s necessity we’ve been questioning lately is a serum. Do you really need a serum, especially if you’re already using a toner and moisturiser?

To dive into this question and more, we’ll be sharing what a serum does, how it differs from a toner and moisturiser, and if it’s truly a must-have product in your routine.

What is a serum and is it really necessary in a skincare routine?

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum what is a serum

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Since serums have a fluid texture that ranges from watery to milky or gel-like, they’re weightless and perfect for layering. You layer products from the thinnest to thickest consistency, which is why a serum would be applied after a toner and before a moisturiser.

If you think of your skincare routine as a three-course meal, a serum is kind of like the main course. After kicking things off with an appetiser (i.e. cleansing and prepping your skin with toner), and before treating yourself to dessert (i.e. a moisturiser and/or sunscreen), you fill up on all the important nutrients by way of a serum.

Much like the main course, serums are heavy hitters – but for your skin. More lightweight than moisturisers and more viscous than toners, serums often contain a higher amount of active ingredients, which is why they’re workhorses that really deliver.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum do we need a serum

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There are plenty of serums on the market that perform different jobs, addressing a variety of skin concerns, be it dehydration, ageing, dull skin, or acne. Though they tend to be a little pricier than other skincare products, they’re full of potent ingredients and a little goes a long way.

A serum is also able to quench your skin’s thirst more effectively than the heaviest creams. That’s because their molecules are able to penetrate the skin and hydrate on the deepest level while richer creams sit on those top layers, which is why serums are indeed a necessary step in all skincare regimens.

If you’re not quite sure where to start, consider a hydrating serum. It’s good for every skin type because it’s packed with a high concentration of humectants, which attract water to plump and moisturise your skin.

All you need are a few drops to boost your skin’s hydration level, whether you’re dry, oily or in between.

An essential hydrating serum you need for plump, healthy-looking skin

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum bottle

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A perfect all-rounder is none other than the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum. It’s an essential formula with 17% hydrating complex that’s lightweight and easily absorbed, so it instantly quenches, plumps, and balances dry skin.

The serum uses two sizes of hyaluronic acid, which is a popular humectant that draws moisture from the air to keep your skin hydrated, holding almost 1,000 times its weight in water.

But why two sizes, you ask? Well, smaller sizes of hyaluronic acid deliver plumping, youth-giving hydration that minimises the look of wrinkles, while larger sizes deliver conditioning moisture that smooths and softens skin texture – a two-pronged approach that allows deeper and more effective hydration.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum texture 2

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If you get a closer look at the serum’s lightweight, gel-like texture, you’ll notice tiny blue capsules suspended in the formula. These capsules house hyaluronic acid, keeping it fresh until you massage it on your skin. Combined with fellow humectant glycerin, it delivers moisture nine layers deep into the epidermis.

Not to mention, pro-vitamin B5 and prebiotics in the formula also soothe and strengthen your skin barrier, aiding your skin’s renewal and recovery.

You won’t find fragrances or parabens in this non-comedogenic serum too, which is why Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum is perfect for those with acne-prone or sensitive skin too.

Simply apply four to five drops of Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum to your face and neck after cleansing and toning, and before moisturiser. You’ll soon be able to see and feel youthful-looking skin that’s smooth, supple and hydrated.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum steps

If you’re ready for the ultimate glow-up, we’ll let you in on a little secret. When you use the Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum together with the Hydro Boost Activating Essence Lotion and Hydro Boost Water Gel, you’ll enjoy 5.5 times more hydration compared to using the Water Gel on its own!

The difference Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum makes

My current routine is the most pared-back it’s ever been. I’ve been sticking with a cleanser, toner, moisturiser, and sunscreen in the morning, but I was curious to find out how much hydration my skin would gain just by adding a serum to my regimen.

To put the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum to the test, I followed up with my usual toner and moisturiser on the left side of my face, while I layered the serum between the two steps on the right side of my face. I measured my skin’s hydration levels before and after applying the products on, so we could see how much moisture the serum was able to replenish.

The gel-like serum spread really easily, so I didn’t have to use much product for my face and neck. Its white and blue capsules burst on my skin as I worked the serum gently into my skin, leaving no trace of residue after a minute.

As you can see, the right side of my face was more dehydrated than the left side to begin with, but the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum was able to quench its thirst while rebalancing my sebum levels.

Used alongside a toner and moisturiser, the serum bumped up my moisture levels by an impressive 21.4%, while my usual routine only saw an 8.8% increase in hydration – that’s a 12.6% difference! The results truly speak for themselves.

This “moisture sandwich” post-cleansing routine really does help to replenish parched skin, which is why this hydrating serum is essential to enhance any routine. In doing so, I’m better able to draw and seal in moisture, allowing my skin to receive the hydration it needs and craves.

Try it yourself to experience the difference and achieve the healthy-looking skin you desire!

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum retails for S$25.90, available online at Lazada, Shopee, Guardian, Watsons, FairPrice, and in-stores at Guardian, Watsons, and FairPrice.

This article is brought to you by Neutrogena.