Pressed serums are a new category generating interest in Korean skincare. Find out what they are and how they are different.

What do you think about when you hear the word “serums?” You probably think about a little bottle that dispenses a clear gel liquid, right? There isn’t a massive variety in terms of the different types of serum formulas the way there are with cleansers and lip products. However, there is a new category of so-called “pressed” serums from Korea that are expanding the definition and our minds about serums.

Pressed serums are not the same as the serums you are familiar with. Sarah Lee and Christine Chang from popular Korean beauty site Glow Recipe explain that pressed serums are actually a hybrid of a serum and moisturizer. They still have the potent concentration of a serum, but they give your skin the serious boost of hydration that comes from your regular moisturizer.

When Christine and Sarah say that pressed serums are potent, they are not exaggerating. The pressed serums are involved in a slow cooling process which is done to preserve ingredient efficacy. Therefore, they say the ingredients that in the pressed serums have concentrations of 60% or more. Furthermore, pressed serums utilize fermented oils. Fermented skincare is becoming extremely popular, and for a good reason. The fermented oils help boost the absorbency, which leaves the skin deeply moisturized minus the greasy residue.

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You’re probably wondering that if a pressed serum is a moisturizer and a traditional serum in one, does that mean you can skip your regular moisturizer and serum? Christine and Sarah say a resounding “yes.” The thing to remember is that pressed serums are all about versatility and tweaking your routine to your skin’s needs. They explain, “For that extra blast of hydration, the pressed serum could always be used following a typical serum, or right before your usual moisturizer for those days where your skin is really feeling depleted and dry.”

You apply the pressed serum following your cleansing and toning routine, similar to a traditional serum. A pea-sized amount is all the product you need. You gently tap on the product as opposed to rubbing it in. Sarah and Christine state that you can also use the pressed serum after you apply your BB cream to boost radiance. Masking lovers will be pleased to know that you can also use it all over your face at night as a sleeping mask treatment.

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Pressed serums aren’t only different in formulation. Their texture and appearance can also be different compared to your regular one. There are different formulas, depending on the pressed serums purposes, but they are all have breathable, wearable, and lightweight textures. Sarah and Christine give Blithe Tundra Chaga Pressed Serum, $49, as an example. It has a unique custard-like texture. Yes, custard. They explain, “It melts onto the skin almost immediately after its application making it perfect for people with rough texture problems and fine lines.” Then you have products like the Blithe Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum, $49. It has a lightweight gel texture. Sarah and Christine say this one is suited for those with combination or oily skin because it hydrates without feeling greasy.

We are seeing a trend in skincare for more multitasking products that streamline our routines, and pressed serums definitely fit into that. Plus, they are versatile enough that you can make them work around what your skin is craving. And who isn’t the least bit curious to try a product that has a consistency like custard?

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