When it comes to skincare, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of products available on the market. Serums have become increasingly popular in recent years, but with so many different types and formulas, it can be challenging to know how to layer them correctly.
Fortunately, skin-care experts have shared their tips on how to layer serums effectively to get the most out of your skincare routine, and today, I’m sharing everything you need to know when it comes to what serum comes first!
Wait, what are Serums?
Serums are lightweight, fast-absorbing liquids that are designed to deliver high concentrations of active ingredients to the skin. They are typically applied after toners and before moisturizers, and can be used both in the morning and at night.
Serums come in a variety of formulations, including water-based and oil-based, and can be used to address a wide range of skin concerns.
What are the benefits of a serum?
Serums are packed with active ingredients that can help to hydrate, repair, and protect the skin. They are formulated to penetrate deep into the skin, where they can work to stimulate collagen production, improve cellular turnover, and repair damage caused by free radicals and UV rays.
Depending on the formula, serums can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots, and soothe redness and irritation.
How to layer serums: Tips for the ultimate results
When it comes to layering serums, it is important to keep in mind the order of the type of serum.
Apply your water-based serums before your oil-based serums
There are two main types of serums: water-based and oil-based. You’ll want to apply your water-based serums first and then your oil-based serums.
Water-based serums are lightweight, thinner, and can penetrate the skin more easily, allowing the skin to absorb the active ingredients more effectively.
Oil-based serums, on the other hand, are richer and more nourishing, making them ideal for dry or mature skin. They are typically formulated with ingredients like jojoba oil, argan oil, and rosehip primrose oil, which can help to hydrate and condition the skin. They also tend to be heavier than water-based oils, so they may not be suitable for oily or acne-prone skin.
Water-based serums should be applied before oil-based serums, as they are better able to penetrate the skin and deliver active ingredients to the deeper layers.
If you apply an oil-based serum first, your water-based serums will be unable to penetrate your skin due to the thickness of the oil-based serums.
After applying the water-based serum, wait for it to be fully absorbed before applying the oil-based serum.
Common water-based serums:
- hyaluronic acid
- glycolic acid
- vitamin C serum
- ferulic acid
- salicylic acid
Common oil-based serums:
- argan oil
- rosehip seed oil
- jojoba oil
- avocado oil
- sweet almond oil
When layering serums, pay attention to the consistency and texture of the serums. As a general rule, apply the thinnest serum first and then follow with thicker serums. This will help each serum to absorb into the skin more effectively.
Apply the serum that targets your biggest skin concerns, first
So now that you know to apply your oil-based serums last, you may be wondering how to layer your water-based serums. Which comes first? Hyaluronic acid or vitamin C?
An easy way to serum how to layer serums is to apply the serum that targets your biggest skin needs first. For example, if you are looking to reduce wrinkles, apply a serum that targets wrinkles before applying a serum that targets dark spots.
Do’s and Don’ts of Layering Serums
Apply Serums to Freshly Washed and Clean Face
Before applying serums, it is important to cleanse your face thoroughly to remove any dirt, oil, or makeup that may be on your skin. This will help the serums to penetrate deeply into your skin and work more effectively.
Start with a Test Patch When Applying a New Serum
If you are trying a new serum, it is important to do a patch test first to make sure that you are not allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients. Apply a small amount of the serum to a small area of your skin and wait 24 hours to see if you have any adverse reactions.
Start with Water-Based Serums
Water-based serums should be applied first as they are lighter in texture and can be absorbed more easily into the skin. They also help to hydrate the skin and prepare it for the next serum.
Apply Oil-Based Serums After Water-Based Serum
After applying a water-based serum, you can then apply an oil-based serum. Oil-based serums are thicker and help to lock in moisture and provide nourishment to the skin.
Apply Serum with Clean Hands
It is important to apply serums with clean hands to avoid transferring any bacteria or dirt onto your skin. Wash your hands thoroughly before applying serums.
Give Your Serum Time to Absorb Before Applying Another Serum
It is important to give each serum time to absorb into your skin before applying another serum. This will help to prevent pilling and ensure that each serum is able to work effectively.
Don’t Touch the Serum Dropper
Avoid touching the serum dropper to prevent contamination of the serum. Instead, dispense the serum onto your fingertips or palm and apply it to your face.
Don’t Use More Than 3 Serums at a Time
Using too many serums at once can overload your skin and cause irritation. It is recommended to use no more than 3 serums at a time.
Don’t Overdo it with Serums.
While serums can provide many benefits to the skin, it is important not to overdo it. Using too many serums or applying them too frequently can cause irritation and damage to the skin.
Don’t Expect Immediate Results with Serums. Give it Time.
Serums can take time to work, so it is important to be patient and consistent with your skincare routine. It may take several weeks or even months to see the full benefits of using serums.
By following these tips, you can achieve healthy, glowing skin with the help of serums.
Choosing the Right Serum for Your Skin Concerns
When it comes to choosing a serum for your skin, it’s important to consider your specific skin concerns. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. Here are some tips on how to choose the right serum for your skin type and concerns.
If you are concerned about fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging, look for serums that contain ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and peptides. These ingredients can help to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, boost collagen production, and improve skin texture and tone.
For those struggling with acne, look for serums that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. These ingredients can help to unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and prevent future breakouts. It’s important to note that these ingredients can be drying, so it’s important to use a hydrating serum alongside them.
If you have dry or dehydrated skin, look for serums that contain hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides. These ingredients can help to hydrate and plump the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They can also help to improve the skin’s barrier function, preventing moisture loss.
If you are concerned about dull, uneven skin tone, look for serums that contain ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, or alpha arbutin. These ingredients can help to brighten the skin, reduce hyperpigmentation, and even out skin tone.
When choosing a serum, it’s important to consider your skin type and any specific concerns you may have. It’s also important to patch test new products before incorporating them into your routine to avoid any adverse reactions.
Serum Ingredients That Layer Well
When it comes to layering serums, it’s important to choose the right ingredients that work well together. Here are some serum ingredients that layer well:
Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient in serums because it helps to hydrate the skin and improve its texture. It’s a lightweight ingredient that can be easily layered with other serums.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2%
Vitamin C is another popular ingredient in serums because it helps to brighten the skin and improve its overall appearance. It’s important to note that vitamin C can be unstable and may not work well with certain ingredients, such as retinol.
BeautyStat Cosmetics Universal C Skin Refiner Vitamin C Serum
Retinol is a powerful ingredient that can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s important to use retinol sparingly and to avoid layering it with other active ingredients, such as vitamin C.
Niacinamide is a versatile ingredient that can help to improve the overall health of the skin. It can be easily layered with other serums and is often used in combination with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C.
Top-rated Niacinamide Serum:
Dr. Barbara Sturm The Better B Niacinamide Serum
Peptides are amino acids that can help to improve the firmness and elasticity of the skin. They can be easily layered with other serums and are often used in combination with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C.
Keys Soulcare Truly Becoming Multi-Benefit Peptide Serum
Overall, it’s important to choose serum ingredients that work well together and to avoid layering certain active ingredients, such as retinol and vitamin C. By choosing the right ingredients and layering them correctly, you can achieve healthy, glowing skin.
Serum Ingredients You Shouldn’t Layer
Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinol
Benzoyl peroxide and retinol are both great for treating acne, but they should not be used together. Benzoyl peroxide is a strong oxidizing agent that can break down retinol and make it less effective. The two ingreidents can cancel eachther out making both ineffective.
AHAs/BHAs and Retinol
AHAs/BHAs are exfoliating ingredients that can help unclog pores and improve skin texture. However, when used with retinol, they can cause irritation and dryness. It is best to use AHAs/BHAs in the morning and retinol at night.
Retinol and Alpha Hydroxy Acid:
These two ingredients should not be used together because they can cause skin irritation. Retinol helps to reduce wrinkles, while Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) helps to exfoliate the skin. When used together, they can cause redness, burning, and sensitivity.
How to maximize the benefits of Serums:
Serums are a great way to nourish and protect your skin. They contain high concentrations of active ingredients, which can penetrate deep into the skin and provide numerous benefits.
Here are some tips for maximizing the benefits of serums:
Applying Serums correctly
To get the most out of your serums, it’s important to apply them correctly. First, cleanse your face to remove any dirt or oil. Then, apply your serums to damp skin, as this will help them absorb better. Start with the thinnest serum and work your way up to the thickest.
Gently massage each serum into your skin, using upward and outward motions. This will help improve circulation and promote absorption.
Use a Rose-Quartz Roller
Using a rose-quartz roller can help maximize the benefits of your serums. This tool helps improve circulation and lymphatic drainage, which can reduce puffiness and improve skin tone.
To use a rose-quartz roller, apply your serum as usual, then gently roll the tool over your face and neck. Start at the center of your face and work your way outwards, using gentle pressure.
Massage and Circulation
Massage and circulation are key to maximizing the benefits of serums. By improving circulation, you can help your skin absorb more of the active ingredients in your serums.
Massage also helps reduce tension and stress, which can improve skin health. To promote circulation, use gentle massage techniques when applying your serums. You can also try facial massage, which involves using your fingertips to massage your face in circular motions.
Frequently Asked Questions: How to Layer Serums
What is the Proper Way to Apply Serums to the Skin?
To apply serums properly, start with freshly cleansed skin. You can also follow up with a toner before applying your serum.
Apply the thinnest serum first, then wait until it fully absorbs before applying the next one. Be sure to apply the serum to the entire face, including the eye area, but avoid the eyelids. Use gentle, upward strokes to apply the serum, and avoid rubbing or tugging on the skin.
Here is a video where I share how to apply serums
Do you love beauty and skincare videos? Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!
Can You Mix Serum with Moisturizer?
Yes, you can mix serum with moisturizer. This can be a great way to save time and simplify your skincare routine. However, it’s important to note that mixing products can dilute their effectiveness, so it’s best to use each product separately if you’re looking for maximum benefits.
Can You Mix Serums with Sunscreen?
It’s generally not recommended to mix serums with sunscreen, as this can dilute the effectiveness of both products. It’s best to apply the serum first, wait for it to fully absorb, and then apply the sunscreen as the final step in your skincare routine.
Can You Apply Moisturizer Immediately After Serum?
Yes, you can apply moisturizer immediately after the serum. In fact, applying moisturizer after serum can help lock in the benefits of the serum and provide additional hydration to the skin. Just be sure to give your serum at least a minute to absorb before applying your moisturizer.
Which Serums Can Be Used Together?
It’s generally safe to use multiple serums together as long as they have different active ingredients and are formulated to work together. However, it’s important to avoid overloading the skin with too many products, as this can lead to irritation and breakouts. It’s best to start with just one or two serums and gradually add more as needed.
Can I Use Two Different Serums for Day and Night?
Yes, you can use different serums for day and night, as long as they are formulated to address different skin care concerns. For example, you may want to use a vitamin C serum during the day to protect against environmental damage and a retinol serum at night to promote cell turnover and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Serums are an easy, fun way to add a boost of hydration to your skincare routine and improve your skin’s overall health. Just take the time to do a little bit of research into what kind of ingredients will suit your needs when picking out the right products.
Do you have a favorite serum? Let me know in the comments below!