Skincare Stacy

Skincare Stacy
When to Apply Facial Serum

When to Apply Facial Serum

To use facial serum in your skincare routine, apply your face serum after cleansing and toning but before moisturizer and facial oil.

Face serums can be used morning or night and applied to both your face and neck for many different purposes:

Face Serum Benefits

  • Dry skin: providing hydration and barrier repair ingredients

  • Oily skin: controlling excess sebum production

  • Acne prone skin: unclogging pores and preventing breakouts

  • Mature skin: reducing fine lines and wrinkles

All skin types can include a facial serum in their daily skincare routine.

This article will explain everything you need to know about facial serums, when to use them, and how to use them.

What is a facial serum?

Naturium Azelaic Topical Acid 10 with BowTiedFawn branding

Serums are skincare products formulated with a high concentration of active ingredients used to treat specific skin concerns. They are commonly formulated with just a few ingredients and are designed to be left on the skin after application.

Facial serums have benefits like:

Facial Serum Benefits

  • Excess oil control for acne prone skin

  • Reducing uneven skin tone and dark spots

  • Providing antioxidant protection

  • Improving skin hydration

  • Fighting sensitive skin concerns

Should you use serum twice a day?

Yes, you can use a serum twice a day depending on the active ingredients in the product.

For example, you would want to use a vitamin C serum as part of your morning skincare routine. We don’t typically use vitamin C twice per day as it can be particularly irritation.

However, hydrating serums with hyaluronic acid and glycerin can be used twice per day.

How many serums can you use at once?

A good rule of thumb is to use only 1-2 serums at a time. That being said, you can use as many serums as you like as long as they do not cause you any irritation.

How to Apply Serum

CeraVe vitamin C serum with BowTiedFawn branding

To use face serum correctly, first wash your skin thoroughly with a gentle cleanser. Then, you can apply your toner if necessary. Follow up with a few drops of the best serum for your skin type.

Finally, apply moisturizer and facial oil on top to lock in hydration.

Do I use serum or moisturizer first?

You should apply serum first before your moisturizer to maximize absorption.

To correctly apply face serum, follow these steps:

Skin Routine Order

  • Cleanser

  • Toner

  • Serum

  • Eye cream

  • Moisturizer

  • Facial oil

Following this order will maximize the absorption of your products and the efficacy of your routine.

How to Apply Vitamin C Serum

MaeLove The Glow Maker Vitamin C Serum with BowTiedFawn branding

To use vitamin C serums, apply after cleansing and before moisturizer and sunscreen in the mornings.

Vitamin C is a common ingredient in an antioxidant serum. It’s one of the best serums to target specific skin concerns like fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin C Serum Benefits

Brightening serums have a ton of benefits such as:

  • Preventing sun damage

  • Evening out skin tone

  • Clearing up dark spots

  • Neutralizing free radicals

  • Anti aging

To best results, pair them with your daily sunscreen.

How to Apply a Retinol Serum

SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 with BowTiedFawn branding

To use retinol serums, apply a pea sized amount to your face and neck after cleansing but before moisturizer and facial oil at night.

Retinol is a popular anti aging ingredient and should definitely be part of your daily skincare routine after 25-30 years old.

Retinol Serum Benefits

Applying serums with retinol have a number of benefits for mature skin types, such as to:

  • Prevent breakouts

  • Even out skin tone

  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles

  • Stimulate collagen production

  • Help with an acne prone skin condition

Just a pea sized amount of retinol in your nightly skincare regime can make a huge difference.

How to Apply an Eye Serum

To apply an eye serum, use a few drops around your eyes and gently rub or pat in with the pads of your fingers. Follow up with a moisturizer and sunscreens (if applying during morning skincare routines).

Eye Serum Benefits

Serums with active ingredients like caffeine and peptides can help reduce dark circles around your eyes and signs of aging like crow’s feet.

How to Apply Hydrating Serums

SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier with BowTiedFawn branding

To apply face serum with hydrating ingredients, gently rub in a few drops of serum after cleansing but before moisturizing.

Hydrating serums are lightweight products that deeply hydrate with skin loving ingredients such as:

  • Glycerin

  • Hyaluronic acid

  • Sodium hyaluronate

  • Panthenol

  • Allantoin

These can be great for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and leaving you with plump skin.

Hydrating Serum Benefits

Serums with hydrating ingredients have tons of benefits like:

  • Fighting dryness and dehydration

  • Protecting your skin barrier

A hydrating face serum is even suitable to replace moisturizer for an oily skin type.

Do you wash face serum off?

Good Molecules Niacinamide Serum with BowTiedFawn branding

No, you should not wash face serum off. Serums with active ingredients are designed to be left on the skin for hours at a time so that they can work properly.

Do you leave serum on your face?

Yes, you should leave serum on your face overnight or throughout the day.

Are you supposed to wash off serum?

No, you are not supposed to wash off serum.

How many face serums can you use?

Stratia C+C Serum with BowTiedFawn branding

The general rule is to use 1-2 face serums. However, you can do as much serum application as you like as long as you don’t experience any irritation.

Can you use multiple serums?

Yes, you can use multiple serums at once. For example, layering a hyaluronic acid serum with a salicylic acid serum can help prevent specific concerns like dryness.

That being said, too much serum with high concentrations of actives can cause irritation and redness. Be sure to experiment to figure out what works for you.

Can you use 2 serums at once?

Yes, you can use 2 serums at once. In fact, layering a peptide serum on top of a retinol serum can be a great method to treat signs of premature aging.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Skincare Questions with BowTiedFawn branding

Should you apply serum before or after moisturizer? 

You should apply serum before moisturizer. Face serum is thinner and more watery than moisturizer. Therefore, you should apply face serum before moisturizing to maximize absorption.

Should you apply oil before or after serum? 

You should apply oil after serum and moisturizer. Oil is the second heaviest skincare product, so it should go at the end of your routine. If you have dry skin, you can follow up with an occlusive on top of your oil.

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