POST 219 How to Apply Facial Serums

POST 219

Skin Care

How To Apply Facial Serums

You’d think everyone just knows how to apply these, but actually they don’t. If you want to get the most out of the money you spend on serums and get the best results possible, follow this rule;

Remember, most of the serums are water soluble. Not all of them and you need to know the difference. Let’s take Hyaluronic Acid Serum; to make this work and get results, you MUST apply this to clean skin AFTER cleansing and applying Toner. Why? We’ll go over Toners in a separate Post. 

Hyaluronic Serums are almost always water soluble. After cleansing and toning, you always want to put your water soluble serum on first so that it will penetrate into layers of the skin. If you use an oil soluble serum first and then apply Hyaluronic Acid, it doesn’t penetrate and will only lay on top of your skin. Many new makeup products are being introduced that contain Hyaluronic Acid (HA). These products can only be effective if the HA is an oil soluble form. If not, you are paying for something that you are not receiving. If serums are applied out-of-order, with oil based being applied first, the result is that it will cause your makeup base to be smeary reduce coverage, it will appear “thin”. So always apply Hyaluronic Acid Serum or ANY water soluble serum FIRST.

You can apply more than one water-based serum. If applying more than one, or stacking, you can apply both of these back-to-back and they will work effectively together. After application, let it dry completely, then apply an oil soluble serum on top of this.  Essential oil serums are light and volatile but they are still oil and should be applied second. If not using essential oil, then follow by applying your face cream because these will have hydrating oils in most cases. If you have the time, wait about 10-15 minutes before applying makeup so everything has the best chance to penetrate your skin undisturbed.


  • Cleanse face (the cleanser is not as important as often said- water is around a 7 pH so an acid cleanser just isn’t required- more on that another time)
  • Apply toner, briefly let it dry (a must to re-establish the skin’s acid mantle)
  • If you use Retin-A, apply this next and wait about 20 minutes before proceeding
  • Apply water soluble serums (the Retin-A and Toner helps the HA to penetrate the skin)
  • Apply oil soluble serums (this is nutritive for the skin but also matters based on what oil is in the product- this type of serum will hold in moisture and protect your skin from environmental pollution)
  • Apply face cream (works with everything underneath– ingredients are more important than the cost of the cream)
  • Women- apply makeup (if makeup gums up when applied, your serums have to be altered. Sometimes people use serums separate from Retin-A such as Retin-A at night under night cream and serums in the morning)

Many women and men use Retin-A. If you are not using this prescription, I highly highly recommend that you do so. I’ll cover how to use Retin-A on the next skin care Post followed with how to use Toners. Many people start using Retin-A only to be dissatisfied and discontinue. Let me help you get this product working right so you can benefit from it without the flaking and scaling. Remember, Retin-A makes you more sun sensitive, so do citrus essential oils.

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