Chapter 38: How to Layer Different Serums

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Beauty Book

Facial serums are formulated with potent ingredients and are great for treating various skin concerns. There are serums specially created for tackling dehydration, hyperpigmentation or acne. Serums are also great for refining your pores and reducing or improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

While serums are great for treating one skin concern at a time, there is yet to be a serum that can solve all your skin issues simultaneously. The good news is that you can layer different serums together so your skin can reap all the benefits!

Want to get the most out of your serums? Here’s how you can layer them the right way:

Just like your skin care routine, it’s important to apply products with a lighter or thinner consistency and work your way up to ones with a thicker consistency. Always begin with a lightweight serum and save the thicker serums for last. 

Stick to two serums or a maximum of three serums if your skin really needs them. When layering multiple serums, it’s important not to go overboard. Overdoing it might overwhelm or even irritate your skin. Less is always more! 

Since you’re layering several serums, it’s crucial that you allow each layer to be fully absorbed into your skin. Wait for at least 30 seconds to a full minute for each serum to sink in before applying the next layer. 

If you’re impatient or want to speed things up, lightly massage your face in circular motions or gently pat your skin to allow the active ingredients to fully absorb into your skin. If you have more time to spare, you can use a face roller to enhance the penetration of your serums. 

Besides the textures of your serums, it’s also important to check their ingredients to ensure that they blend well together. There are serums that mix well together and others that don’t. 

When applying more than one serum, try not to pair serums with exfoliating properties together. For instance, layering serums with AHAs, BHAs or salicylic acid with a retinol-infused serum or a vitamin C serum is a recipe for disaster! Instead, apply a serum with active ingredients, followed by a soothing or hydrating serum such as a hyaluronic acid serum.

Here are some serum layering combinations for different skin types:

For dry skin:

If you have dry or dehydrated skin, or winter is making your skin feel dry or flaky, go for a serum like COSRX’s Full Fit Propolis Light Ampoule first. This lightweight serum helps your skin absorb and retain moisture, which is what dry skin needs the most. Follow it with the Waterfall Moist Balanced Hyaluronic Acid 100 from THE PLANT BASE for deeper hydration.

For oily or acne-prone skin:

If you’re dealing with blemishes, look for serums that help fade dark spots, soothe the skin, and strengthen your skin barrier. SOME BY MI’s Yuja Niacin 30 Days Blemish Care Serum is formulated with niacinamide and yuja extract to brighten your complexion and fight against hyperpigmentation caused by acne. 

After you’ve let that serum sink in, apply Benton’s Snail Bee Ultimate Serum to nourish and strengthen your skin’s protective barrier. The Snail Bee Ultimate Serum is packed with snail secretion filtrate and bee venom, which provide intense nourishment for skin with a poor oil-water balance. The serum is also perfect for preventing further skin damage. 

For sensitive skin:

PURITO’s Centella Unscented Serum pairs well with MIZON’s Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule so if you have sensitive skin, this power combo is worth trying. Start with the Centella Unscented Serum, a light and essential-oil free serum that brightens, soothes and strengthens damaged skin. With hyaluronic acid, snail secretion filtrate, and cacao tree extracts, the Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule will leave you with a plumper complexion.

For aging skin: 

When caring for aging skin, look for serums with collagen, peptide or retinol that help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re using a serum with any of these ingredients, avoid pairing it with a vitamin C serum, or serums formulated with acids that exfoliate the skin. Instead, pair your anti-aging serum with a hydrating serum that contains hyaluronic acid, aloe or glycol. 

iUNIK’s Black Snail Restore Serum is extremely lightweight and absorbs easily into skin. When layered underneath AMPLE: N’s Peptide Shot Ampoule, your skin will feel firmer, smoother and hydrated, plus your skin cell turnover will improve!


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