How To Layer Serums In Your Skincare Routine

How To Layer Serums In Your Skincare Routine

One serum, two serum, three serum, four!

That’s where we’re at. Go-To’s got treatment products coming out of our ears.

Giving you, you skincare nutso, a chance to target more skincare concerns. (As you see fit.)

We get a lot of questions about which serum to use, and when to use them. So let’s chat. 

Can you layer your serums, or is that too much for the skin, and should you just use one at a time?

The answer is: Yes! I layer my serums every day.

Serums are skin treatment products, so we select them based on the things we’d like to treat: dehydration, acne, dryness, sagging and loss of firmness, visible pores, hyperpigmentation, etc. But sometimes we wanna treat more than one thing at once, which is when we layer.

So. What exactly do you wish to treat? In which area does your skin need a hand? (These can be long standing, like a dry or oily skin type, but some come and go according to your skin’s needs, the seasons and hormonal changes.)

There aren’t many do-it-all serums out there, and that’s because this is an area of specificity, unique skin concerns, concentrated ingredients, and expert formulations. So, go for specific serums, and don’t be afraid to layer. The order will be dependent on the products that you’re using but as a general rule: work from most active to least, and thinnest to thickest

(In the case of our four serums, we recommend using Much Brighter Skin in the AM only. And of an evening, applying Very Amazing Retinal OR De-Crease - never together - to a freshly-cleansed but dry face, and following with Much Plumper Skin once your vitamin A has fully absorbed.) 

Here’s what I do each morning as a 40-something with dry skin:

  1. Cleanse with Juicy Gel, or just rinse my face.
    2. Pat dry, then use a face mist for hydration and to help boost absorption with the next step.
    3. Vitamin C for antioxidant protection, dark spot brightening, and visible luminosity. Zing!
    4. Press Face Hero into my chest, neck and face for glow and nourishment.
    5. Face cream if my skin looks like it needs it. (Usually not.)
    6. SPF. Always.

And here’s what I do at night: (I popped in all the added extras so you can see what a comprehensive routine looks like.)

  1. Makeup-remove and double cleanse with Fancy Face and then Juicy Gel.
  2. Apply a wee amount of retinal serum every second day (any active serum goes on first!), using an exfoliating toner on alternating nights. 
  3. Spot treatments if I have a fun breakout.
  4. A hyaluronic acid/peptide serum for long-lasting hydration and to promote firmness and elasticity. Nice!
  5. Press Face Hero into my chest, neck and face for glow and nourishment.
  6. Finish off with Very Useful Face Cream to lock it all in.

(Remember - if you use an oil-free moisturiser, water/gel-cream or face lotion, your face oil goes on AFTER. Our face cream is thicker than Face Hero, so it goes last. Whichever is thickest, goes on last.)

This routine looks a lot on paper, but takes just a couple of minutes. It is very effective today, and will do fantastic things for my skin in ten years. I’m protected against UV damage, hyperpigmentation, and I am thoroughly hydrated. 

Others might choose products for congestion and oily pores, or acne/resurfacing-related AHA products, if those are the areas they’re looking to target. As with all things on planet skincare, there is no one size fits all. It comes down to your day, your skin, and your needs. Choose the things that work for you, and if in doubt, keep it simple.

Some serum dot points:

  • Layering two serums is fine: three is for pros only.
  • Not all serums are for night AND day! Save retinal, retinoids, AHAs and BHAs for PM, and generally speaking, vitamin C is at its best underneath SPF/in the AM.
  • Make sure your serums aren’t fighting (i.e. avoid layering serums with ingredients that have the potential to impact the efficacy of each other, such as a retinal and vitamin C).
  • Serums can’t rollerblade very well and will be embarrassed if you ask.