5 Ways to Make Your Serum Work 10x Harder
Serums are crammed full of active ingredients designed to treat specific skin concerns such as fine lines, discoloration, dullness, and dryness.
Thanks to their high concentrations of powerhouse ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and glycolic acid, serums can boost collagen production and speed skin cell turnover for skin that glows.
But is there a way to maximize their line-fighting, brightening, and moisturizing performance? There is indeed. It's all down to how you apply your face serum. Follow these five tips to make your serum work 10x harder.
#1: Wash Your Face Properly
Clean skin absorbs skincare far better than dirty skin.
For maximum absorption, wash your face properly with a gentle cleanser before applying serum. Choose a face wash that's clarifying yet hydrating to prevent drying out your skin.
Consider bringing in an exfoliator too to buff away dead skin cells so that other skincare products can penetrate more effectively. You can either use a physical scrub (sugar or salt based) or a chemical exfoliator (that containing acids like glycolic and lactic acid) to dissolve dead cell build up.
Bear in mind, cleansing should be done regularly as part of your daily skincare routine. Exfoliation should only be done once or twice a week to prevent irritating your skin.
#2: Apply to Damp Skin
According to dermatologists, moist skin is ten times more permeable than dry skin. It acts like a sponge, absorbing any beauty product that comes its way -- from your toner to your lotion to your serum.
So, if you want your face serum to perform its very best, be sure to apply it straight after cleansing for quick, deep absorption.
While this rule applies to nearly every product, mineral-based sunscreen is one exception. That's because it's designed to sit on the skin's surface rather than be absorbed. Applied on damp skin, mineral SPF tends to run, delivering uneven coverage.
#3: Layer Right
Surprisingly, many people layer their skincare products incorrectly. The trouble is, if you're applying products in the wrong order, they may not perform as they should because another product is blocking their ability.
As a rule of thumb, always go from thinnest (i.e. your antioxidant serum) to thickest (your rich face cream, night cream, or sunscreen). Retinoids are the exception. Applying them first could irritate those with sensitive skin.
Let your serums fully absorb before moisturizing. In fact, you should be letting each product you layer on absorb for 3-5 minutes before going in with the next one otherwise the products won't work as they should.
The best serums disappear quickly into your skin. If they leave an oily or greasy residue, they’re not performing well.
#4: Less is More
Serums are highly concentrated. You really don't need to apply dollops of the stuff to get your money's worth. In fact, you should not over-apply serums. Besides going to waste, applying too much of an active ingredient at once can cause skin irritation. This is especially true of the more potent ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid.
For best results, use just a few drops of your serum. Any more is simply a waste.
#5: Apply them at Night
Skincare products do their best work at night.
In addition to it being the time when your skin rejuvenates, skin temperature rises by about half a degree when we snooze. As a result, blood vessel dilation occurs and with it comes better product penetration. While the difference isn't significant, the skin does absorb more overnight.
Retinol reacts better when applied at night. That's because it makes skin more sensitive to UV rays. Plus, sun exposure decreases the efficiency of this anti-aging ingredient.
WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW
Other important factors to remember when using serums is to choose fragrance-free formulas. Fragrances add nothing beneficial. In fact, they may even interfere with absorption and trigger irritation.
We also recommend choosing a formula that works for your skin type. If you are acne-prone, look for a serum made with an ingredient that targets and prevents breakouts, such as salicylic acid. Those seeking to squash dryness should opt for ingredients like hyaluronic acid. As for those in need of an anti-aging formula, ingredients to look out for include retinol, vitamin C, and glycolic acid.
Another important factor: consistency. Products cannot work if they don't get the chance to. If you want to maximize your serums' effects, be sure to apply it every day, morning and night. Skipping it won't allow it to work its best, and you'll never get to find out what it's truly capable of.
SERUMS TO TRY
Rainbow's Glow Serum
A quick fix for instant glow. This skin brightening treatment serum is formulated with exfoliating glycolic acid and illuminating bakuchiol to deliver glowy, gorgeous skin.
Rainbow's Tighten Serum
Red microalgae and alpha hydroxy acids lend their sculpting, smoothing, and elasticity-restoring skills in this anti-aging serum for younger, better skin.
Rainbow's Smooth Serum
Erase fine lines and wrinkles with this plumping, youth-restoring serum. It's made with vitamin C and vegan collagen that work hand in hand to deliver bouncier, fresher, wrinkle-free skin.
Rainbow's Hydrate Serum
Formulated with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5, this hydrating serum promises to diminish dry skin for good -- provided that you use it daily of course. It works beautifully under makeup to give your foundation a nice, dewy finish.
Serums are our favorite. They come in a wide range of formulas spanning multiple skin concerns, so everyone can benefit from using one in their routine.
Whether you're dealing with discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles, or uneven skin tone, there's a serum out there destined to cure your skincare woes. You just need to find the right one.
Fortunately for you, we have four great picks to choose from, with each offering different benefits. Take your pick and push their capabilities using our tips above!