If you open TikTok or Instagram, it looks like each “Get Prepared With Me” video options somebody slathering on layer after layer of fancy skincare serums. The strain to have an in depth skincare routine is actual, and generally it might really feel such as you’re imagined to be utilizing each serum and lively ingredient below the solar for that elusive “greatest pores and skin ever.” It’s no shock, then, that individuals marvel if they need to be layering serums. What number of must you be utilizing? What varieties are you able to combine collectively? There are even “recipes” on-line for creating your individual bespoke routine by mixing varied serums collectively earlier than making use of them. At first, it’d appear to be an ideal concept. In any case, there are such a lot of high-performance skincare elements on the market lately, why not add a few of them collectively to offer your pores and skin as many advantages as potential?
Fortunately, although, the reply to all that is refreshingly easy. Mixing and layering your serums received’t provide the greatest outcomes—try to be rotating one by one as an alternative. Maintain scrolling to study why layering and mixing aren’t the way in which to go, how you can rotate your serums, and which elements it is best to by no means combine.
First, What Is a Serum?
A serum is a concentrated skincare product with lively elements. They’re sometimes light-weight and water or lotion based mostly as a result of this enables them to penetrate deeper into the pores and skin the place they will create probably the most change. The place a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer are the constructing blocks of a stable routine, you attain for a serum to focus on particular issues and create tangible change. Be it zits, dehydration, discoloration, or indicators of getting old—there’s a serum for that.
A serum ought to all the time be utilized after you’ve cleansed and utilized toner, then adopted up with moisturizer.
Learn what’s a serum, and do I actually need one?
Ought to You Layer Serums?
As I mentioned earlier, there are such a lot of wonderful lively skincare elements out there that it looks like utilizing a couple of would maximize outcomes. However What truly occurs once you layer serums on prime of each other?
Let’s say you begin by making use of a niacinamide serum then layer a vitamin C serum on prime of that. The primary serum goes to penetrate the pores and skin because it’s meant to, however it would most likely additionally depart a bit residue behind on the pores and skin’s floor. This implies the second serum has a little bit of an impediment and won’t be capable to penetrate as successfully. The extra serums you add, the extra diluted they develop into. To return to our instance, this might imply the vitamin C serum you apply is now half as efficient because it’s meant to be.
Whereas it’s tempting to load up on a number of merchandise and elements, your pores and skin can solely soak up a lot. Consider it as a sponge; sooner or later, a sponge has absorbed all it might and water will simply pour over it. This occurs along with your pores and skin as nicely. Belief me, by utilizing all the pieces directly, you’ll simply find yourself throwing your cash down the drain.
One other concern is that many serums embody very lively elements. If you apply too many sturdy elements to your pores and skin directly, you run the danger of irritation. That can solely trigger harm and undo all the nice you have been making an attempt to do along with your serums.
When you’re intent on layering, I don’t counsel greater than two serums—one with an lively ingredient like retinol or exfoliating acids, and one which’s purely a hydrating serum. These are inclined to play properly with others and might add a bit additional layer of moisture if that’s what you’re searching for.
What About Mixing Serums?
So layering is all good, however what about mixing all the pieces collectively to create on super-serum? Hate to burst your bubble, however it doesn’t work this manner both.
Even when the elements in two completely different serums can technically be mixed, you continue to run into the problem of dilution. Once more, you’d be losing your cash by not getting full advantages from the product.
Let me additionally make this level. Not all serums are equal. Chemically talking, one method could also be designed to penetrate through a sure mechanism. One other product could not have the identical penetration enhancers. It’s possible you’ll be making them chemically much less environment friendly, by disrupting their meant processes. Principally, it’s such as you’re complicated the serums by mixing them collectively.
Lastly, I by no means advocate mixing water-based merchandise with oil or emollient-based merchandise. I do know some individuals like to combine their serums into moisturizer, and I’m not a fan since this may actually mess with the efficacy of a serum. It’s greatest to use a serum, let it dry down or get cheesy for just a few seconds, then apply a skinny layer of moisturizer on prime.
How Can You Get All of the Advantages With out Layering Serums?
It’s true that you just’ll get the best profit by utilizing a wide range of lively elements, so right here’s the easiest way to include a number of serums into your routine.
As a substitute of Layering Your Serums, Rotate Them
Consider your serums like a exercise routine—selection offers you the most effective outcomes, however you wouldn’t need to do all of your exercises on the identical day or it could result in fatigue. The identical goes for serums. By specializing in one by one as an alternative of layering your serums, you’ll get the utmost profit with none interference for a well-rounded method.
Btw, should you’re studying this and considering to your self, “This sounds an terrible lot like skincycling,” you’re completely proper! The idea of rotating your serums in a particular order isn’t new, however the viral #skincycling pattern has introduced better consciousness to this idea. Because it’s one thing many people estheticians have been preaching to our purchasers for years, I couldn’t be happier that it’s gaining traction.
When you don’t already know, skincycling is a information to rotating serums in your nighttime routine. A serum schedule, if you’ll. It’s an ideal blueprint to observe, however know that skincycling can look completely different for everybody. For instance, not everybody makes use of a retinol serum, and that’s okay! It’s vital to make use of the elements that assist your skin type and your skin goals. Those that do use retinol could not be capable to tolerate the identical frequency of use. It’s all about experimenting a bit and determining what works greatest for you. Or, should you’re confused, I all the time advocate searching for the recommendation of a skincare skilled. Our virtual consultation program makes this accessible to everybody.
The right way to Rotate Your Serums
Pores and skin is exclusive (that is the whole philosophy my model relies on), so not everybody can observe the very same schedule. That mentioned, that is the overall information I developed as a blueprint. Keep in mind, that is one thing to construct in the direction of—should you’re beginning retinol for the primary time you’ll need to work your manner up slowly.
For nights one and two, use a retinol serum just like the Advanced Resurfacing Serum.
Evening three is an exfoliating acid serum. The rationale I counsel that is that it takes about 48 hours for retinol to extend cell turnover from inside and push the outdated pores and skin cells to the floor. The exfoliating acid serum will assist shed these dry, expired cells which can be being pushed out by the retinol. This may assist handle the floor dryness generally related to retinol use. Once more, the kind of exfoliating acid serum you employ will rely in your pores and skin sort and particular person wants. To search out out which sort you want, you possibly can take this Skin Type Quiz.
On the finish of the week, a hydrating serum plumps and nourishes these contemporary new cells which were revealed by the combo of retinol and exfoliation. It additionally provides your pores and skin a relaxation from actives in order that it might relaxation and restore.
And once more, that is only a common information! Every serum schedule needs to be tailor-made to your distinctive pores and skin.
Search for a Serum With A number of Helpful Substances
One other sneaky option to get a number of advantages with out utilizing a number of merchandise is to discover a serum that has a couple of useful ingredient. What I counsel searching for is a well-rounded serum that can finally profit your pores and skin in additional methods than one. For instance, these exfoliating acid serums embody elements like glycerin, allantoin, and aloe to appease and hydrate, offsetting any doubtlessly irritating results from the acids. Or, you would search for a retinol serum that features anti-aging peptides to reinforce the general firming impact of the method, in addition to hydrating elements to make it straightforward to tolerate.
This fashion, you realize all the pieces has been correctly formulated to work in tandem and can be capable to correctly make its manner into your pores and skin.
Which Serum Substances Ought to You NOT Mix?
Some elements play very nicely with others whereas different elements very very similar to to be the star of the present.
Vitamin C (unstable types like Ascorbic Acid and L-Ascorbic Acid) + Retinol = not beneficial. They’ve completely different pHs that may battle with each other.
Vitamin C (unstable types like Ascorbic Acid and L-Ascorbic acid) + AHAs = can be utilized collectively however could trigger irritation for delicate pores and skin sorts. Proceed with warning.
Vitamin C (steady types like Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, and Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate) + AHAs = can safely be used collectively with out the danger of irritation. (However I do advocate utilizing vitamin C within the morning and AHAs at evening. Try the right morning routine.)
Retinol + Benzoyl Peroxide = not beneficial. Benzoyl peroxide oxidizes simply. Retinol does as nicely, and it may make them each much less efficient.
Retinol + Retinol = not beneficial to double dose. When you’re utilizing a well-formulated retinol serum, it ought to interact your retinol receptors to do their job. If you layer on one other retinol serum, in an effort to extend the outcomes, you’ll wind up with pointless and undesirable irritation.
The Backside Line
With a plethora of serums and elements that may have a optimistic impact on our pores and skin, it may be tempting to make use of them abruptly. However, this isn’t the easiest way to maximise outcomes to your pores and skin (or your pockets). First, be aware that your pores and skin can solely soak up a lot at one time. Second, do not forget that layering too many serums or mixing them can dilute their efficacy. Mixing elements at house will not be like mixing elements in a lab! (This is identical cause I’m not a fan of DIY skincare recipes!)
As a substitute, rotate your serums and attempt to use only one every evening. This may permit the serum to work as successfully as potential with out interference so that you just get the utmost profit. It’s all about discovering the serums that concentrate on your particular pores and skin issues and making a schedule that works for you.
Superstar Esthetician & Skincare Skilled
As an esthetician skilled in beauty chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching pores and skin, educating her viewers, and constructing an award-winning line of merchandise. Her hands-on expertise as an esthetician and trusted skincare knowledgeable has created a real-world resolution — merchandise which can be formulated for nine different types of skin so your face will get precisely what it must appear and feel its greatest. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives across the globe, her huge real-world information and fixed analysis are why Marie Claire calls her “probably the most passionate pores and skin practitioner we all know.”