In recent articles, we’ve discussed the extensive benefits associated with having a targeted serum in your skin care routine. From hydrating to anti-aging to preventing and reducing the effects of acne, serums are the true workhorses of skin care. Now that you have the right serum—hopefully a medical grade formulation—it’s to time put it to good use. Don’t just slap it on your face willy-nilly. Take a cue from the skin care experts and incorporate it as follows.
Skin is at its most receptive when it’s clean, so wash your face with a gentle cleanser first. Damp skin draws products in deeper than dry skin. That may sound appealing, but the sensation can range from slight stinging to rage inducing, especially when using vitamin C or retinol. Since those little bottles cost a pretty penny, you don’t want to resort to washing off the product, so make sure your face is completely dry before proceeding. Enjoy a cup of coffee or play Candy Crush, just wait 5–10 minutes before applying the serum. Once it has dried down sufficiently (10–15 minutes should be enough), apply moisturizer and sunscreen before heading out the door.
Tips for Layering Serums
If you’ve purchased more than one serum, you may be wondering which one to apply first. The general rule is to apply thin, lightweight products first, then follow up with those that are thicker. Allow a little dry time in between applications, so each product can absorb before applying the next layer. Watery products sink in quicker than gels and even faster than lotion or cream. If you hate sticky products, and who doesn’t, then following the thin to thick application process will reduce the likelihood of that happening. Keep in mind that gel-style serums may cause irritation, especially if you have rosacea or eczema, so reach out to us or your dermatologist if you need guidance when selecting a serum.
Cherish, Protect, and Label It
Unlike a cleanser that is water heavy, a serum is skin care at its leanest. All the ingredients that make lotion smooth and creamy are eliminated, so the final product is, or should be, concentrated and chock-full of skin care goodness. When purchasing serum, you’re paying for active ingredients at their finest, so protect your investment by storing it in a cool, dark place. Your bathroom may not be optimal if it tends to be hot and humid, so consider keeping it in an alternate location. Potency diminishes over time, and with exposure to air and sunlight, so write the date you opened it on the label, too, and use it up within 3–6 months while it’s at its peak.
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As with any new skin care product, you might be tempted to begin using it twice daily immediately. Hopefully, you’ll have a good experience, but it’s best to take things slow. Test out your new product just a few times a week to see how your skin responds. If all goes well, you can increase the usage to three or four times a week until you’re using it as desired. More isn’t always a good thing, and you may find that alternating serums throughout the week better suits your skin and your lifestyle. Be patient, too. Results usually don’t happen overnight. Cellular turnover can take up to six weeks to happen, so give it time before you write off a potentially promising serum.
Wishing you great skin days,
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