How to Correctly Apply Face Serum

Your face draws a lot of attention. When people talk to you, see you for the first time, or try to judge your character, the face is where all eyes are drawn. Since it receives so much attention on a daily basis, you’ll want to be sure that you take care of it.

Cleansing and moisturizing are two basic elements of facial skincare that everyone should employ, but using a face serum can help enhance your skin while also diminishing certain concerns. 

But what exactly is a face serum? And should it be worn before or after washing your face? Let’s answer all of your burning questions and more.

What Is Face Serum?

While facial cleansers are all-around products to boost your skin health and keep your face free of blemishes and pimples, it’s not a targeted treatment that attacks specific skin concerns. This is where skin serum can come in handy.

Face serums are lightweight products that contain a high concentration of active ingredients. This makes them perfect for targeting specific skin concerns, such as acne, fine lines, or wrinkles when used in small amounts as part of a holistic skincare routine.

A skin serum is not a moisturizer, but they’re designed to soak into the skin quickly and deliver a comprehensive dose of ingredients to address a number of different skin complaints. It’s most commonly used for its anti-aging effects, but there’s really no reason not to use them as part of your daily habits.

How to Use Face Serum

Using a face serum isn’t difficult, but you might mitigate its effects if you don’t use it properly. 

First things first: Timing is essential.

For best results, a serum should be applied to your face after cleansing but before moisturizing. This is because cleaning your face beforehand lets you scrub off any oils that might interfere with the effectiveness of the product. 

Also, washing your face after the fact will wash away all of the serum. And moisturizing after can help to lock in moisture and enhance the benefits of the serum.

But the timing of your facial serum is only half the battle. It’s also important that you make sure to apply the serum to your face in the proper manner. 

Here’s how to apply face serum the right way:

  1. Cleanse your face with your favorite face wash.
  2. Pat dry with a clean towel.
  3. Pump a small amount of serum into your hands and rub in.
  4. Apply the serum to your face and neck, massaging into the skin with a circular motion. If the serum is a targeted treatment for specific problem spots, spend a bit more time in locations that are most problematic.
  5. Allow the serum to soak in. Do not wash off or rub with a towel.
  6. When dry, apply a moisturizer.

Additionally, if you want to use an additional facial oil, just be sure to put that on before you apply your serum so that the oil doesn’t block the serum’s ability to absorb. And that’s all there is to it! Just six simple steps to achieve some young, rejuvenated skin. 

When Should You Use Face Serum?

While there normally aren’t any downsides to using a face serum, there are certain circumstances where they might be more useful. Here are some common uses for these types of products so you can decide if one might be right for you.

To Improve Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Although there are a ton of exciting aspects about growing older, wrinkles and fine lines really aren’t one of them. Over time, skin becomes less elastic, and decreased production of natural oils dries the skin to make it appear more fragile. When the skin begins to sag, it can lead to these frustrating skin effects.

Facial serums contain active ingredients specifically targeted to restore elasticity to the skin and reduce the appearance of both of these symptoms. 

For instance, One Ocean’s Revitalizing Sea Serum uses Biofermented Exopolysaccharide, a marine active derived from brown kelp that stimulates hyaluronic acid production. That’s a key molecule in providing moisture to the skin.

Other ingredients that can help fight signs of wrinkles include Vitamin C, Vitamin A compounds, and peptides. Look for serums that contain one or more of these to ensure a high-quality product.

To Relieve Sensitive Skin

Serums often have a nice cooling effect that can help bring relief to sensitive skin types. They might work better than other products, especially for those who have acne-prone or oily skin.

In addition, some face serums are specifically targeted at reducing the appearance of acne. 

Often called “spot treatments,” these serums can be applied directly to blemishes or pimples to try to shrink them down or eliminate them.

To Protect Against Future Damage

Serums with active ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, or other clean beauty ingredients can also help to protect against skin damage. On the other hand, these substances can help fight off skin oxidation from free radicals, which can aid in healthier-looking skin for a longer period of time.

However, many serums also prevent oxidative stress from the UV rays in the sun. While they’re not a replacement for wearing sunscreen, you can never have too much protection from the harm that UV can cause.

To Brighten the Skin

Discoloration of the skin is another common characteristic of aging skin, and some serums can be used to brighten the complexion and restore some of these dulled areas. 

Additionally, a serum can help make your skin glow, making it look more vibrant and rejuvenated even if you don’t have any visible darkening spots.

Is It Possible To Use Too Much Serum?

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and when it comes to skincare products, this almost always rings true. While skin serums effectively provide relief to certain blemishes on the skin’s surface, it should only be used once or twice a day.

Since serums contain many active ingredients and tend to work more quickly than a simple cleanser, they can irritate sensitive skin types when used too frequently. Additionally, you may not need to use one of these products if you don’t have any visible signs of skin aging that you’re currently looking to correct.

With that said, preventative skincare never hurts, and you can always start using some serum early on to stop wrinkles from forming as quickly.

What To Use With a Face Serum

A serum should be just one part of your entire skincare routine, and there are a few other types of products besides your cleanser and moisturizer that can help to amplify your results.

As skin ages, puffy bags and dark circles under the eyes can make you look sleepy and less vibrant throughout the day. 

Using the Eye Revival Marine Cream, especially during your morning skincare routine, can visibly reduce the appearance of puffy eye bags and dark circles. This is a great accompaniment to your facial serum.

Additionally, the Ultra Hydrating Algae Oil can help to provide extra hydration to the skin and provide a natural barrier to mimic your body’s natural biome. This is especially helpful if you have dry skin, as serums can sometimes be a bit abrasive on those skin types. 

A hydrating oil can help restore some of the lost moisture.

Finally, using an exfoliating mask once or twice a week can gently remove surface skin cells and help retain moisture, which will help make your complexion more glowing and youthful. This, paired with the face serum, can boost each other’s effects and make your skin look even better.

In Conclusion

Face serum is a targeted treatment that’s loaded with active ingredients to help fight signs of skin aging and improve the appearance of acne or dull skin complexion. They should be used once or twice daily after cleansing but before moisturizing.

To apply a facial serum, clean your face thoroughly and pat dry with a damp towel. Then, massage a small amount of product into your hands and use circular motions to apply to wrinkles, blemishes, or other areas of concern on the face.

The only wrong way to apply facial serum is never to use it at all! And while it’s possible to use it too often, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin types, it’s a great addition to your skincare routine that has far more benefits than downsides.



Skin serum: What it can and can't do | Harvard Health

Wrinkles - Symptoms and causes | The Mayo Clinic

Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging | NCBI