It may be possible that you find yourself looking for ways to improve your skincare routine. You might start with a deep cleanser (or just a little micellar water), follow up with a facial toner, apply your specific eye treatment, and finish with your favorite moisturizer. But if you want to complete it to the fullest with the intention of providing your skin with all the care, hydration and nutrition that it so desperately needs today, there is no doubt that you should consider adding a new product: a facial serum.
It becomes, it is true, a minimal step but tremendously useful and powerful thanks to the fact that it provides a series of interesting benefits for skin care. And as we have already explained to you on a previous occasion, it becomes an excellent option because it consists of a light product that contains a highly concentrated quantity or percentage of certain active ingredients, which are commonly used for the benefit of skin health.
This means that, like toners, face serums tend to be much more powerful in getting the same active ingredients through a moisturizer or face mask. Although it is true that they have a slightly thicker consistency or texture than facial toners, they tend to provide more benefits by containing a higher concentration of active ingredients. In fact, if the facial serum has around a 70% concentration of active ingredients, in the case of moisturizing creams, in most cases they only reach between 5 to 10%.
The best? Always try to use a facial serum based on our skin type, and that meets the specific needs that our skin may have at that particular moment. It is true that most facial serums usually contain a series of useful active ingredients suitable for any skin type (and which, in short, any skin type could take advantage of), such as natural antioxidants, among which vitamin A stands out., C and E, or any other active ingredient that can be used to treat different specific topical problems.
For example, hyaluronic acid and other natural humectants, such as glycolic acid, are also interesting when it comes to lightly hydrating the skin and treating problems related to discoloration and hyperpigmentation, while peptides or retinols (derived from vitamin) provide unique and effective qualities against some of the main signs of aging.
Of course, once we have decided what type of facial serum we are going to use, it is time to apply it to the skin of the face. Remember that, in the skin care routine, the order of the factors does tend to alter the product (or, what is the same, the final result that is achieved with it). This means that it is essential to apply the products in the correct order, since the slightest mistake will end up spoiling any well-planned beauty regimen.
In this sense, it is always more appropriate to start with the lightest and/or lightest beauty products, and end with the heaviest, which in most cases tends to be moisturizing or moisturizing cream. But before reaching that last step, it is necessary to follow a proper routine. And this is what we are going to talk to you about now.
When and how to integrate the facial serum into our skin care routine:
Any self-respecting skin care routine mainly has a total of three basic or essential steps, which help to wash your face (cleansing), balance it (toning), as well as hydrate and smooth it (moisturizing). Therefore, the goal of any beauty regimen is to fine-tune the skin to get it to function at its best, while addressing and treating specific issues in any areas we wish to work on more deeply.
And they become, in fact, a truly wonderful opportunity when it comes to noticing a change in the skin. We must bear in mind that, as the skin needs to change with age, so will the products. It is obviously not about creating perfection, but about allowing the steps to follow within the beauty regimen to become a daily care routine that helps strengthen the skin every day.
However, if you have read us this far, you have probably already noticed that we have missed a step: the application of the serum. This is because, as most beauty experts (and also dermatologists) believe, facial serums are not essential or indispensable, but this does not mean that they are not extremely useful and interesting when we integrate them into our own skincare routine. skin care.
You know why? Precisely because of one of the characteristics that differentiates them from the rest of the products used in the beauty regimen: their very high concentration of active ingredients, which strengthen the routine and help the skin to be able to absorb even better the products that we have previously applied., and those that we add later. But in order to reap all of those benefits, knowing when is the best time to integrate your favorite serum into your skincare routine is a must. Here we explain when to do it:
It is possibly one of the most basic, essential and essential steps in any skin care routine. We must bear in mind that, every day, our skin comes into contact with dirt, grime, excess sebum and certain environmental pollutants that must be removed, but gently.
The best? Washing your face twice a day, morning and night, will help tremendously in reducing clogged pores, the risk of acne breakouts, and dullness.
When using facial cleanser, it is essential to always choose the correct formula to cleanse the skin without removing oils. Micellar water, for example, can become an excellent option that does not require rinsing or rinsing. While, if you use makeup, you can opt for some cleansing milk and makeup remover.
After the facial cleanser, it is time to tone the skin. Today the facial toner that we can find in most beauty stores has nothing to do with the toners that were used decades ago, and that originally consisted of alcohol-based products that were used mainly to dry oily skin and to remove any remaining dirt after the first step (cleaning).
But today, luckily, they have evolved into a series of products with a tremendously light and light consistency -thanks mainly to the fact that they are made from water-, full of active agents to provide a real extra injection of nutrients, which positively helps the rest of the products in the beauty regimen to be better absorbed by the skin, while balancing your own complexion.
It is essential to always apply them after cleansing and before putting on any other product. The key is to use a cotton pad or disc, although if you want to save product and not waste it, you can apply it directly with the help of clean hands, just pouring a few drops of the toner into the palm of your hand and then sliding it.
Indeed, it is the turn of our star product. And it is that they become very powerful allies of the skin, thanks to the fact that they are full of concentrated doses of different active ingredients, which can be extremely useful when it comes to mitigating a wide variety of problems, from fine lines of expression and wrinkles even spots.
Even if we do not have specific problems, there is no doubt that an antioxidant serum in the morning can become the best option when it comes to protecting our skin against the action of external aggressors. While, at night, we can enjoy the various qualities offered by moisturizing and/or anti-aging serums, especially if they contain hyaluronic acid, retinol, peptides, vitamin C, niacinamide or vitamin B3.
Therefore, after the facial tonic, we find the most opportune moment to apply our facial serum. And before the application of the moisturizer. Of course, it should never be mixed with the cream, since it will end up reducing the capacity of the serum so that it can be better absorbed by the skin. That is, the products must always be applied one by one, without mixing.
However, keep in mind that not all facial serums are applied with the same frequency, which will vary depending on the active ingredients that have been used in its formulation. In this sense, some beauty experts advise using a serum with antioxidants always in the morning (because they provide additional protection against some environmental factors and elements), while other ingredients and active agents tend to work better when applied at night (it is the case, for example, of retinols, which are not stable in the sun and can even make the skin even more sensitive in this regard).
After cleansing, toning and using the facial serum, it is the turn of the moisturizing cream, whose basic function is to hydrate and soften the skin, helping to prevent water loss through the outer layers of the skin. the skin, at the same time that they can complement the protective oils that we find naturally -and other basic components- inside the skin, as for example it could be the case of ceramides.
Do not forget that many dermatologists recommend applying a moisturizing cream practically all year round, regardless of the type of skin we have (yes, even oily skin also needs an extra supply of hydration), and the season in which we find ourselves. We must bear in mind that, as we age, our skin loses its natural ability to retain water, so if we add certain activities to this -such as washing with soap-, they can end up eliminating the moisturizers naturally present in our skin. the surface.
Of course, the fact that the moisturizer is suitable for any type of skin, and that everyone needs moisture, does not mean that we should not choose the most appropriate one based on our skin type, since the texture should be different. For example, for oily skin, it is best to opt for a moisturizer in gel form; for normal or combination skin a moisturizing lotion; for dry and parched skin a very thick moisturizing cream; and for sensitive or irritated skin, a moisturizing balm that also calms.
How to apply facial serum correctly?
As we have already explained to you on several occasions, it is essential to integrate the facial serum into our skin care routine to ensure that we use it every day and on a regular basis, since it is always the best way to always have it present, and to make the most of all its benefits, qualities and benefits. But to achieve this, as we have seen, it is essential to do it at the most correct moment.
Remember again that the facial serum should always be applied after the facial toner and before the moisturizer. But everything will depend on the consistency of the whey. That is, if it is a water-based serum (as is the case with most facial serums), it is essential to always apply it before the moisturizer. However, if it is oil-based, it should always be applied immediately after your moisturizer. This is essential, since by containing a larger molecule, they help keep the cream and the rest of the products in place, while their active ingredients in high concentrations do their job (in a slightly less effective way, it is true, but what they do as well).
To apply the facial serum properly, here are the steps to follow:
- The different active ingredients that we find in the composition of the facial serum tend to penetrate and act better when the skin is clean, warm and also slightly moist. So it is essential to clean it well first with the help of a deep cleanser (either make-up remover milk, a cleanser itself or micellar water).
- If you are going to use a toner, remember to always apply it after the cleanser and before the serum. If you are not going to use a toner, then you can apply a warm, damp towel to your facial skin, as this will help to gently open your pores and leave your skin slightly moist. If you are going to use a toner, you can apply the serum immediately afterwards, as the skin will still be equally moist.
- Now apply small dots of serum to the entire face, and then blend lightly and quickly throughout the skin of the face, avoiding the delicate area around the eyes (unless, by the way, it is a serum facial that can also be used in this area). When applying the serum, you should use short but soft and light strokes. It is not recommended to stretch or rub the skin.
- While the serum is still wet on the skin, because it has not been completely absorbed, gently pat the surface of the facial skin with the help of your fingers, for at least 30 seconds. This action will encourage the serum to fully sink into the deeper layers of the skin, as far as possible.
- Finally, when the serum is completely dry, it’s time to apply the eye cream, moisturizer, oil or moisturizer itself in a similar way to the serum. Finally, let it sink in completely before proceeding with any other aesthetic treatment, or before applying your makeup and makeup as you normally would.
Remember that the cleansing process prior to the application of the product is, to say the least, essential, because it helps to obtain the maximum benefit from the serum. And, once again, we remind you of something fundamental that we must never forget: even though facial serums can offer a minimum amount of moisturizing qualities and properties, they should not be used as stand-alone moisturizers. On the contrary, it is essential to always apply the moisturizer afterwards, as long as the serum is water-based.
In addition, it is essential to follow the recommendations indicated by the manufacturer regarding whether we should use the product in the morning, at night or twice a day, since only in this way will we ensure that the product will provide us with the unique benefits that promises, and we can see results in the time indicated by the brand. For example, there are facial serums that can be applied twice a day (thereby becoming a useful way to maximize all their qualities), or that are only suitable -or is it enough- to apply them at night. Therefore, it is key to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the times of day when we should apply it to the skin.
What to do if this is the first time you are going to apply a facial serum:
When it comes to using a new product on the skin for the first time, it is always necessary and essential to carry out a test to find out how well our skin responds to that product. It becomes a useful preventive measure to be sure that, by applying the product to a more exposed and visible part of the body (such as the case of the face), it will not cause major problems or any type of reaction. It’s what beauty experts call a patch test.
We have to keep in mind that one of the main things that makes facial serums work so hopelessly well is their highly concentrated and potent ingredients. However, if we are new to using facial serums, or have sensitive skin, it is extremely important to carry out a patch test to avoid possible unnecessary risks -and problems-, especially considering that the serum, as it is logical to suppose and imagine, we must use it on the skin of our face, which is obviously characterized by being a highly visible part of the body.
The most suitable? Try the facial serum on a small area of the skin, in order to check how the skin reacts. Some experts advise carrying it out on the side of the neck, or on the front of the arm. Both are useful areas to see how the skin reacts, and are good places to assess if we are potentially allergic to the product in question that we are going to use and integrate into our skin care routine.
By the way, it is totally normal that some serums tend to leave the face slightly pink. But this does not mean that it has caused a reaction. On the contrary, it is something common but that disappears in most cases after 10 to 15 minutes have passed after its application. However, when a reaction occurs (because, for example, we are allergic to an ingredient included in the product formulation), the skin tends to itch and an annoying reddish rash will form.
What to do if an allergic reaction occurs:
As we have explained to you, when an allergic reaction occurs to a certain product that we have applied to the skin, as for example it could be the case of our facial serum, the most common is that some symptoms arise, such as:
- Itching and itching
- Skin inflammation
- Skin rash without clearly defined borders
- In some cases, small blisters
It is common that, at first, the symptoms of the reaction will only affect the areas of the skin that came into direct contact with the beauty product or cosmetic, but sometimes they can also appear in other areas of the body, such as it could be the case of the hands and fingers, the neck and the face. In addition, we must bear in mind that the lips and eyelids are also characterized by being especially vulnerable, since the skin tends to be more delicate in these areas.
If this happens, some experts advise applying a little milk of magnesia or cold natural yogurt on the area where the reaction has formed, until the skin calms down completely. Then we must let it rest and, obviously, avoid continuing to use the facial serum in question.
Obviously, since it is a patch test, the symptoms are often limited only to the small area of the skin where the facial serum or cosmetic product in question was applied. But it is also essential to bear in mind that the severity of the symptoms will depend directly on how long the product was on the skin, and the genetic disposition. Some skin types tend to be more sensitive and have a greater propensity for allergic reactions, compared to others.
And how should we do the patch test?
When carrying out the test, simply apply a small amount of the product to a not-so-visible area of the body. Some experts recommend carrying it out on the side of the neck, while others advise applying a very small amount to an equally small area of the face, which you can also easily cover, such as behind the eyecup, for example. a corner of the forehead or the bottom of the jaw.
However, if you do not wish to test on the face, you can choose to start on a non-visible part of the leg or arm, such as the inside of the elbow or behind the knee.
Also, there should be no other products on the skin, so that the facial serum can be tested correctly. Then, it is advisable to wait around 48 hours, to check whether or not some type of reaction has occurred. Although some experts advise waiting beyond 24 hours, since if no type of reaction or allergic symptom has occurred within the first day, it is unlikely that it will appear later.
When applying it, with perfectly clean skin and one hundred percent free from the presence of any other beauty product (including moisturizer, sunscreen and/or body oil), apply a small amount of product, gently massaging as you would apply on the skin of the face, and wait until it has been completely absorbed.
Then, wait at least 24-48 hours, which is the time in which allergy symptoms usually appear in case of any type of reaction to the product in question. If in that period of time nothing has arisen, then you can calmly use the product in another more visible area of the body, such as the face. That is, it will mean that the product is probably safe for use.
However, if any type of reaction has arisen, what you should do is avoid the product and try another, since it is very likely that you are allergic to an ingredient included in its composition.
Other useful tips that will be of great help to you
Once you have done what is known as the patch test and you are one hundred percent sure (or sure) that the facial serum is not going to cause you any kind of uncomfortable or annoying problem, or any kind of reaction on your skin, it is essential to try get the most out of it. For this, the place of conservation is as essential as it is important, since storing it in the wrong area can end up ruining it, by spoiling it. The best? Always store it in a cool and dry place, which will help positively in extending its useful life.
Of course, it is highly recommended to read carefully the recommendations indicated by the manufacturer on the packaging, since, in some cases, the brand advises storing the product in the fridge, not only as a way to ensure that the serum is properly preserved and stored, but because one of its main objectives is to refresh the skin when we apply it. Therefore, it is vitally important to always follow the conservation instructions given by the manufacturer, and which you will easily find on the product label.
When it comes to nighttime facial serums, after integrating them into your skincare routine, some beauty experts recommend satin pillowcases, which are actually tremendously ideal for your facial serum. You know why? Mainly because they allow the serum to remain on the skin of the face throughout the night, instead of on the typical cotton pillowcases, which can end up absorbing part of the product. Therefore, they help to better reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as acne, because wrinkles do not form in the cover that can end up affecting the skin of the face.
On the other hand, we come to the moment of choosing our favorite serum. However, if you want to choose one for yourself, you should know that added fragrances and colorants do almost nothing when it comes to a face serum. On the contrary, they could end up being counterproductive, since some could even make it difficult for them to be absorbed through the skin.
The best? Opt for serums that are based only on quality ingredients, without artificial colors or fragrances that can worsen the formulation of such a valuable (and expensive) beauty product.
Although in some cases the facial serum is based on aloe vera, in most cases they are water-based. And there is a very vital reason: water serves -and acts- as a delivery vehicle for the different ingredients that we find in the formulation of the serum. Thus, once we apply it to the skin, the water evaporates and disappears, but the rest of the ingredients remain so that they can better carry out their work. For this reason, it is common for serums to typically have a low molecular weight, which means that they can be better absorbed by the skin. However, in case they contain silicone, being a larger molecule, it might not penetrate the skin barrier as well, remaining “trapped” on the surface and it will not be possible to see the results that you want to achieve with its use.
Also keep in mind that some facial serums are oil-based. They are usually slightly thicker than a traditional moisturizer, but are just as effective when compared to water-based serums. But we find a basic difference, as we already mentioned in the section especially dedicated to it (and that we repeat again because we consider that it is essential to take it into account in order to enjoy all its qualities and benefits, especially the most effective way possible): oil-based serums always go on top of the moisturizer, which means that, in this case, the moisturizer goes first and then the serum; effectively the opposite of lighter water-based serums.