Do you have all the best skincare products but still not getting the desirable results? Well, applying top-quality skincare products won’t give you the expected outcome if you do not layer them correctly. Identifying the best order to layer skin care products can feel confusing. Like, for example, you may think should you apply serum or sunscreen first?
We all know the importance of sunscreen and serum and how they can rejuvenate your skin. People use a serum to lock the moisture into their skin and hydrate it, while sunscreen is necessary to safeguard your skin from dangerous UV rays. While both are essential products for your skin, identifying the right way to apply them is also crucial.
So, to help you with that, this post will further discuss the correct application process.
Benefits of Using Serum on Your Face
Before we discuss whether you should apply serum or sunscreen first, we will learn about the benefits of using each product.
Here is a list of benefits of using the serum on your face:
1. Lower Skin Pores
Pores can be frustrating for anyone. It can be annoying, especially if you are working hard to get flawless skin. Using serums helps you reduce the appearance of skin pores. Regular use of skin serums can effectively lower skin pores. Remember to clean your face with a sulfur-free face wash before applying your face serum.
2. Elevate Skin Texture
Another essential benefit of using a serum for your face is to elevate your skin texture. Quality serums help you smooth out your skin; as a result, you get an even texture for your skin. So, if you want to elevate your skin texture or improve overall skin, face serum can be a safe and effective option.
3. Improves the Skin Elasticity
High levels of skin elasticity mean healthy and youthful skin. Using serums can help to improve overall skin elasticity. They have several skin-friendly active ingredients that boost collagen production. As a result, you get more firm and elastic skin. But you must use it regularly to get the best results.
4. Nourishes and Hydrates Skin
Using serums on your face can help you nourish and hydrate your skin. Most serum formulas are light and easily penetrate the skin. It goes deep inside the skin and nourishes it from the core. Serum also helps to lock skin moisture and keep it hydrated for a long. So, when you apply serum to your face, you get hydrated and nourished skin.
5. Safeguard Skin from Free Radicals
According to many skincare experts, free radicals harm your skin’s health. And serums can effectively safeguard your skin from free radicals. Several high-quality serums are rich in antioxidants. It helps to prevent free radicals and keep your skin healthy.
Advantages You Get from a Good Sunscreen
If you want to learn the right skincare method or what you should apply on your face serum or sunscreen first, you must know their usage and benefits.
Here are some advantages you get from a good sunscreen:
1. Protects Skin from Sun Damage
Long exposure to sunlight with proper sunscreen can lead to sun damage. It can harm your skin by causing skin problems such as sunburn, premature wrinkles, pigmentation, etc. So, when you apply serum or sunscreen before exposing your skin to direct sunlight, you can prevent sun damage.
2. Lower the Appearance of Sunspots
The primary function of sunscreen is to safeguard your skin from direct sunlight and harmful UV rays. Direct exposure to sunlight can cause sunspots. If you frequently sunbathe or visit sun booths, you are familiar with the flat brown, tan spots. But when you use sunscreen, it can help you lower the appearance of sunspots.
3. Eliminates the Risk of Skin Cancer
The main cause of skin cancer is long exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet rays of the sun. But if you regularly use sunscreen before going out in direct sunlight, it prevents the UV rays from reaching your skin. As a result, it eliminates the risk of developing skin cancer due to long and extreme exposure to sunlight.
4. Prevents Skin Aging
Premature aging signs like fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots result from sun damage. It happens because UV rays break the elastin and collagen fibers of your skin. But applying serum or sunscreen prevents sun damage and keeps your skin healthy. It also increases collagen production to maintain skin firmness and elasticity, which is essential to prevent skin aging.
5. Reduces the Hyperpigmentation
Extreme exposure to sunlight can also cause hyperpigmentation. It is a skin condition where certain parts of your skin become darker than the rest. Using sunscreens can help you prevent hyperpigmentation by stopping your skin from direct contact with the harmful UV rays that cause hyperpigmentation.
Maintain an Order While Applying Your Skincare Products
Pampering your skin with a ten-step Korean skincare routine for that perfect glow is not a crime. But not layering your product in the correct order can be. Every product has a different consistency.
Layering a thinner product over a thicker one can create a barrier for the former, hindering your skin from absorbing all the goodness. For example, layering your serum after a face oil can interfere with the pleasing effects of the serum on your skin.
The same is the case with water- and oil-based products. Since water can’t pass over the oil on your skin, applying water-based formulations before oil-based serums and creams is ideal for working well together. The same rule goes for sunscreen as well.
Therefore, layering your products in the correct order will ensure the active ingredients function well. If you are using hyaluronic acid, apply it before moisturizing. For spot treatment, layer it over your serums.
Serum or Sunscreen First – What is the Right Layering Order?
After thoroughly cleansing your face, it is time to start layering. But the question is, which product comes first, serum or sunscreen? For a better understanding, let us consider all the steps for your skincare routine.
1. Toners or Essences
They are thinner and prep your skin to absorb other products. Apply your toner first after cleansing. When using both, apply the toner first, wait for one minute, and gently pat the essence on your skin.
2. Eye Cream
Shockingly, eye cream comes before all your other products and is crucial to protect your undereye from certain ingredients.
Finally, it’s time for your serums to shine. These super-concentrated treatments focus on complexion concerns, overflowing with nutrients and actives. Their light consistency makes them easy to absorb. Hence, apply all your serums before occlusive formulations. Serums can be your first step if you skip the previous steps.
When using multiple serums, use consistency and texture to decide the order. Layer the thinner serum under the thicker formula. After the water-based serum, apply the oil-based one. If the serums have a similar texture and consistency, the first layer is the one you want to benefit from the most. Wait sixty seconds between each application.
4. Spot Treatments
Calamine-based products, zit stickers, or benzoyl peroxide for spot treatment will be your next step before moisturizing.
The next step is hydration. Apply a beneficial protective layer of a suitable moisturizer on your skin. For nighttime, your sleeping mask will replace the moisturizer. You can layer your face oil on top of the moisturizer or replace it entirely.
When layering your sunscreen, its formulation- whether it is chemical or physical- will decide the application. Chemical sunscreen must sink into your skin. So, layer it before the moisturizer. If moisturizer over sunscreen is messy, use an SPF formula with moisturizing benefits.
Conversely, physical sunscreen or sunblock forms an impenetrable barrier. Hence, applying your serums and moisturizer before sunscreen is more effective and less messy for your daytime routine. During the night, you do not require SPF. Thus, your moisturizer will be the final step.
Does Combining Serum and Sunscreen Offer Better Results?
Are you planning to mix your serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen to create a concoction for combined benefits? While it may look like a great idea, it will only lower the formulas’ benefits and weaken the intended effects.
Hence, we do not recommend you mix the serum with sunscreen. Applying each product in its form is the only correct way. If you want a multitasking formula, look for tested and available solutions like sunscreens with moisturizing benefits or vice versa.
Additionally, you can look for serum sunscreens that are your ultimate multitasking formulations. They offer protection from UV rays and nourish your skin using a formula like a serum. You can use this serum instead of the thick and heavy standard sunscreen formula.
The lightweight serum sunscreen gets easily absorbed by the skin and can pose as the final step for your regime. You can use serum or sunscreen first daily. It specially caters to sensitive skin.
How to Select the Right Sunscreen for Your Skin Type?
While the face cream offers some protection, it may not be as effective as sunscreen. To prevent your skin type from sun-induced damage, here are a few things you should know:
1. Dry Skin
Seek extras, such as hyaluronic acid or ceramides, when choosing sunscreen for your dry skin. Or you can layer your favorite sunscreen over a suitable moisturizer.
2. Acne-prone, Sensitive, and Oily Skin
Choose non-comedogenic and mineral formulas for sensitive, oily, or acne-prone skin. Sensitive skin can tolerate titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in its formula. Sensitive skin should also avoid fragrances, alcohol, oxybenzone, and preservatives that may irritate your skin.
If you are prone to acne, there is no question that you must select oil-free formulas. Additionally, oily skin should use water-based formulas like sunscreen gel. Those currently using Accutane, doxycycline, or any other medications for acne treatment must increase SPF, given the treatments make your skin photosensitive.
3. Dark Skin
Even if you have a darker complexion that is not prone to sunburns, you still need SPF to protect you from age spots, fine lines, rough texture, wrinkles, or skin cancer.
When choosing serum or sunscreen first, dark skin must stay clear from mineral formulations. They leave a white cast and cause one’s skin to appear gray.
However, if chemical formals cause your skin to break out, choose a tinted mineral formula for the sunscreen. The tint will ensure the product blends better with your dark skin tone.
Points Before Getting the Right Facial Serums for Your Skin
You can get various serums for anti-aging, hydrating, exfoliating, and brightening. Before choosing a serum or sunscreen, first determine your skin issues and type to find a suitable serum. In addition, your skin type also plays a crucial role.
1. Oily or Acne-prone: For this skin type, choose serums that comprise niacinamide, retinol, or salicylic acid. Exfoliating serums also unclog pores and lower sebum levels.
2. Dry Skin: You can surely benefit from hydrating or moisturizing serums. Hyaluronic acid is one of the popular ingredients to look out for. Also, look for aloe vera and glycerin for plumper skin.
3. Normal Skin: You can use hyaluronic and Vitamin C for skin maintenance.
You can use alpha-hydroxy acids like Vitamin C, glycolic acid, kojic acid, azelaic acid, or lactic acid for skin issues like dark spots, uneven tone, and acne marks. Retinol is the best for aging. You may use salicylic acid or retinol for whiteheads and blackheads.
Summing It Up
All in all, regardless of the number of steps and products your skincare routine includes, getting desirable results demands layering them in the correct order. The texture and consistency of each product differ.
So, if you are wondering whether you should apply serum or sunscreen first, your answer is you must apply a thinner formula before a thicker one.
They both offer innumerable benefits. Serums provide nourishment, hydration, and smoother skin textures, while sunscreen prevents sun damage, sunspots, skin cancer, etc. But to absorb all these benefits, layering in the correct order is imperative.
Also, remember every skin is different. What works for others may not work for you. Choose your serums and sunscreen based on your skin condition, age, and skin type for radiant, healthy, and nourished skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Necessary to Wait Between Applying Serum and Sunscreen?
As you apply multiple products to your skin, wait up to 60 seconds between each step. For your serums to work well, it is best to wait a whole minute. Also, for sunscreen, ensure your skin has no traces of your serum before applying serum or sunscreen.
What is the Right Time to Use Sunscreen and Serum?
You should apply sunscreen at least thirty minutes before exposing yourself to the sun. For serums, you can add them to your morning and night routine. Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide work best in the morning. Retinol, which causes photosensitivity, is for the night.
Does Layering Skincare Products in The Right Way to Get Healthy Skin?
To ensure your expensive skincare products are working, correctly layering your products will help you achieve healthy-looking skin. The ideal way is to first apply the thinnest consistency of serum or sunscreen to thicker formulas for better absorption.