How to Use Face Serum the Right Way

Of late, there has been much buzz about this new beauty addition in the market and you’ve probably heard almost everyone in the skincare community add this little potion to their routine–  face serum. Beauty enthusiasts around the world are going gaga over this little power-packed product and for all the right reasons. Given all the potent active ingredients, different formulations, and problem areas these serums target, it is important to know how to use face serum the right way. But first, let’s get down to basics.

Face serum is like a booster for your delicate facial skin. Essentially water-based, they are packed with a high concentration of active ingredients. The purpose of a face serum is primarily to offer a targeted solution for specific skin concerns like dryness, skin aging, fine lines, wrinkles, etc. 

Why do we Need a Face Serum?

Unlike many fad skincare products, serums do get themselves a reputation for all the right reasons. If you know how to use a face serum correctly, you start to see visible results in the first week itself.

  • Key ingredients in the serum help to improve the skin texture making it firmer and smoother
  • Due to their ultra-lightweight formula, serums are quick to go deep into the layers of your skin and moisturise it
  • Face serums provide the needed nourishment that is lacking in your skin
  • They help reduce inflammation caused due to the sun and calm the skin

Now that we know why beauty lovers are obsessed with this powerful skincare essential, let’s move on to see how to use face serum as per your skin. 

Choosing the Right Face Serum

Serums are formulated with ingredients specific to each skin type and concern. It’s important that you read through the ingredients on its label and choose the one that suits your skin type and targets any skin problems specific to YOU. We cannot stress enough upon the fact that what may work beautifully for your best friend may not even be right for you.

First, you must identify your skin type; whether it’s normal or combination skin, dry skin, oily or sensitive skin. Then, closely observe your skin concerns and search for the right ingredients that fight them. For instance, an ideal serum for acne-prone skin should be high on oil-absorbing ingredients, however it should also have hydrating properties to avoid over drying of the skin.

Selecting a serum is what would take most of your time and effort.  But if you aren’t sure, you could always pay your dermatologist a visit and know exactly what you’re going for.

Once you have your hero product, learning how to use face serum is easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Introducing a Face Serum into Your Routine

Let’s take you through a quick skincare routine to see how and when to apply face serum –

Step 1: Cleanse and Exfoliate 

Cleanse your face and neck with your favourite face wash and exfoliate with a scrub if needed, to prep your skin for absorption of the serum. Cleaning and exfoliating helps to clear off the dirt and unclog your pores.

Step 2: Tone and Soothe

Using a mild toner, gently wipe your face and neck with a cotton pad. Toner helps to remove stubborn dirt or makeup, regularise the pH level of your skin, while also helping to soothe the open pores. 

Step 3: Apply and Tap

Once your skin is cleansed and toned, it’s time to introduce it to your chosen face serum. Take a pea-sized amount of the serum, and gently apply it all over your face and neck. Do make a note of the following points while applying: 


You may use a dropper to take a small amount of the serum. Make sure to apply a thin layer by tapping with your fingertips 


Since face serums have a thin consistency, they quickly penetrate your skin without the need for excessive rubbing

Step 4: Layer and Lock

As your serum gets absorbed into your skin, it’s important to add a layer of a soothing moisturiser and sunscreen. Layering up with a face moisturiser will help lock in the benefits of the serum. So, if you’re wondering  how to use face serum with moisturiser, it’s applied right before it.


Face serum is one powerful skincare product that must be added to your kitty. Just make sure to apply it in the right order to get the best results. Always remember, CTSM – Cleanse, Tone, Serum, Moisturise!

Some FAQs on how to use face serum

Q: Can I mix two serums?

Answer: Of course! The good thing about serums is that they can be clubbed together and would still feel very light on your skin. So, don’t be afraid to mix two or more kinds of serums depending upon the need. For instance, if you have dry, stretchy and dull skin, you can mix a hyaluronic acid serum, which enhances the moisture balance, along with a vitamin C-rich serum to get that much needed glow.   

Q: When should I apply a serum?

Answer: Face serums can be used both during the day and at night. The only difference is that during the day your skin needs a shield from the sun, hence a moisturising sunscreen must be applied after the serum. 

Q: How to use face serum at night?

Answer: Simply repeat the four steps of the skincare routine (that we introduced above) again during the night, except the sunscreen, and voila! For night-time, you may also use a night cream instead of your regular moisturiser to seal the benefits of your serum.

Q: Should I use a face oil or moisturiser after serum?

Answer: You can use either a face oil or a moisturiser after applying the serum, whatever suits your skin. But either way, layering is the key!

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