In my article on tips to optimize your facial moisturizer, I mentioned the importance of leaving your toner damp before applying your moisturizer as the cream will help seal the hydrating benefits from the toner deep into the skin. However, if you’re using a face serum, when should you apply your serum and when should you apply your moisturizer?
If you’re using a face serum, you should also be applying on toner damp skin (unless it’s a prescription topical.) After which, you should wait at least 5 minutes until the serum is fully absorbed by the skin before applying your moisturizer in order to seal and magnify the benefits of the serum.
This is because a good serum provides intensive care to treat problem or fragile areas and it aims to penetrate deep into the three layers of the skin to strengthen the cells as well as deliver active ingredients to your skin. Although a moisturizer only helps with the superficial layers of the skin by retaining moisture on the surface of the skin and preventing it from evaporating, a good face serum will actually help your moisturizer to penetrate deeper and provide effective hydration. So, always allow time for your serum to be well absorbed into your skin.
Additionally, you may like to know that it isn’t always necessary to use a face serum with a moisturizer. If you’re using a moisturizing face serum with emollient properties, your serum may double up as a moisturizer. But if your skin is very dry and needs more hydration, then you will need to use a face cream for richer moisture, on top of the face serum.