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Serum Before or After Moisturizer? And 3 New Reasons Why

With so many skincare products on the market, it can be confusing to know what products your skin actually needs and the order they should be applied. You don’t want to waste money by using too many products and over-doing it.  But at the same time, you don’t want your skin to suffer by under-doing it. And why waste the time and effort applying different products if you are doing it in the wrong order and can’t reap all the benefits of each individual product? Which leads us to the question…

Does the Order You Apply Skincare Products Matter?

Yes! The skincare options available can be overwhelming, especially once you start mixing products from different companies to create your own lineup. Which is why we created our Facial Kit which takes all the guesswork out of finding a solid skincare routine. Once you know what products you want to use, you should always apply your products in a specific order so that you can get the best results for your skin.

Two products that are easily confused are serums and moisturizers. Yes, they are different, as we discuss in our serum versus moisturizer blog. Yes, you need both. And yes, the order you apply them matters—serums should always be applied before moisturizers.

You want to apply your skincare products from lightest to heaviest. Makes sense when you think about it, but it can be easy to forget when you are staring at a countertop full of various products.

Why Serum Before Moisturizer—3 Reasons Why

Reason #1: Serums are Lighter

Even though serums are so light that they might seem like a skincare step you can skip—don’t. Whether you are using a serum to brighten your skin, remove blemishes, or reduce fine lines,

facial serums are specially formulated to be lightweight while delivering specific benefits.

As mentioned above, skin products should be layered with the lightest products applied first, allowing ample time for absorption, then moving to the heavier products. Serums and moisturizers are meant to perform different functions and the serums need to be applied first so that they can do what they are formulated to do.  

There are serums that are meant to be used every day, like ElumeStemCell’s Daily Illuminating Face Serum. Serums like these are lightweight but provide nutrients that your skin needs regularly. You see best results with these serums by using them daily so that your skin is constantly nourished.

Then, there are serums like the ElumeStemCell’s Hydra Serum, that are designed for monthly use with a highly concentrated formula that delivers high-impact results. These serums are meant for different purposes but can be used together to achieve your best skin. For the days when you use both, know that the same order still applies, lightest products to heaviest. You would use the Hydra Serum first following proper application, then apply the Daily Illuminating Face Serum, and then apply moisturizer.

Reason #2: Moisturizers Block

Since moisturizers are meant to cover your skin to provide moisture, they are usually thicker creams. Lighter formulas like serums have a hard time penetrating through the thickness of the moisturizer. Just as serums are made to deliver specific results based on the formula, moisturizers are meant to create a barrier that helps keep the good stuff in, and the bad stuff out, while hydrating your skin.

Do not let your powerful serums be blocked out with the bad stuff! You can feel a difference in your skin after you apply a serum and after you apply a moisturizer. There is a reason why you should put on your moisturizer after your serum but before sunscreen or even makeup—think about it!

Reason #3: You Want Them to Work!

It might seem obvious, but you want serums to actually absorb into your skin and you want moisturizers to keep your skin refreshed and hydrated. The sum of these products is greater than the parts. Your serum will work fine on its own and the moisturizer will keep your skin moisturized.

However, when you use these products together, applying a serum first and then a moisturizer, they work together providing results better than what you would see if you used each product alone. Since they provide different benefits, they work in harmony to build off the other.

The Correct Order to Apply Your Skincare Products

They Say:

We have now established that serums should be applied before moisturizers, and that you should indeed use both. But what about all the other skincare products out there? When are you supposed to use each one?

Healthline has a great chart outlining the order you should apply products for the morning and the evening. The chart includes almost all varieties of products to help guide you through your skincare routine. Depending on which products you choose to use, there can be up to 11 steps for both morning and night.

We Say:

Don’t have time for that? Want it simpler? You don’t actually need an 11-step routine for healthy, glowing skin. We have created a simple daily routine that requires only four steps and then you can apply sunscreen and makeup as you desire.

Our Daily Illuminating Face Serum is able to reduce the amount of products needed and time spent on your daily skincare routine because it is formulated to achieve results that would normally require multiple, separate products. Not only does it brighten skin tone, it reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and scars.

A couple times a week, you can add one more step to your daily routine by derma rolling for even greater results. Monthly, you can add in a Hydra Serum treatment, which is said is to be a natural solution to botox and just as powerful as a vampire facial. Even with these additional steps, your skincare routine is easy and manageable, not requiring endless time and products every day.

Remember: Serum Before Moisturizer

Your routine can be as complicated or easy as you choose, but regardless of how many products you use, the order you apply them matters. You always want to apply lighter products like your Daily Illuminating Face Serum before applying heavier products like your moisturizer. If you end up applying your serum after moisturizer, you are depriving your skin of the nutrients contained in the serum. Our Facial Kit contains what you need for a simple but effective skincare routine with the best serums for your skin.