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Day Serum, Night Serum, Whenever Serum: Can You Use Serums Whenever?

  • July 2, 2020

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when should you use serums

Light and fast-absorbing, serums make it easier for your skin to absorb and retain moisture. No skincare routine is complete if you ditch this lighter alternative to lotion.

In general, you can use serums at any time of the day, but there are exceptions to that rule. Certain serums are more effective or safer for use at specific times of the day. So before you slather on your favorite hydrating water-based serum, find out if it's better for use at day or at night.

The Serums You Should Use at Night

Retinol is a skincare powerhouse. Apart from being an effective treatment against acne, this vitamin A-rich ingredient increases cell turnover, bringing fresh cells to the surface, which results in less prominent wrinkles and blemishes. It also reduces hyperpigmentation.

While retinol is an amazing skincare ingredient, it's not advisable to use retinol products while the sun is up. Ironically, this ingredient dramatically increases your sensitivity to sun damage.

Refrain from applying serums with retinol during the day unless specifically noted on the product that you're using low concentrations of the ingredient. To be safer, use retinol products at night before you go to bed.

Related to skin care: 

The Serums You Should Use During the Day

Day serums contain ingredients other than retinol: from humectants to antioxidants to acids, as long as you wear sun protection products (SPF 30 or higher) with it. Acids make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, which is why you'll need added protection.

Use antioxidant-rich day serums that counteract free radical damage due to the sun's UV rays. Other serums can also benefit your skin during the day. Depending on your location's climate, a hydrating or mattifying serum enhances your makeup's appearance.

How to Apply Serums

If you're adding serums to your daily routine, consider the following steps:

  • After washing your face, apply a pea-sized amount of serum. User your finger to pat it evenly over your skin.
  • If your skin is sensitive, wait up to 15 minutes after you wash your face before you apply the serum. Water-based products can lead to irritation if you apply them on damp skin.
  • Apply your moisturizer after you use the serum. Doing so ensures the moisturizer will not block the serum from penetrating your skin.

Always Check the Label First

Although these suggestions are helpful for most serums, these are not universal guidelines. Every serum is different, so always check the instructions before you use them. Your favorite serum might work well at night but can cause damage when you wear it during the day.

Also, you get the best value for your products when you use them as directed, especially with potent treatment products like serums.

One rule that remains the same, however, is the need for sun protection. Always use products that are SPF 30 or more. Also, refrain from investing in pricey serums and then ruining the work by exposing your skin to more damage.

Make the most out of your favorite serum by using it when it is most effective! Ask your dermatologist to learn more about serums and the right time to apply them.