12 Mistakes to Avoid When you Apply Serum

Nowadays, the serum is a basic product in any skincare routine. There are serums with almost any ingredient to treat any skin concern, from hyaluronic acid to AHAs serums. You can apply them morning or night depending on the ingredients. They are normally quite expensive products and, therefore, you want to make good use of them. Are you getting all the benefits from your serum? I am going to tell you about the most common mistakes to avoid when you apply serum.

Mistakes to avoid when you apply serum

1. Apply the serum in the wrong order

You should apply the serum after cleansing the skin but before the moisturiser. If you use toner, the serum will go between toner and moisturiser.

2. Apply without cleansing the skin

Serums have very light textures; therefore, the skin absorbs them quickly. If the skin is not clean enough and has the rest of the dirt or makeup, the serum will not penetrate the skin properly. The active ingredient contained in the serum will not reach the deepest layer of the skin and the cosmetic will not be so effective.

mistakes to avoid when you apply serum


3. Don’t use the right amount

Serums are products which contain a high concentration of active ingredients. You only need, therefore, a small amount to cover all your face. As a rule of thumb, a pea-sized amount is enough for the face (two if you apply the serum to your neck). If the serum is liquid you should apply between 3 to 4 drops of product. It is very common to use a large amount of product, which is not only a waste but also can clog your pores.

I would recommend you to always check the product specification to know the right amount you should use.

4. Use the serum instead of the moisturiser

The function of the serum is to treat specific skin concerns which are not always dry skin. Despite the skin concern of dry or dehydrated skin, the serum will supplement the moisturiser, but will not work on its own.

5. Don’t wait enough time after the application

I already mentioned that serums are normally lightweight products that the skin absorbs quickly. However, the absorption process will always take a few minutes, which means you should wait for some time between serum and moisturiser application. This will ensure full serum absorption.

mistakes to avoid when you apply serum


6. Don’t close the bottle properly

Some ingredients may degrade in contact with light and /or air. That is the case, for example, with retinol and vitamin C. While closing the product properly we can avoid these ingredients’ decomposition.

7. Use the product applicator directly on the skin

You should never allow the applicator to touch your skin to avoid product contamination. Even if you deeply cleanse your skin, there can be bacteria from acne breakouts or other skin infections. Touching the skin with the applicator may contaminate all the products.

Apply the product on your hands, without touching the skin, and from the hands, apply on to the face.

mistakes to avoid when you apply serum

8. Rubbing the product instead of patting it

It is very common to apply the product with your hand palms, rubbing it on the skin, as it is a quick and easy way. However, that makes you waste a lot of products which will stay on your hands. Instead, apply the product with your fingertips, patting the skin in upward movements. Not only you will save the product, but the application will be more effective, as patting increase product absorption.

mistakes to avoid when you apply serum

mistakes to avoid when you apply serum

9. Skip exfoliation

Exfoliation is a very important step in any skincare routine. This process allows you to eliminate dead cells, resulting in supple and smooth skin. Accumulation of dead cells will act as a barrier avoiding serum to penetrate the skin. An exfoliated skin will make it easier for serum penetration.

10. Mixing ingredients from different serums

Frequently you may hear from people who use few serums in their skincare routine. Sometimes in skincare, less is more, which means that the application of several products does not always have beneficial effects. Just the opposite, some ingredients cancel each other effect and, in the worst of cases, can produce a skin reaction like redness, itchiness, etc. If you want to apply different serums, apply one in the morning and the other in the evening.


11. Use the wrong serum for your skin concern

Before starting to use a serum, it is a good idea to ask your dermatologist, doctor or pharmacist about which is the best serum for your skin concern. The use of the wrong serum can even worsen your skin problem.

12. Don’t be consistent

Most cosmetics, except cleansers, take up to four to six weeks to produce noticeable effects on the skin. And that is provided you apply every day or twice a day, as advised by the product specifications. If you are not using the product regularly you will never reach the peak where the product starts to produce positive effects.

I hope you will not make these mistakes anymore when you apply your serum and take the most out of it, avoiding the waste of product.

Were you making any of these mistakes? Do you know of any other mistakes? Let me know in the comments.


Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

I love beauty and skincare, try new products, and share my opinion with you. All my knowledge comes from years of experience and reading articles. I have dry skin, Fitzpatrick type IV, warm undertone, and my main concern is hyperpigmentation. Keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you. We are all different and products can have different results on your skin. Want to talk? Email me at contact@irenebeautyandmore.com

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