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Can You Use the Same Serums Both Day and Night?

If you’ve added a new serum to your routine, you may be tempted to use it both morning and night so that you can see the visible results sooner. But before you do, you’re going to want to make sure twice daily usage is actually safe for your skin, as certain serums can do more harm than good when overused. In this quick guide, we’ll discuss how to layer your serums, and what serums you can (and can’t) use both morning and night. 

What Are Serums?

Serums are formulas designed to address specific skin issues, such as fine lines, discoloration, dehydration, or dullness. They contain potent concentrations of active ingredients so that they can effectively tackle skin concerns so that you can achieve your skincare goals.  

How To Layer Serums

Serums should be applied after cleansing. If you use a facial spray and/or toner in your routine, you’ll apply those after cleansing but before applying a serum.

When it comes to layering different serums, a good rule of thumb is to apply them in order from thinnest to thickest. This means that serums that have thinner consistencies should be applied first, and then you can follow up with any thicker serums. This ensures the active ingredients in the lighter consistency serums are best able to penetrate the skin and deliver optimal results. 

If you’re layering multiple serums, it’s also important to give each serum at least a minute to absorb into the skin before moving on to the next serum. This ensures the product is able to penetrate into the skin to give the best results. It will also reduce the risk of pilling.

Once any serums you’re using have been applied, you can follow up with your moisturizer. In the morning, be sure to finish off your routine with sunscreen. 

Which Serums Can You Use Day & Night?

There are a few factors you need to consider when determining whether you can use a serum both morning and night or just once a day (or less often). 

First, you need to take a look at the active ingredients in the serum(s) you are using and see if they are suitable for twice daily use. For example, alpha hydroxy acids (particularly when used in higher concentrations) typically should only be used once a day at most, as overuse can damage the barrier and aggravate the skin. Similarly, retinol should be used no more than once per day in the evening, as it can cause irritation and dryness when used too often. 

You also need to consider whether the serums you’re using in your routine are safe to layer together. For example, it’s generally not recommended that you use chemical exfoliants and retinol at the same time, as doing so can increase your risk of experiencing irritation. This means you’ll want to alternate your use of serums made with these ingredients in your routine. Before layering serums, do a quick search of the active ingredients to ensure they play well together. 

There are some serums that universally are considered safe to use twice a day, if desired. Using a hydrating serum (like our  Hyaluronic Pure Boost Serum) both morning and night is an excellent way to keep your complexion soft and supple. The same can be said of serums designed to calm the complexion, as they’re typically made to be super gentle on the skin. In general, serums aimed at hydrating and/or soothing the complexion can be safely layered with other serums with more potent active ingredients. 

Vitamin C serums (like our  Vitamin C Boost Serum) can generally be used twice a day, but this may depend on your skin. If you haven’t used a vitamin C serum in the past, you may choose to start with once daily usage to see how your skin reacts and to allow it to adjust to the vitamin C. 

Small Batch Serums


Do I Need a Moisturizer After Using a Serum?

There’s a big misconception that you don’t need to use a moisturizer after applying serums. People particularly tend to assume this when using a hydrating serum. Let’s set the record straight: regardless of skin type or the type of serum you are using, you’ll always want to apply a moisturizer after your serums. 

Moisturizers are designed to add moisture back to the skin while strengthening the natural barrier so that the skin functions optimally. This barrier works to shield the skin against harmful aggressors, such as pollution, extreme temperatures, and UV rays. When the barrier is weakened, you’re more prone to dryness, irritation, itchiness, and other signs of damage. 

It also keeps moisture in the skin, and prevents moisture from evaporating off the complexion throughout the day. This ensures the complexion stays healthy and soft. At the same time, a moisturizer will seal any serums into the skin, helping the active ingredients do their best possible work. 

While a serum may be made with hydrating or nourishing ingredients, it doesn’t perform the same actions as a moisturizer. A serum is targeted towards addressing specific issues, whereas a moisturizer supports overall skin function. In order to keep your barrier healthy, maintain optimally moisturized skin, and see the best results from your serums, you’ll want to ensure you’re moisturizing morning and night. 

Best Way to Apply Serums

As mentioned above, you should apply serums after cleansing, and after applying a toner or facial spray (if you use those in your routine). Once your skin is dry, dispense approximately a pea-sized amount of the serum onto your fingertips. You only need a light layer on the skin (not a thick coat!), so no need to waste product. 

Rub your fingers together to spread the serum, and then massage it into your face. Move in an upward direction to avoid pulling down on the skin. Once you’ve applied an even layer to your face, work the product into your neck. 

You may also wish to use the serum on your chest as well. Just like the face, this area is prone to issues like discoloration, dehydration, and fine lines. You’ll likely need to dispense more serum in order to cover your chest. Again, move in an upward direction as applying the product. 

Last but not least, be sure to look at the specific serum you’re using for the best usage instructions. For example, hyaluronic acid serums work best on damp skin, as they can draw that water into the skin. On the other hand, vitamin C serums should typically be applied to dry skin. This is because any dampness can increase the likelihood of the vitamin C causing irritation or other signs of aggravation. 

On a final note,  Small Batch Serums products are designed to be safely layered with one another, meaning they can be used both day and night for optimal results. Check out  this blog post to learn more about how to best layer our three inaugural serums.