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How to maximise the benefits of a serum

Updated: Jan 11

A serum is an essential part of any skincare routine, if you want to boost hydration levels and tackle skin concerns. In fact, pretty much every brand is pushing 'holy grail' serums at the moment - each promising nigh-on miracle results. But what's the best way to ensure the one you buy works?

Facial serum balanced on pebbles with flowers in the background

This is a frequently asked question, particularly by those switching up an anti-ageing regimen.

If you spend hard-earned cash on a product with powerful ingredients you want to maximise the benefits, right?

Creating the perfect base is important; conditions have to be just right to give a serum the best chance of performing.

The application method is vital too.

For maximum results, dermatologists recommend a few simple steps that we outline in the paragraphs that follow.


In order for a serum to properly penetrate the outer layers of the skin, cleansing is a vital first step.

Regular exfoliation is a must.

Dead skin cells, along with dirt and grime, block pores and make it harder for skincare products to do their stuff.

So, alongside your normal cleansing routine, exfoliate at least twice a week.

Remember to choose a product that is not too harsh and rinse thoroughly afterwards. Pat dry with a clean towel or face cloth.

Once you are satisfied your skin is squeaky clean, move onto the toner phase of your regimen.

Face serums and moisturiser on a vanity unit.


A good serum will be absorbed into the skin very quickly. Apply a few drops and evenly distribute with light, circular motions.

Once you have finished, spend a further 60 seconds gently tapping the skin to ensure the serum properly penetrates the surface.


Most serums are absorbed in around a minute. After this time, it is important to apply a moisturiser.

As well as further boosting hydration, a good day or night cream will seal a serum in. It provides a barrier that stops a product from simply evaporating or sitting on the surface of the face.

When to use a serum

For best results, use a serum day and night.

Layering serums

It is OK to use more than one serum, if you want to tackle several skin concerns at the same time. Just remember to use the lightest serum first.

Most skincare experts recommend using no more than two serums.

Get the most out of your products by following our simple tips.

Front cover of Regime beauty magazine

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