Can you mix serums? Learn how to cocktail your serums like a pro!

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In this blog, you will find out about what is a serum, why you should use and how to implement it into your daily skincare routine correctly to achieve the best results.

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What exactly is a serum?

A serum is a skincare product, that is based on a potent substance designed to deliver high concentrations of specific active ingredients to the skin. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of different serums, made from different ingredients, serving a number of various functions from daily hydration to treating acne scars. Serums can be gel-based, have a liquid consistency and resemble the consistency of a light-textured moisturizer. Most serums act by delivering a potent dose of topical antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, as well as topical retinoids and other ingredients, depending on what exact function the serum is meant to perform. When used in combination with other treatments, serums can treat such long-term aging effects as pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. Moreover, experts point out that a serum is capable of hydrating your skin more effectively than creams with the richest textures. This is so as a result of molecules, that serums contain, are able to penetrate the skin and deliver hydration on the deepest levels of the dermis, while the creams that are very rich in texture often can just stay on top of your skin, potentially contributing to pore clogging and cumulation of the excess oils. However, experts also noticed that while hydrating serums are able to increase or provide similar hydrating effects as a moisturizer, they should not necessarily be used in isolation, instead of a moisturizer.


Can I mix two serums?

Yes, it is completely okay to mix 2 or more serums! However, there is a special procedure, or a couple of guidelines, to abide by when mixing serums. First of all, you need to be mixing serums in the palm of your hand before applying them onto your face. Secondly, it is important to make sure, that the serums you are planning to mix are of the same texture and consistency, in order for them to mix well without clotting, otherwise, the mixture is not going to turn out smooth. If the serums you are planning to mix have different textures, worry not, there is still something that can be done in this situation. Start with the serum which formula has the lightest texture and move on to the serum that has a heavier texture. It is also important to apply the most potent serums first and the least potent ones should be secondary.

collagen drink ingredients

Is it safe to mix your skincare products?

While some skincare outlets might suggest avoiding mixing your skincare products to avoid mistakes in the ordering and application of your products, with the correct approach it is not only possible but might also help you in achieving the best results from your skincare products. Experts suggest adopting a specific schedule, by which you should abide in order to get the most of your products without stripping them of their effectiveness. Precisely, the first thing you should do is clean your skin with your cleanser of choice, follow it with a mask, then move onto applying targeted products that offer the most potent solution and are packed with a number of active ingredients that suit your skincare goals for better absorption. These products can include targeted vitamin or retinoid formula. Further on, apply your serums followed by a moisturizer and finish off with an SPF.

Likewise, there are other things to keep in mind when attempting to mix different products. Experts urge you to be mindful of what skin products go after another one in your skincare routine. If you’re using a harsh cleanser, scrub or mask, be careful with any follow up products. Some products, like retinol or vitamin C, might be too aggressive to apply on your skin right after vigorous cleansing as they might cause irritation and itching sensations.

Moreover, experts suggest limiting your daily routine to 2-3 serums, as this increases the probability of serums being absorbed correctly and achieving the best results. If you would like to tackle various skin concerns and want to use more serums, specialists advise using 1-3 serums per morning routine and 1-3 serums for the evening routine. In this way, you are still reaching your skincare goals, while using the correct procedure that brings the most out of the ingredients in your products and avoiding confusion when layering and mixing products.


What serums should not be mixed?

There is one other thing to consider. While all serums are a potent, vitamin and antioxidant-packed solution, some serums just don’t go together well and it’s important to avoid mixing those products. It has been widely debated if retinoid-based products should be mixed together with serums. Nevertheless, experts say that it is possible to mix a serum containing retinyl palmitate (another form of vitamin A) with another product of your choice. Moreover, the expert recommends avoiding mixing products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids with products that contain vitamin A, due to vitamin A promoting skin’s regeneration and AHAs and BHAs products promoting exfoliation, which can be too overwhelming for your skin. Another combination of serums that should be avoided is mixing Vitamin C induced serums with retinol induced serums, as both ingredients are very complex, delicate compounds and will not work stably together. Otherwise, however, experts suggest generally using a rule of thumb – botanical ingredients, skin-calming ingredients and hydration are safe to be mixed together, while other combinations might require some further thought.

What’s even more important to keep in mind is to never mix your serums with SPF. Experts point out that SPF needs to be the final thing on your skincare routine that you apply to your skin every day. SPF acts by creating a barrier between the skin, UV light radiation and external pollutants. Products that will be applied on top of the SPF will be stripped of all their effects while mixing the SPF with your serums will also make the SPF ineffective as well, which leaves your skin unprotected from the UV light radiation and defeats the whole point of using SPF.

Can I mix my serum with my moisturizer?

Well, the quick answer is yes, you can mix serums with moisturizers. For this, you should follow the same guidelines as with mixing the serums. Mix a couple of drops of serum in the palm of your hand with the moisturizer of your choice and apply it onto the face. This will save you some time on layering the different skin products in your skincare routine, however, it might be best to apply the serum onto your clean face, wait a couple of minutes, and then layer the moisturizer onto the serum. This will allow the serum’s potent solution to be absorbed by clean skin in the right concentration. While it is perfectly fine to mix serums with moisturizer, it might reduce some of the serum’s effects due to a reduction in potency. Nevertheless, both ways of application will produce considerable health benefits to your skin and it is purely up to what approach to take.

The benefits of Vitamin C Serum

While it is true, that you might get enough vitamin C through your diet, it might not be enough to go straight to your skin. By using a Vitamin C serum you are allowing it to get directly to you and deliver its various health benefits. Vitamin C serums have been widely used to reverse the visible effects of ageing, smoothen and brighten your skin giving you the radiant and glowing complexion that you’ve always dreamed of.

Here, you will be able to find out about the various benefits and perks Vitamin C has and why you should use it. First and foremost, it is safe to use for almost all skin types and has an excellent safety rating, which allows most people to use Vitamin C serums as a topical treatment for prolonged periods of time without facing any of the potential side effects, which can manifest themselves in different levels of sensitivity. However, these side effects are commonly observed only in people with hypersensitive skin, certain skin conditions or citrus allergies. The second reason why you should be using Vitamin C serum is it’s powerful hydrating and brightening properties. Vitamin C has been shown to reverse skin pigmentation, reduce dullness and give your skin a youthful glow. Moreover, studies show that magnesium, one of the main Vitamin C derivatives used in skincare, acts as a hydrating agent, which decreases transepidermal water loss and allows your skin to retain moisture inside your skin. Moreover, according to research, Vitamin C can be used to treat a wide variety of inflammatory skin conditions, while minimizing redness and rashes that go hand in hand with skin inflammation. Among other things, Vitamin C has also been shown to reduce the appearance of under-eye circles and increase collagen production, as well as prevent loss of elasticity and protect skin against sun overexposure and premature aging.

To avoid irritation, experts suggest applying a small amount of Vitamin C serum of your choice onto a small area of skin and wait 24 hours to ensure that you won’t develop any hives, redness or rashes.

What is the importance of vitamin C for facial skin care

What serum should I use?

As we’ve mentioned before, there is a large number of different serums that have different active ingredients and fit different skincare goals. Here, we’ve collected a selection of our favourite serums that you might want to try out. Clarins Double Serum is a powerful, designed to control aging effects, serum concentrate. This product fights the appearance of major signs of skin aging and contains 21 active plant extracts, including turmeric, which is famous for its natural anti-aging properties. Another product to keep an eye out for is The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% with Vitamin B% serum formula. This product provides support for normal moisture balance and promotes in-depth multi-level hydration. This is why you should always use retinol as a part of your nighttime routine, before going to sleep. Another great product on our list is the Replenish Antioxidant Infusion Serum, which offers you a fast-absorbing formula, suitable for all skin types including even very sensitive skin. This product contains a mixture of vitamins C and E which helps to alleviate fine lines as well as free radical damage. The next item on the list that you should try out is Q10 Booster, which offers an impressive formula of microalgae oils, omegas 3, 6, and 9, vitamin E and liquid collagen. This product delivers active collagen to the skin, which allows it to reduce visible signs of aging, improve skin texture and strength, and boost the suppleness of the skin.

glycolic acid and vitamin A

What is the best serum for the face?

While there is a lot of options to choose from, it is important to identify correctly what your skin wants and when it wants it. If you’re in your 20s, experts advise opting for serums that increase collagen production and retinol serums, which promote a healthy cell turnover and are instrumental in reducing the signs of development of fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re in your 30’s it might be best to implement Vitamin C serums in your daily routine, which helps brighten the skin, reduce dullness and smoothen out the deeper lines, wrinkles and pigmentation. If you’re in your 40’s hyaluronic acid serums would be a great idea, as they promote a healthy moisture balance and allow the skin to retain moisture for longer, making it appear youthful and supple.

Hopefully, with our list of helpful tips and guidelines, you will be able to choose your serums, mix them and apply them correctly.

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Author: Maria Ageeva