How To Apply Serums, Oils And Concentrates

Eminence Organics' Citrus & Kale C+E Serum

How To Apply Serums, Oils And Concentrates

Written By:

Thea Christie

Serums, concentrates and oils are high-value skin care products, so every drop counts! If you’ve ever wondered if you’re using too much product or applying too frequently, we have some simple tips so you don’t waste a single dollop of these luxurious facial oils or serums. 

Why Serums, Concentrates Or Oils? | How To Layer | How Much To Apply | What If You Don’t Layer Them On Properly? | Layering Serums 101

Why Include Serums, Concentrates Or Oils In Your Skin Care Routine?

Before we dive into the best way to layer these products, why even use them in the first place? It can be confusing to decipher the difference between the three. Facial oils are designed to provide hydration and keep moisture in the skin, usually containing botanical and herbal ingredients to nourish the skin.

In comparison, serums contain a high concentration of active ingredients that target a multitude of skin issues at once (like wrinkles and fine lines). They also usually have a gel-like texture. Concentrates, on the other hand, focus their high potency of one active ingredient and usually have the consistency of a lightweight lotion. You can learn which oil, serum or concentrate to use for your skin type here, or read more about using the right amount of serum here. 

How To Layer Serums, Oils & Concentrates

We recently looked at the best serum or oil for your skin type in this blog. All your skin care products should be used in a specific order to get the most out of each product. Ideally, you want to limit your selection to one to two serums, oils and/or concentrates so they can effectively absorb into the skin.

We advise applying your skin care products beginning with the thinnest consistency and ending with the richest: 

  1. Serums
  2. Concentrates
  3. Oils

After cleansing and toning, start with layering your facial serum, the thinnest consistency product, as it delivers active ingredients into the skin most efficiently. Concentrates are next, followed by facial oils. Facial oils come last as they’re designed to prevent water loss and “seal” the formulations in the skin. 

As our Eminence Organics Product Support Team explains, “Applying a facial oil after your serums helps lock in moisture and the nutrient-rich ingredients you just applied to the skin, while allowing for optimal product penetration.” 

Watch this video to find out more from Natalie about how to layer your skin care products in the right order:

Product picks first

Essential Serum Trio Gift Set Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum

Body second

When & How Much Serum Should I Apply?

Apply a thin layer (three to four drops) of each product over the entire face. You can use a serum every day during your morning and nighttime routines. Gently press the product into your complexion and don’t forget your neck area. Be sure to allow time for each product to sink into the skin to maximize results. Follow up with your favorite Eminence Organics moisturizer to lock in the goodness. 

What If You Don’t Layer Them On Properly? 

The main reason for applying these products in a specific order is absorption. Layering skin care products in the correct order determines how effectively the formulation can penetrate the skin. Applying a thicker, richer formula first could result in poor product absorption for the following products. That being said, Eminence Organics’ moisturizers are a little out of the ordinary, making them more versatile. Our skin care products do not contain any mineral oils that may create a barrier on the skin, so our moisturizers will be able to penetrate through the facial oils! You’re actually welcome to apply our oils before or after your moisturizer, or add a couple of drops to your favorite Eminence Organics moisturizer. If you’re using another brand of moisturizer, you should stick to the order of serums, concentrates and then oils, followed by that moisturizer. 

If you apply products in the incorrect order, applying serums on top of oils could leave your skin dry and dehydrated, as not enough water is reaching your skin, according to The Skincare Edit. Additionally, you could irritate your skin and create new skin issues. In addition, you may experience pilling and the skin might feel sticky or tacky. But as our Product Support Team advises, waiting approximately one minute between the steps should help prevent pilling from happening.

Layering Serums 101

Now that you know how to layer serums, oils and concentrates, some of you may simply want to layer serums on top of each other. A classic serum that you can layer is our Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum. It contains a unique Botanical Hyaluronic Acid Complex formulated with strawberry and rhubarb to give your skin deep hydration. You may also like the Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum, a cocktail of stabilized Vitamin C, citrus fruit oils, sodium ascorbyl phosphate (also known as Vitamin C salt) and Vitamin E. This cocktail improves the appearance of skin health for younger-looking skin. If you’re concerned with skin firmness, the Marine Flower Peptide Serum is formulated with a Smart Collagen+ Complex that rejuvenates the look of the complexion while unique algae extracts increase firmness and provide long-lasting hydration.

You can find all three of these serums in our Essential Serum Trio limited-edition gift set. This gift set allows users to experience the brightening, hydrating and firming benefits of our nutrient-rich serums, either individually or by layering.  

Are you ready to add these products to your skin care routine? If you’d like to customize your own skin care routine, we highly recommend visiting your nearest Eminence Organics Spa Partner where an esthetician can see your skin in person and help develop a custom routine with you. In the meantime, discover our serums, oils and concentrates here.

This article was originally written in July 2021.

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