Asian woman applying serum to her face Asian woman applying serum to her face

How to Choose and Apply the Perfect Face Serum

Using face serum has multiple skin benefits, including combating signs of aging. Here’s how to apply it and choose the best one for you.

With the multitude of skincare products available in the market, picking the right one can be pretty overwhelming. But one of the most versatile items that should be part of your routine is the face serum, as it contains powerful ingredients that work to deliver long-lasting benefits for the skin.

This article will explain the different kinds of face serums and how you can choose the right one for your skin. It will also give tips on how to apply serum on the face to maximize its results.

What Is a Face Serum?

A face serum is a gel-based, liquid skincare product that contains a high concentration of specific active ingredients. These actives penetrate deeper than other topicals like moisturizers, offering more targeted results. In addition, most serums are packed with antioxidants that help the skin repair itself, keeping it plump and glowing.

Apart from their anti-aging properties, face serums are known to contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) that work by removing dead skin cells through exfoliation. These acids also increase the thickness of the deeper layers of the skin to help maintain its firmness and tightness. In addition, they facilitate the production of collagen that tones the skin and keeps it elastic.

Choosing the Right Face Serum

The perfect face serum for you depends on your skin type and need. Here’s a quick guide to choosing the right serum for your skin:


  • Oily and acne-prone skin

Serums with hyaluronic acid are ideal for oily and acne-prone skin because they leave minimal emollient residue. AHA-based serums help prevent acne by shedding off dead skin cells that can block the pores and cause pimples. In addition, they work to break down blackheads and whiteheads, improving skin texture.


  • Dry skin

A hydrating serum is ideal for those with this skin type because it provides targeted hydration. As the name implies, this serum helps infuse the skin with extra moisture to nourish it. Hydrating serums typically contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, argan oil and ceramides. Such ingredients retain and draw moisture from the air and the dermis to better quench the topmost layer of the skin.


  • Mature and dull skin

For mature or dull skin, serums that contain green tea, retinol, caffeine, and hyaluronic acid are the go-to formulations thanks to their antioxidant properties. These skincare ingredients help prevent or slow down cell damage caused by free radicals. As a result, the skin maintains its firmness and elasticity.


  • Blemished skin

Salicylic acid-based serums are best for blemished skin, keeping it under control. Meanwhile, serums with niacinamide, lactic acid, and retinol are designed to eliminate dirt and other skin impurities and prevent the formation of breakouts by killing acne-causing bacteria and rebalancing sebum production.


  • Aging skin

Two of the most recommended ingredients to help plump aging skin are hyaluronic acid and retinol. These anti-aging heroes boost collagen production to prevent the skin from sagging.

Different Types of Face Serums

Here’s a rundown of the various kinds of serums and how they address common skin concerns.


  • Antioxidant Serums

Antioxidant serums are primarily infused with antioxidants that help skin repair itself and possess anti-inflammatory properties that protect against sun damage. Those with acne-prone skin can use this type for extra exfoliation and acne prevention.


  • Hydrating Serums

People with dry skin can significantly benefit from hydrating serums as they can contain hyaluronic acid that locks moisture in and makes the skin look fresh, plump, and young. The Garnier Sakura Serum, in particular, is packed with 30x the hyaluron for extra hydration. It is also enriched with Japanese Sakura extract to keep the skin smooth and bouncy for 24 hours.


  • Anti-Aging Serums

Caffeine, green tea extract, alpha-lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10 are common active ingredients in anti-aging serums. These substances are formed in specific concentrations for quicker absorption. In turn, they help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation.


  • Exfoliating Serums 

Exfoliating serums contain AHAs that help prevent pores from clogging by sloughing off dull skin and other impurities. This makes them ideal for treating blemished and acne-prone skin. Aside from improving appearance, these serums also eliminate rash-causing bacteria that invade the skin.


  • Brightening Serums 
Brightening serums often contain potent antioxidants, such as vitamins C and B3 and resveratrol. These ingredients help refine skin texture and diminish dark spots, creating an overall luminous complexion. Garnier Vitamin C Serum is a powerful formula that can minimize the appearance of acne marks in as little as three days. Infused with 30x vitamin C, it can make the skin look visibly brighter with regular use. 

How to Properly Apply Face Serum

Knowing how to apply face serum is key to maximizing its benefits. Here’s how to do it:


  • Apply on damp skin after cleansing and applying toner

The best time to apply face serum is while your skin is slightly damp, right after cleansing and using toner. At this stage, your pores are more permeable, so the serum is absorbed quickly and thoroughly. Ultimately, this allows you to get improved results.


  • Use 2–3 pea-sized drops

When it comes to serums, less is more. In fact, applying too much can irritate the skin. Hold off a little and use two to three pea-sized drops. This should be sufficient to cover your whole face and neck. 


  • Spread evenly on cleansed face and neck

Serums should be massaged onto the face and neck in small tapping motions. Be sure to spread the drops evenly across your face and down your neck. Avoid rubbing your skin excessively; instead, let your skin absorb the serum on its own.


  • Moisturize

A general rule in skin care is to moisturize after applying serum. Just like serum masks, moisturizing seals the skin and keeps it hydrated. However, if you’re using an oil-based serum, skin experts say you can skip the moisturizer and let the serum work double-duty. 


  • Apply as part of your routine
Hyaluronic acid serum can be used twice a day as part of your morning and evening routine. Meanwhile, retinol-based serums should be applied at night, as retinol increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Lastly, vitamin C serum is best applied in the morning to help protect your skin from environmental stressors. Keep in mind that knowing how to use vitamin C serum is key to getting optimum results. 

Face Serum: A Powerful Product in Skin Care

We all know the basics of skin care: cleansing, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen. But to get the most out of your routine, you need one more thing: serum. This formula contains powerful ingredients that combat signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. It also keeps the skin hydrated and protects from harmful elements such as free radicals, bacteria, and other skin impurities. 

Given their potent effects, serums are no doubt a must-have in your skincare routine. For more skincare essentials to address every concern, check out Garnier’s shop, where a wide range of products is available.