How to Layer Skincare Serums

What is serum layering?

It’s common practice to use one face serum in the morning and one at night, but have you ever wondered: ‘can I combine serums in the same skincare routine?’ The short answer is yes – this is called serum layering, but it’s not quite that straightforward. Serum layering is all about applying multiple serums, one after another, to target specific skin concerns. Understanding how different skincare ingredients work can be tricky, but it’s important if you want to get the most out of your skincare products . Serums use ingredients to address specific skin concerns such as hydration, brightening, anti-ageing, or acne in different ways, so you need to know which serums will work for you and how to layer them. This includes which ingredients work well together, which ones don’t, how many serums to use, and when to apply them. Read on to discover how to layer serums and acids and maximise the benefits of your serum routine.

How to combine face serums

Some face serum ingredients pair together especially well, while others may be too much for the skin when used in tandem. When building your serum routine, it’s important to know which ingredients will support your skin’s unique needs, and how to combine them to magnify the benefits without overwhelming the skin.

The order in which to layer serums depends on the key ingredient in each product, and a good general rule is to start with the thinnest consistency serums and build your way to thicker formulas. Apply serums with more potent ingredients (like vitamin C or retinol) at different times of day and pair them with gentler serums to support and comfort the skin.

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Where do I start?

Our recommendation is to start with the ‘CHa CHa’ serum layering duo from L'Oréal Paris, aka Revitalift Clinical 12% Pure Vitamin C Serum and Revitalift Filler 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum. It’s a favourite skincare duo, as the combination of Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid works on every skin type. Each ingredient uplifts the other to deliver potent skincare benefits like hydration and antioxidants and gives you visibly brighter, plumper looking skin.

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Vitamin C

The L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Vitamin C Serum is formulated with 12% of the purest form of Vitamin C, plus Vitamin E and Salicylic Acid. Vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient known for its brightening, antioxidant, and collagen-boosting properties. This Vitamin C face serum is suitable for sensitive skin and clinically proven to prevent signs of ageing, reduce pores, and even skin tone. Trusted and recommended by dermatologists, this non-comedogenic pure Vitamin C serum has antioxidant properties - a great addition to your ageing skincare routine.

When it comes to achieving a radiant, even-tones and glowing complexion, incorporating L'Oréal Paris' 12% Pure Vitamin C serum into your skincare routine will work wonders. It’s scientifically proven to result in 2x brighter skin* and 2x less visible pores^, and these results are validated by dermatologists.

*Cosmeto-clinical scorage vs. baseline. 63 subjects, 4 weeks.

^8 weeks.

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Discover our Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum. Visible Results Validated By Dermatologists.


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Hyaluronic Acid

The L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid Serum has been specifically developed to effectively hydrate and replump skin in 1 hr*. By incorporating a Hyaluronic Acid serum into your routine, you can provide your skin with a surge of hydration, resulting in a plumper, smoother, and more radiant complexion.

One of the great advantages of Hyaluronic Acid serum is its versatility and compatibility with all skin types. Whether you have dry, oily, or sensitive skin, a Hyaluronic Acid serum can be a beneficial addition to your routine. Its lightweight and non-greasy texture make it suitable for layering with other skincare products, allowing you to customize your routine and address specific skin concerns.

So we now know Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid are a winning serum combination, but which other serums are a match made in heaven and which ones should stay separate?

^Cosmeto-clinical study, 75 women.

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Discover our Pure Hyaluronic Acid Plumping Serum. Visible Results Validated By Dermatologists.


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Other serum combinations that compliment each other

• Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol: Separately, each of these ingredients are great for anti-ageing and hydration respectively. Pair them together and you have a dreamy combination, with Hyaluronic Acid combatting any potential drying effects of Retinol.

• Niacinamide and Vitamin C: This is a powerful pairing to help create a brightened and smoothed complexion.

Serum combinations to avoid

Not all skincare ingredients complement each other, so when it comes to serums, tread carefully with these combos:

• Vitamin C and Retinol: These ingredients tend to be too much for the skin when used together, so it’s preferable to use them at opposite ends of the day.

• Retinol and AHAs: Retinol is fantastic for promoting skin cell turnover but can make skin sensitive to AHAs and vice versa - so space out this pairing and avoid using in the same serum routine.

Now you know which serums pairs to reach for and which to avoid, you might have questions about how to layer serums to customise your skincare routine.

How many serums can you layer?

While layering face serums can help you get the most out of each of your skincare products, it’s important not to overdo it. There’s no set limit to how many serums you can use in your skincare routine but using too many can result in diminishing returns. We suggest layering up to a maximum of three serums that work in conjunction with each other.

If you’re looking for just one skin supporting serum, we can’t go past Hyaluronic Acid. Try the Filler 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

What’s the ideal serum layering order?

The order in which to layer serums depends on the key ingredient in each product, and a good general rule is to start with the thinnest consistency serums and build your way to thicker formulas. Apply serums with more potent ingredients (like Vitamin C or Retinol) at different times of day and pair them with gentler serums to support and comfort the skin. For example:

• AM: Apply Revitalift Vitamin C Serum to clean, dry skin to brighten and smooth texture, then follow up with a hyaluronic acid serum for hydration.

• PM: After cleansing, apply the Laser X3 Pure Retinol Face Serum to dry skin and allow to sink in. For first-time retinol users it is recommended to apply a hyaluronic acid serum to your skin first as it acts as a barrier. Once it has soaked in and dried, retinol can be applied. Revitalift Filler 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum can also be applied after retinol for added hydration.

• Finally, lock in your serums with a Moisturiser.

When should you apply serums?

Understanding how to layer serums is important, but so is knowing when to use them. Some serums can be used at any time of day, but others will give optimal benefits when applied either AM or PM. Here are our suggestions for when to apply each product:

• Hyaluronic acid pairs well with most other skincare ingredients, so it’s perfect for all-day hydration.

• Vitamin C can help protect against free radicals caused by external aggressors like sun exposure and pollution when used in the AM.

• Retinol can help promote skin cell turnover, but increases sensitivity to sun exposure, so apply in the PM.

Niacinamide is a gentle but powerful ingredient proven to reduce the appearance of dark spots. It pairs well with most other ingredients so can be used in the AM or PM.

If you loved this article and want more ways to level up your skincare, explore our beauty magazine for more skincare tips and how-to guides

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