7 Best Skin Serums — And Why You Should Add One to Your Makeup Routine

March 24, 2022
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
skin serums to apply before makeup

It’s no secret that serums are an important step in building your skincare routine. But did you know they can also help your makeup prep? To find out more about what serums do for your skin, we consulted Dr. Adam Geyer, a board-certified dermatologist. Continue reading for the best serums to use before you apply your makeup.

What Is a Serum? 

“Serums are usually formulated with a higher concentration of active ingredients so that a few drops are sufficient to cover the entire face,” says Dr. Geyer. “By using a serum, people can intensify the strength of their regimen or round out the ingredients they are applying to their skin to provide a more comprehensive approach to anti-aging and hydration. The texture is usually lighter than a moisturizer, which allows for it to be used as a stand-alone product for someone with oilier skin, or used under a moisturizer for someone with normal to dry skin.”


When Should You Apply a Serum? 

Serums should be applied twice daily. “They are the first products that should be applied to the skin after cleansing and toning,” Geyer explains. “A sunscreen should be applied over the serum in the morning, and a moisturizer appropriate for an individual’s skin type should be used over the serum at night. Apply the serum with one or two fingers (to avoid wasting the serum on your hands) and massage thoroughly into the skin.”

The Best Serums to Try 

Now that you’ve got the basics and application covered, which serum should you choose? Well, the answer depends on your skin goals. “There are many different types of serums and both the active ingredients and the texture can provide different functions and benefits,” Geyer explains. “Serums formulated in a water base, for example, tend to be well-suited for those with oily skin, and those with a richer texture, or formulated with oils, tend to work well for those with drier skin. However, it’s really the combination of active ingredients that define the serum.” 

Ahead, find seven of our favorite serums that are perfect for your morning makeup prep.

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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