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Are You Canceling Out Your Serum?

August 25, 2021

Are You Canceling Out Your Serum?

Are you using a really great serum but just don't seem to be getting results? Maybe you're doing something you didn't realize would cancel out the effectiveness of your serums. Read on to discover a big no-no when it comes to applying serums. 

Never mix acidic and non-acidic serums. That's exactly what you're doing if you skip the wait time between applying one then the other. If you are rushing this process, you could be committing serum sabotage.

The reason this matters is because each type of serum (acid vs non-acidic) needs time at their respective pH levels to do what they are formulated to do. When we fail to wait, we cancel out the activity that is supposed to take place on and in the skin.

How do you know if your serum is acidic? 

If the serum contains L-ascorbic acid, AHAs or BHAs, it is likely to be acidic. 

Remember serums contains a higher percentage of actives, so you'll only need a few drops. Don't over apply or you'll be wasting the product.

Slow down if you want results!

Wait 15 minutes before you apply a non-acidic serum. I know! I know! We are all pressed for time.

TIP: Work this into your routine as you're getting ready for work or to go out. After you've cleansed, apply your acidic serum(s) and then dry your hair, or spend a few minutes picking out your clothes, and come back to the non-acidic serum application.

Again, this waiting period allows the acid serum time to stay at it's intended pH levels to do the work it was formulated to do. Otherwise, you are essentially canceling it out. OR, you can experience an adverse reaction. For example, when niacinamide and hydroxy-acids are combined, you can get a red flushing reaction if they're applied too close together.

If you don't use any acidic products, you can apply your non-acidic serum after cleansing.

Niacinamide, most vitamin C derivatives, retinoids, peptides, and any calming or hydrating serums are typically non-acidic and have a pH between 4.5 and 7.0.

One last thing. After your final layer of serum has absorbed, make sure you seal it to prevent moisture loss. You can do this with a moisturizer and sunscreen.

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