Serums have worked their way to MVP status in our skincare routines, thanks to their concentrated formulas, potent ingredients, and silky textures that glide onto your skin like a dream. Not only do serums target specific skin concerns—including dull skin, large pores, rough texture, fine lines and wrinkles, and discoloration—but, they also make your daily regimen feel like you’re being transported to a luxe beauty appointment.
That’s exactly what IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Serums are formulated to do. Each concentrated derm serum in this game-changing collection features one or two hero ingredients that work overtime for you to dramatically improve the look and feel of your skin.
To help you gain more confidence using serums, we’re answering all your burning questions. From explaining “what do face serums do?” to understanding where serums should fall in your skincare regimen, to knowing which serums are best according to skin types, you’re on the path to being a bonafide serum know-it-all.
What Are Face Serums Used For?
Face serums are a medium-consistency skincare product that boast high concentrations of skin-loving ingredients. They’re thicker than a toner or essence, but aren’t as heavy as a moisturizer or oil.
Here’s the real kicker, though: facial serums are infused with hero ingredients that zero-in on specific complexion issues. And because they’re formulated to absorb into your skin quickly and easily, these ingredients can truly get to work for you.
Take Bye Bye Dullness Vitamin C Serum, for example. This unsuspecting vial of goodness helps visibly brighten your skin while preventing signs of premature aging.
“Dull skin can be caused by external factors, such as pollution, UV exposure and dehydration,” explains Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, a board-certified dermatologist and IT Cosmetics Advisory Board Member. “With 15% vitamin C, this serum helps visibly boost radiance and defend from free radicals.”
Some facial serums contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), as is the case with Bye Bye Pores Glycolic Acid Serum. This exfoliating powerhouse is made with glycolic acid to slough off dead skin cells, refine texture, and tell large-looking pores to take a seat.
“Pores become more visible when they’re clogged and enlarged,” notes Dr. Dara Liotta, a board-certified plastic surgeon and IT Cosmetics Advisory Board Member. “This serum contains 10% glycolic acid to help exfoliate and refine skin’s texture. It also has hyaluronic acid to help skin look more hydrated.”
Why Use Face Serums?
Anyone who’s serious about their skincare regimen (ahem, that’d be you) likely already uses a great cleanser, an SPF, and a moisturizer. Anything beyond that is totally optional (including face serums) but there are many reasons to expand your lineup to include these silky-feeling, concentrated products.
As mentioned above, serums are developed with concentrated ingredients that work overtime to address your specific needs. They’re an easy addition to incorporate into your self-care and their payoff can be transforming!
Can Face Serums Be Layered?
Oh yeah— face serums can be layered and even mixed together. That said, you’ll need to follow some rules. Generally speaking, you should avoid combining active ingredients—including vitamin C, glycolic acid, and retinol—since doing so can lead to skin sensitivity or irritation. If you want both in your regimen, you’ll need to use one active ingredient in the morning (ideally vitamin C), and then the other active ingredient in the evening. If you want to use both glycolic acid and retinol, alternate them throughout the week.
We also are proponents of doing a patch test on a small area before layering or applying a cocktailed mixture to your entire face. As always, it’s also smart to hit up your dermatologist to better understand what’s ideal for your skin type.
What Face Serums To Use
Choosing a serum ultimately depends on your specific skin concerns and goals. For example, if you’re uneasy about large-looking pores or rough-feeling texture, then incorporate a glycolic acid serum into your routine, such as Bye Bye Pores.
If you’re more focused on encouraging a brighter complexion, then a vitamin C serum such as Bye Bye Dullness is the way to go. To smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles, try a high-quality hyaluronic serum such as Bye Bye Lines. To visibly improve dark spots and discoloration, a serum formulated with niacinamide (vitamin B3) is an excellent option.
When To Use Face Serums
Listen up—we’ve got a couple cheats for you! First, it’s good practice to apply all your skincare products from thinnest consistency to thickest. For that reason, serums are typically applied after your toner and/or essence and before your moisturizer. If you’re not using a toner or essence, then you can apply your serum immediately after cleansing your skin.
As for which face serums to use in the morning and which work best at night, this depends on the ingredients. For example, we encourage you to reach for vitamin C serums in the morning, when you can benefit from this ingredient’s antioxidant properties to help prevent premature signs of aging. (Vitamin C is also known to be more effective when paired with sunscreen, so team up these two skin superstars!)
Conversely, we recommend using glycolic acid serums in the evening, since this ingredient can cause photosensitivity. In other words, it can interact with the sun and cause irritation. Finally, some ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid or niacinamide, can be used in the morning or evening.
Can I Use Face Serums If I Have Sensitive Skin?
The answer here depends on the product you’re using. Some face serums include fragrances, dyes, or other ingredients that may be potentially irritating to your sensitive skin. That said, all IT Cosmetics face serums have been dermatologist-tested for safety and developed to be suitable for sensitive skin types. Our vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and glycolic acid serums are also fragrance-free and allergy tested. As is the case with all new products you try, we always recommend doing a patch test before fully integrating our serums into your regimen.
Which Face Serum is Best for Dry Skin?
Because it’s made with hydrating hyaluronic acid, our best face serum for dry skin is Bye Bye Lines. You can use other face serums if you have dry skin, but you’ll also want to incorporate additional Confidence in a Cream™ Hydrating Moisturizer.
The former is a skin-softening, anti-aging cleanser that hydrates while sweeping away makeup and impurities. The latter boasts 7 anti-aging skincare benefits as it provides continuous 24-hour hydration.*
Which Face Serum is Best for Oily Skin?
A common complaint among people with oily skin is that their pores appear large or clogged. For that reason, we recommend opting for face serum with glycolic acid, such as Bye Bye Pores Glycolic Acid Serum. This exfoliating ingredient nixes the buildup of dead skin cells, oil, dirt, and other debris that have a tendency to settle into your pores and make them look bigger. Oily skin types can also benefit from incorporating face serums with hyaluronic acid into their routine; its hydrating benefits can help create more balance in oil production.
Now that you’ve learned almost everything there is to know about face serums, you can start working them into your everyday routine with confidence.
Learn more about our Bye Bye Serums here.*Results observed in a 2-week consumer study.