Beauty people, I bet you’re already accustomed to serum application (after cleanser and softener, before emulsion and moisturiser, for the record) but what about the subtler art of layering multiple serums effectively?

Advanced-level beauty students, pens and notebooks at the ready. To decode the serum sequence, we need to figure out what goes where.

1. Apply anti-ageing before brightening serums. For the purposes of this story, we’ll stick to two broad types of serums: Anti-ageing and brightening. Josephine Lim, Sisley Singapore’s PR and training manager, says we should always apply the former right after cleansing and softening: “Anti-ageing serums come first as they usually target the dermis, which is of course the deepest part of the skin.”

Alright, so we should apply anti-aging serums first. Got it. What next? If you’re also battling sun spots, now is the time to smooth on a brightening serum. Here’s Josephine of Sisley again: “Follow up with a whitening serum, as whitening products work on the pigment-creating melanocytes found in the basal layer, which is above the dermis.”

Translation: Let anti-aging products work their magic on the innermost layer of the skin, then top up with a spot corrector aimed at the pigment cells in the layer above. Incredibly intuitive if you think about it, yes.

How to layer different facial serums  make them work effectively! SISLEY EC.png

Bonus: Josephine also recommends bridging the gap between serum and moisturiser with an emulsion courtesy of Sisley’s Ecological Compound. Billed as a “balancing treatment for all skin types”, this comfortably creamy concoction comes with a potpourri of plant extracts to prep and prime your skin for the thicker-textured night ointments to come.

2. Lighter before heavier textures. If you have multiple skin concerns and insist on using more than one serum, I recommend starting with the lightest textured out of the lot and working your way up.

3. Massage it all in. Not sure how to actually apply your product? To get the most bang out of your beauty buck, try this technique courtesy of Alyssa Ng, Estee Lauder Singapore’s senior field education executive: “Dispense five drops of a serum like the Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II into your hands, then trace a heart radiating from the centre of your face out towards your ears.”

“Finish by ‘closing’ the heart at your chin and sliding your fingers down the sides of your neck.” This massage method aids in draining excess fluid from your face, and makes for a seriously relaxing ritual at the end of the day.

So, to recap: When layering your serums, always start with an anti-aging (or lightweight) formula before proceeding to a brightening (or creamier) one. Not too hard, yes. Bookmark this story for future reference, and good luck. Beauty class dismissed!