Serum or moisturizer first: What to apply first in your skincare routine

It’s 2024, and the beauty and skincare market is thriving with a plethora of skincare products. But the question ‘what should we apply first, serum or moisturiser’ continues to linger. And this makes complete sense as the local drugstores are flooding with overwhelming skincare selections.

Almost everyone is stuck on Google to determine should we apply moisturiser after serum. Some are also looking for products that prevent hormonal acne and deliver radiant and youthful skin.

In this article, we will discuss a few things and clear your confusion regarding the right order of skincare product application. Please keep reading until the end of the article to learn whether 'should we apply moisturiser after serum or not’. Let’s dive in.

Serum or Moisturizer First - What To Apply?

If you are wondering what to apply first, serum or moisturiser, we’re here to clear your confusion.

It’s simple - serum always comes before moisturiser. It’s always ideal for layering your skin with products with lighter consistency before applying heavier products.

This is primarily because moisturisers contain some occlusive ingredients that allow them to trap moisture in the skin. Besides, it prevents some other ingredients from penetrating the skin and going further. So when you apply the serum after moisturising your face, the chances of reaping the benefits from a serum are significantly low.

You may be overwhelmed with the options as plenty of serums are available in the market.

However, the Dark Spot and Hyperpigmentation Correcting Power Serum is the best serum you will ever encounter. This paraben-free product will help in fading your skin hyperpigmentation and brighten your skin.

Serum or Moisturizer First at Night

Even for the night-time skincare regimen, you might wonder, ‘should I apply serum before moisturiser or vice versa?’

When applying serum on your face at night, your skin takes advantage of the body’s natural repair time. While you sleep, your skin cells automatically go into regenerative mode. And you will want to provide aid and enhance this natural procedure.

Also read: What is face serum? Your complete guide to face serums

You should note that creams tend to sit on the skin's surface while acting as a barrier. Sometimes, it might trap the dead skin cells and clog the skin pores. Eventually, it might lead to breakouts and damage your skin significantly.

So if you are wondering whether you should apply serum or moisturiser first at night, the answer would be serum. Irrespective of the time of the day, the serum must always come first, and moisturiser can follow.

Serum-Moisturiser-Sunscreen - What is the Perfect Order to Follow in Skincare Routine?

If you’re still confused about applying serum or moisturiser first, we’ll provide some quick solutions. Here, we have listed the perfect order for using your skincare products. Remember, you can revolutionise your skincare game when you know and follow the correct skincare order.

The right order of products in your skin care routine would be:

  • Cleansing your face
  • Applying toner evenly on your face
  • Once the toner has sinked in, using serum to keep your skin hydrated and target specific skin needs
  • Applying eye cream to protect the otherwise sensitive region around your eyes
  • Applying moisturiser for hydrating and smoothing the skin
  • And finally, apply sunscreen evenly on your face to prevent the harmful UV rays from inflicting severe damage. Skip this step in your PM routine.

PM routine can be same, except a few steps

  • Cleansing
  • Applying toner
  • Using spot treatment or serum depending on your skin need
  • Applying moisturiser

Also read: AM PM routine for clear skin


By now, you must have a clear idea regarding the correct serum-moisturiser-sunscreen order. So if you’ve been following the incorrect order, it’s high time for you to adhere to the correct order.

Also, remember that it’s not a good idea to exfoliate regularly as it might inflict considerable damage to your skin. Exfoliation is something that you must occasionally do to reap the exact benefits. And when you exfoliate your face, ensure it is followed by moisturisation and sunscreen.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What goes first in your skincare routine?

The first step in your skincare regimen is cleansing. Cleansers are exclusively designed for removing dirt, grime, and makeup. It’s crucial to cleanse your face both in the morning and at night before proceeding with your skincare regimen.

  • Is it possible to skip moisturiser after serum?

You can skip moisturiser after applying serum on your face. But please don’t. Both serum and moisturiser can provide aid to your skin in unique ways. And those who don’t have dry skin, applying serum alone will be more than sufficient. But if your skin dries up too fast, you must apply serum and moisturiser.

  • What should you apply after moisturising?

Once you have applied moisturiser to your face, you must apply sunscreen during the day. It is always essential to apply water-based ingredients before applying oil-based ingredients. Since oil and water don’t mix, the oil-based ingredients can potentially prevent water-based ingredients from penetrating your skin.

  • Can serum help in making your skin glow?

The Super Clarifying 12% Niacinamide Face Serum from The Pink Foundry can efficiently make your skin glow. Powered by effective skin-soothing Active ingredients like PAD, the serum will provide clear and healthy skin. Besides, it will help in regulating excessive sebum and clarify your skin.

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