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Your Skincare Routine Order: Serum Or Moisturiser First?

Editor’s Picks | Dec 09, 2022
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You know that face serum and moisturisers are essential to your daily skin ritual. But do you know why? And, more importantly, do you know where they belong in your skincare routine order? The secret to unlocking the biggest benefits from your products is using them at the right time, in the right way. However, with so many steps – from softeners to SPF – it can be tricky to get the order right.

That’s why we’re revealing the correct steps you need to take for your smoothest, brightest, calmest complexion yet, while answering the age-old question: does serum go before or after moisturiser?


If you’ve been skipping face serum because you’re not sure what it does or why you need it, now is the time to get familiar with these light yet mighty formulas. A face serum can be anything from a water-like liquid, to a lotion, to a gel, and it tends to be thinner and more absorbent than your traditional moisturiser.

There’s a reason for that thin texture; it helps the concentrated cocktail of ingredients work deep down, so you get a more potent hit of the powerful actives your skin needs the most. Whether that’s hydrating hyaluronic acid or VP8 Complex, a firming and brightening ingredient, a serum will encapsulate a supercharged dose for your skin to drink up.


Yes, your face serum goes first. In fact, the general rule with skincare products is that you should start with your lightest, thinnest formulas first, then gradually build up to the richest. By applying serum before moisturiser, you allow all that concentrated goodness to work deep down, before your day cream or night cream seals it in – all while pumping pores with extra benefits. Don’t apply your moisturiser straight on top though. Wait a few minutes and let your serum sink in first, then move on to the next step when your skin feels very slightly dewy.

What is the correct order for your skincare routine?

The best skincare for the menopause is deeply hydrating and reparative. Look for moisturisers that harness humectants, which absorb and hold onto water, as well as smart serums that help to trigger collagen production. The ideal ritual will feed the skin moisture at every single stage, from cleanser, to softener, to serum, to day or night cream – all while bestowing a radiant glow and protecting it from daily aggressors.


Cleanser x 2

Double Cleansing allows you to remove surface grime and purify pores deep down, so start with an emulsifying cleanser, then follow with a water-based formula for fresh, balanced skin.



Kinder to skin than toner, the Treatment Softener treats your pores to weightless hydration, while boosting the effects of the serums and moisturisers you apply on top. Press on with palms of hands or apply with a reusable cotton pad.



This is where your serum comes in. Choose a formula that’s perfect for your skin type (more on that below), and pat two to three pumps into your skin before allowing it to absorb. 



Massage your perfect moisturiser over the top of your serum and eye cream. This could be a day cream, a night cream, or a specialised overnight mask that works while you sleep.



If you’re using a targeted product, like an acne cream or the Vital Perfection Intensive WrinkleSpot Treatment, apply it after serum and moisturiser, directly where you feel you need it most.


Eye cream

While your face serum is absorbing, use your ring finger to tap an eye cream from the inner to the outer corner of your under-eyes. Allow this to sink in before you move on to your next step.


Sun protection

If it’s daytime, finish with a high SPF. Urban Environment Age Defense Oil-Free SPF30 is ideal for weightless wear, while Clear Suncare Stick SPF50+ is a handbag essential for on-the-go touch-ups.

What serum is best for me?

Not just any serum will work with your skin type. Select one that targets your complexion needs, whether you’re looking to treat the early signs of ageing or reverse fine lines and wrinkles.

For anti-ageing: Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

No matter if your skin is oily, dry or combination, this satiny serum will deliver double the anti-ageing power at every age. It’s our number one serum that’s shot to fame for its healthy, youthful-looking results. Not only does it plump and smooth, but it protects your pores too – perfect for shielding city skin.

For a luminous glow: LiftDefine Radiance Serum

No matter if your skin is oily, dry or combination, this satiny serum will deliver double the anti-ageing power at every age. It’s our number one serum that’s shot to fame for its healthy, youthful-looking results. Not only does it plump and smooth, but it protects your pores too – perfect for shielding city skin.

For deep wrinkle smoothing: Wrinkle Smoothing Serum

This intensely nourishing and comforting serum infuses skin with an instant burst of moisture, while working to soothe and smooth fine lines and wrinkles with regular use. It also helps to direct your skin’s internal sensory signals, so that pores will be more responsive to the age-defying benefits of the moisturisers or treatments you apply on top.

What moisturiser is best for me?

Your moisturiser should do more than simply hydrate. These next-generation formulas work in harmony with your serum to elevate its benefits. Choose the one that suits your skin type.

For supple hydration: Hydrating Cream

Designed to treat the early signs of ageing – starting in your twenties – this moisturiser harnesses hyaluronic acid to veil your skin in light, refreshing hydration. Think of it like a glass of water for your complexion, providing instant relief for all skin types – whether oily, acne-prone, dry, dehydrated or sensitive.

For lifting and tightening: Vital Perfection Uplifting and Firming Cream Enriched

Our most concentrated firming cream is beautifully rich and sumptuously soft, giving you a 31% reduction in skin sagging and 16% improvement in firmness**. Massage into contours in upwards and outwards motions to enhance the lifting effect, and dry, dehydrated skin will enjoy a plump, renewed look and feel.

** Visual assessment at 12 weeks of 35 women.

For line plumping moisture: Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Cream Enriched

Designed to be layered over the Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Serum, this rich, reparative cream floods even the driest, most dehydrated pores with moisture. What follows is a softening of fine lines and, over time, a smoothing of wrinkles. Skin feels supple and silky-soft to the touch, with more resilience against day-to-day aggressors.

For line plumping moisture: SHIKULIME Mega Hydrating Moisturizer

If you’re just establishing your skincare routine and discovering the wonders of moisturiser, this quenching hero hydrator will take your daily ritual to the next level. Packed with barrier-balancing Shikuwasa Lime, which locks in moisture for 48 hours, it leaves your skin fresh, velvety and comforted in the face of everyday wear and tear.

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