Using Two Face Serums Together : A Doctor Says Its All OK!

by Paris B on · 52 comments

in Serum,Tips,Treatment

A while ago, I wrote a post about using two different serums together and I said that I did it because it just felt right for me, and did not break me out or kill my skin or anything. If anything, some combinations made my skin look better than it ever did.

dr sebagh serums Using Two Face Serums Together : A Doctor Says Its All OK!

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Jean-Louis Sebagh, famed aesthetic surgeon who was in town for a flying visit and to introduce a new night cream in his eponymous skincare line. I’ll be telling you about that soon, but what really got me excited after listening to him over lunch, is how he advocates the use of 2 different face serums, if necessary!

I sought confirmation and he said yes. You can use two different serums to target different concerns and because serums are different in texture and formula and content so the answer by Le Docteur is yes! It feels great to know I could be doing the right thing all by myself icon wink Using Two Face Serums Together : A Doctor Says Its All OK! I’ll share here some things I learned from the good Doctor who is a big advocate of aesthetic procedures but who also says that using good skincare is the first step to age maintenance.

The rationale behind why one might use 2 serums together is because different serums serve different purposes and have different compositions. Generally speaking, active ingredients dissolve better in water and so a water based serum will generally be able to contain higher concentrations of active ingredients. By contrast, an oil based serum may contain less of the active ingredients because there is no water medium for the ingredients to blend into.

Consistency and concentration aside, skincare serums do contain a higher concentration of active ingredients when compared to a normal face cream, hence the higher prices associated with serums and the greater efficacy. I for one do tend to believe in using a good face serum even if I use a regular face cream, simply because of the concentration of ingredients in a serum.

The ideology behind the blending or mixing of 2 different serums comes down to the composition of a moisturizer. Essentially, a face cream is an emulsion of oil and water. So, says the good Doctor, if you were to blend 2 different serums of oil and water bases, you could customize your own face cream, with a higher concentration of active ingredients!

dr sebagh serums2 Using Two Face Serums Together : A Doctor Says Its All OK!

Generally speaking, oily skin would not take well to oil based serums whilst dry skins will find water based serums less effective. Combining two different serums in different quantities e.g. 2 drops of oil to 1 drop of water for dry skins may yield a better result than just using an oil based serum.

You can mix the two serums in the palm of your hand to create your own customized face cream to suit your skin needs, or you can layer them on your skin, one after the other, starting with the one that is lighter in texture. If your skin is feeling drier, use more oil based serums and if you’re oily, adjust the mixture accordingly.

I asked if you might need to use a separate cream thereafter, and Dr. Sebagh said it was really up to how you feel. If you feel the serums aren’t moisturizing enough, a thin layer of face cream over it might help seal in moisture better. However, if you feel comfortable, then you may not need it.

Granted that we were discussing the merits of using the Dr. Sebagh Supreme Maintenance Youth Serum (water based) and Rose de Vie serums (oil based) but he was generous to keep discussions relatively open so the moral of the story that I took away from the lunch was this – It is alright to mix 2 different serums together to suit your skin’s needs and this is what real luxury bespoke skincare is; where you can customize your skincare to your own needs.

I don’t always mix my serums based on oil-water ratios but I am using the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate every night which is oil based, and I do still mix my serums depending on how I feel that day. I sometimes skip the MRC and just use 2 other water based serums that I may have on hand. I do think it works for me (as I have shared before) and so long as I don’t break out, I’ll keep doing it… because the good Doctor said I can! icon biggrin Using Two Face Serums Together : A Doctor Says Its All OK!

Do you mix 2 different serums together? Do you use 2 different serums at the same time? Its not something you have to do of course. It can get terribly pricey because serums are expensive, but I’m curious to know if other people do it too and if you do, what do you use? icon smile Using Two Face Serums Together : A Doctor Says Its All OK!

Paris B

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[ 52 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Sue Lynn November 21, 2011 at 8:58 am

Hullo!

Finally the Docteur says “YES”< for I'm a huge fan of serums and making cocktails outta them <3

[No-Frills Skin Care Routine for Mature Acne-Prone Skin]
http://suelynn76-beautyblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/updated-no-frills-skin-care-routine-for.html

The good Doctuer’s approval makes me feel it’s more legit though ^_^

LOVE this Psot ;)

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 9:48 am

Hiya! And yes Le Docteur validated this technique. I guess whatever works for us yes? ;)

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Lily November 21, 2011 at 9:22 am

I’ve always used 2 serums at night. I use the ANR first, then another whitening serum. Using Shiseido white lucent now. In the day, I keep it light by just using the ester lauder idealist. Works great for me! My skin breaks out pretty easily but I’ve been doing this for almost a year and my skin is ok. There r times when my skin is especially prone to breakouts, so I tend to cut back on serums for a week and get right back into it ;-)

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 9:53 am

Great to know it works for you too! I like ANR too. I get back to it when my skin needs a boost and it always delivered :) I was using the Idealist for a while too but I found it drying for my skin. Quite a pity because it was otherwise quite nice.

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Sheila November 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

I definitely like using more than one serum. It’s so dry here in Canada so I need a hydrating serum, but I also want to continue lightening my dark spots so a whitening serum is still a must. Since whitening serums are usually exfoliating, they just don’t come in one bottle.

Thank you for this very informative post!

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 9:54 am

Hi Sheila! Isnt it great how we’re already practicing this? I do find that whitening products are very drying so you’re probably doing it right by using a hydrating serum together with it. I may have to do that so I don’t waste the serums I presently have

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LeGeeque November 21, 2011 at 9:51 am

I love using 2 serums. I’m on MRC and over that I have kiehls’ line reducing concentrate. Love it!

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 9:57 am

That is an amazing combination! I was told it worked very well together but I didn’t try it till now :)

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xin November 21, 2011 at 9:55 am

thanks for sharing the tips! i don’t mix them, but i just layer them. maybe i should now :D …provided that i have serums of 2 different textures!

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 9:58 am

Well he did say we can just layer it too. No need to mix :)

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Sukie November 21, 2011 at 10:04 am

I mix two different serums together only after reading your article! I usually use only one serum in the morning – the Biotherm Source Therapie serum. At night, I drip one / two drops of MRC and mix it with a pump of Source Therapie serum before topping it up with a layer of moisturizer. =)

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 9:58 am

And I’m guessing it’s working well for you? ;)

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olive November 21, 2011 at 10:36 am

thanks for the info. i have a question. Can we use 2 type of toner together? For example, i used sebamed clarifying toner 1st with cotton ( bcos it can wipe a away dirt from face). Then i continue with Hadalobo lotion (toner) by patting them to face by palm…

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:01 am

An interesting question and to be honest I don’t see why to if it’s not doing harm to your skin. I’m actually doing this right now or rather a variation of it and I think it’s doing my skin a world of good! :D

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giddy tigress November 21, 2011 at 10:49 am

Good to know PB :) And by the way, is the EL ANR oil-based or water-based?

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:02 am

I think it’s water based. Usually water based serums have aqua as their primary ingredient. Oil based ones don’t have water.

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Anthea Villanueva November 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

That’s good to hear! Right now, I’m actually using nothing more that cleanser on my sensitive face since I’m so paranoid about mixing different lines together, but hearing that there’s no harm in it, I’m going to treat my face to some serums (after testing for sensitivity, LOL).

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:04 am

Glad this was of help. If you don’t need serums, you could just start with a light moisturizer so your skin doesn’t dry out from the cleansing :)

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peach_ November 21, 2011 at 11:32 am

I’ve never thought to mix serums before application. Thanks for the info! I always have to use one serum with chemical exfoliant to keep pores clear, and when the air becomes drier I layer a hydrating serum over it. I share the same theory as you in that I rely on serums for active ingredients and use a more basic moisturizer to “seal in” everything underneath.

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:05 am

High 5 for having similar skincare ideas ;) I don’t use an exfoliating serum but I’ve been reminded of Dior One Essential and I may want to get back to that one :) which serums are you presently using?

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Coraline November 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Is it ok to mix serums as long as they have different consistencies and texture? How about the ingredients may fight each other? And the belief of what we apply first goes first, the later we layer may not absorb fully? Last but not least when to apply silicon-based serums?
I’m currently using Shiseido Revital Whitening serum (which is water/alcohol based) I’m thinking about applying kiehls powerful strength line reducing (which has thicker consistency) and lastly MRC (oil-based). Do you think it will be a good combination? :D

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

I’m no dermatologist but based on what I know yes, sometimes some ingredients may contradict or cancel each other out. I don’t know enough though and to be honest I don’t think many commercial serums are that strong. That said if I layer I use a light serum first, then a heavier one depending on how it feels. I personally wont use more than 2 serums at a go. It could be too much for the skin to absorb at one go so I’d treat skin concerns depending on what’s most troubling you at that point and go from there :)

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Stephanie/Yukaeshi November 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I do use at least 2 different serums everyday. One for my sensitive skin and the other for hydrating- Cellnique Intensive Soothing Factor (Though this is salon-only) and Cellnique Intensive Hydrating Complex. The sensitive skin one is water-based while the hydrating one is more gel-type, so the sensitive skin serum goes on before hydrating. Then at night, after the serums, I add on Melvita Calendula Oil.

I was worried it would be overkill, but this post at least put my mind to rest haha! :P (And it works for me so…) Anyway yay Doctor approved! :D

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:11 am

Yeah I think anything that works for us or which we think makes our skin look better is the right combination. After all we know our own skin best! :)

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plue November 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

glad to know i’m not a nuthead by using 2 or 3 serums at 1 go! i haven’t tried mixing them, as i’m afraid i will spoil it. but really, what’s the difference between layering them and mixing them up? to me it feels the same, your skin still end up absorbing both! if we can mix serums, can we mix with our moisturizers too?

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plue November 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

i mean mix the serum with moisturizer :P

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:18 am

Dr. Sebagh did say it’s ok to either layer or mix. I do either depending on how I feel or how lazy I am :p I sometimes mix in MRC with moisturizer too.

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juan November 21, 2011 at 9:07 pm

i’ve always wondered if i really need a face cream after the serum because i feel that the serums alone are moisturising enough for my oily skin.

maybe i can try that tomorrow night, eh ;)

and no, i don’t use more than one serum because i tried 2 serums before and they make my skin feels heavy.

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:31 am

Ah the beauty is that if your serum is moisturizing enough, you may not need a moisturizer! I sometimes go without if I feel that my skin is feeling like its had enough :)

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Monstro November 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm

I’ve never used more than one serum before! I guess I was always afraid of the adverse reaction or of their properties cancelling each other out! Good to know PB. Now for a silly question, how do we know if it’s oil based or water based? What ingredients do we look out for for each?

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:32 am

Generally speaking, anything water based will have water or aqua as its first ingredient. Oil based ones won’t ;) there aren’t many oil based serums around that are affordable actually because a good oil is pricey!

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Jue November 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I used 2 serum on the weeks I need to have that extra oomph

I mixed Clinique Turnaround + EL ANR on weeks that I need to be gorgeous or just don’t have enough rest and top it with moisture surge as sleeping mask.

Keep my face plump the next day and just radiant. But I wouldn’t drop ANR from my combo. I also generally find that if I use Hada Labo toner before applying any of these it gets even better.

Things come and go, ANR stay!

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:34 am

Have to agree with you about ANR! I like the new texture vs the old one which felt more like silicone. I do think it would be nicer if they made it more liquid though. I must try your wonder combination of Clinique Turnaround and ANR!

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melchewvin November 22, 2011 at 1:56 am

I do tent to mix 2 serums together i usually use a whitening serum 1st followed by a hydrating serum but i do always use a moisturizer after both serum just to complete the regimen.

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:35 am

I use a moisturizer too. It helps me seal everything in :)

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Shay November 22, 2011 at 7:04 am

Yeah. I do this too. :)

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 10:35 am

Awesome!

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May November 22, 2011 at 10:23 am

I’m using 2 serums for my AM and PM skincare routine. AM = Oil controlling + Whitening, PM = Whitening + Moisturizing + Firming (Hmm…Shd I say 3 instead, haha…)

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Paris B November 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Nice! Want to share which ones you’re using? :)

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May November 28, 2011 at 8:49 am

I’m currently loving most of Naruko stuff. Especially the cleanser and serums. For AM = Tea Tree Oil Out Balancing Serum + Magnolia Brightening and Firming Serum. For PM = Rose & Snow Fungus Aqua Cubic Complex + Magnolia Brightening and Firming Serum. After finishing up the Magnolia serum, going to try Raw Job’s Tears Supercritical CO2 Whitening Serum because I’m loving it’s cleanser :)

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olive November 23, 2011 at 10:30 am

??, Paris :)

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lavender November 25, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Thanks for sharing this info. I don’t use 2 serums at one go but I use different serum for day and night. At night I use Clinique laser focus, a night cream and top up with clinique moisture surge. The combination keeps my skin well hydrated. I find that Clinique Laser focus is better than ANR in terms of brightening and reducing fine lines. It can be applied on the eye area which i really like. My bottle is finishing soon but I got other serums to try now.

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Paris B November 30, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I do agree with you about the Clinique Laser Focus. It is definitely better for addressing problems while I find that ANR is better for maintenance :D

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Nkoolay April 14, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Yaaaay I’m so excited I wish i’d seen your site a month ago. I had a horrible outbreak on my face and neck and had dark circles.i used Clinique products (3step-anti blemish) dark spot corrector, even better moisturizer and youth surge night for 4 months but the results were very slow and it instead dried out my skin, I still had acne but my checks became painfully dry. A friend recommended Estée Lauder 4 weeks ago I went and bought small amounts of their perfectly clean face wash, toner, day wear, ANR, idealist even skin tone illuminator and advanced night repair eye recovery complex. My skin had improved a lot the spots have faded and my eyes look brighter but the downside is that the daywear cream made me break out when I went to the EL sales assistant she swapped it for Time Zone cream my skin is still breaking out I’ve decided to use my Clinique even better moisturizer ( i still have most of my clinique products left) to see if I’m still going to break out. I started yesterday a part of me has been worried because the Sales Assistant told me not to mix different products and I still have a lot of my Clinique products , can I mix them and find a regiment that works for me?

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Paris B April 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I mix and match all my skincare so I’d say its good. Just mix and match till you find a winning combination for yourself. This previous post on this topic may be of help.

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Tria October 29, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Glad to have found this article! I just turned 20 and I’m starting to maintain my skin. I happen to have two serums to wear (one is pore tightening and the other is acne prevention + whitening), and I’ve been reluctant to wear the two of them at the same time (by layering) until I stumbled upon this article. Now I’m convinced. Thank you and thanks to the good doctor as well!

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pol April 26, 2013 at 1:05 am

HI:)
Im 23, and im also using 2 serum at the same time..Because i have a very sensitive skin, so I must take care them very well..:p I have combination skin, so im always confuse if im having a dry skin or oily skin.My skin can be very oily and dry at the same time, thus sometime dark spot or i call it blemish will appear anywhere on my face. So now, after talking to my beautician she said that i need to hydrate my skin so that I can balance the oiliness and dryness. So that now im taking 2 type of serum for my skin, 1st is BRTC perfect calming serum, for hydrating my face, and BioEssence Whitening Serum :)

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flakyyy4 August 29, 2013 at 2:07 am

I love this blog and I’m happy I’m a part of it want to know if I can use serum only for my face without missing with any other product and also if I can mix the same serum I’m using for my face in my body lotion. A reply ll b appreciated.

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Paris B August 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm

If you feel your serum is enough without applying moisturiser then yes, serum alone is enough. It’s up to you, although it is useful to have a layer of moisturiser on to seal everything in. Also, if you want to mix your face serum into your body lotion, you can but it will be very expensive!

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