What Serum Should I Use?

Beautiful black lady touching her cheekbones, looking wondered

Like any other product in your skincare routine, serum should suit your skin’s needs. In fact, given that every serum is formulated for a specialized purpose with a potent blend of ingredients that match that purpose, it’s even more important that you choose and use a serum that’s right for you.

How do you figure that out? We’re so glad you asked. Read on to learn how you can pick the right serum for you and incorporate it into your routine seamlessly. If you’re wondering, “what is serum,” then read this first to discover why you want to use it in the first place.

How To Pick The Right Serum for You

There are so many serums out there, and while some are not targeting specific concerns, you’ll see the best results when you use a facial serum specific to your skin type and concerns. So, before you can answer the question, “what serum should I use?” you need to ask yourself a couple of other questions...

What is My Skin Type?

We’ve lived with our skin for decades, but it’s constantly changing as our environment changes, as we use new products, and as we age. You may think you have a certain skin type, but it’s always smart to reassess your skin every now and then to determine what type it is at the moment.

If your skin feels tight a few minutes after cleansing, is often flaky or red, and slurps up moisture quickly, it’s probably dry. If your skin develops a sheen consistently throughout the day and is blemish-prone, you likely have oily skin. If some areas get dry quickly while others (think the T-zone) are oily, you probably have combination skin. Whichever skin type you have, there’s a facial serum that can work for you.

What is My Top Skin Concern?

Serum contains concentrated ingredients that can target specific skin concerns. So, what skin problem do you want to bid adieu?

A Dull or Uneven Skin Tone

Fade dark spots and brighten a dull skin tone with a vitamin C serum such as our Radiance Perfection Serum. Your next question may be, “what does vitamin C do for your skin?” Rich in antioxidants, vitamin C helps with brightening skin and fighting environmental pollution, which can lead to signs of premature aging. Regardless of your skin type, this natural ingredient can work wonders for you.


Blemishes are never any fun, and while some of us are lucky enough to only experience them from time to time, others of us, especially those with oily or blemish-prone skin, need a serum that keeps regular breakouts at bay. Look for ingredients such as zinc, salicylic acid, which reduces the appearance of pores, and prebiotics, which helps support good bacteria. Our Clearcalm Non-Drying Acne Treatment Gel is the optimal solution to include in your skincare regimen.


Anyone can benefit from a lightweight hydrating serum, but for those prone to dryness, it’s imperative. If that’s you, start with a hydrating serum such as our Flash Hydro-Boost, which contains Hyaluronic acid and Xylitol that will penetrate the skin and help it retain water. Then, reach for a rich facial oil such as our Rose O12 Moisture Defence Oil, which can which can help rehydrate dry to very dry skin types. We know dry skin can be uncomfortable skin, but with this combo, you’ll experience moisturized, soft, supple, and radiant skin.

What if I Have Multiple Skin Concerns?

You aren’t limited to one serum. For instance, you may battle hormonal breakouts around that time of the month, but also want to fight the effects of sun damage on your skin. Or, you may suffer from dry skin when the weather changes, but want to combat fine lines and hyperpigmentation all of the time. In either of these cases, it would make sense to enlist the help of two serums.

You can use more than one serum as long as you use them at different times. For instance, using a brightening serum in the morning and a salicylic acid serum at night ensures you receive optimal benefits from these skincare products. In addition to using one serum in the morning and the other at night, you could also alternate using each of your serums every other night. If you experience breakouts or bouts of dryness only from time to time, simply keep a blemish-busting or hydrating serum, respectively, on hand and swap it out for your daily serum for a week or so to re-balance your skin with the problem surfaces. Switch a hyaluronic acid serum, for example, into your routine on weeks when your skin feels particularly dry.

Your skin can only absorb so much at any given time, so while it won’t harm you to apply more than one face serum at a time, it won’t help. Get the most out of each skincare product by applying them one at a time, ideally after cleansing and toning, and before applying moisturizer or sunscreen.

How To Incorporate Serum Into Your Routine

Serum should be applied to freshly cleansed and toned skin. Based on your skin type and its needs on any given day, you can follow a serum with a moisturizer. A good rule of thumb to follow is to apply each skincare product in order of thickness, starting with the most liquid. This ensures each product will be able to penetrate the skin and work its magic. When you incorporate the right face serum for you into your routine in this way, you’ll be the one shouting about serum from the rooftops.


  1. Byrdie
  2. Into the Gloss

About the Author

Camille Poggi is a doctor in Pharmacy (PharmD.) and is passionate about skincare and how the skin works in general. She specializes in the cosmetic industry and worked for renowned companies in France like L’Oréal and Chanel before moving to London. After being a training manager for 4 years, Camille is at ease with explaining how products work in the skin and how to adapt her speech according to the audience.

She joined REN in January 2020 as International Training Manager and moved to the Research & Development team earlier this year to be the new Scientific Education Manager. A tailored-made role where she assesses and leads all technical communication and ensures scientific compliance is always met. She’s also involved in new product development from the earliest stages. Finding a way to create sustainable skincare products and making sure the message is properly delivered and understood is definitely a big challenge but also her favourite part working for REN.