How To Apply Facial Serum For Men

To this point you have maintained a regular facial skincare routine. However, you are still not seeing significant changes. Well, one secret weapon that probably isn’t a topic of conversation with your buddies are facial serums. In our experience, this skincare product is a game changer where we have experimented with more than a dozen different types. In this guide, we will provide you with background on serums and, more importantly, how to apply face serum during your skin regimen.

What Is A Facial Serum?

A face serum is a completely separate class of skincare product and is different from moisturizers. A face serum is a specially designed liquid formula used to inject beneficial ingredients into the deepest layers of your skin. Some of the most important cellular functions, such as cell repair and turnover, are occurring in your dermis and beyond.

Given skin cells at the cellular level are more prone to inflammation and free radicals, a special product is needed to target these issues. Face serums are unique as they do not include lubricating or thickening ingredients like moisturizers. This allows for the ingredients to be easily absorbed and saturate your facial skin. Therefore, only active and beneficial ingredients remain in the formula, giving men a more formidable skincare product.

Types Of Facial Serums And Ingredients

Knowing that face serums target specific issues with your skin, it is helpful to know the different types and the active ingredients included in them. Below is a brief list of some of the most beneficial types of serums and their main ingredients.

#1. Skin-Brightening Serums

One of the most commonly used types of serums are skin-brightening serums. These products are designed to help brighten your skin and balance uneven skin tone by specifically targeting hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is a condition where different patches of your skin become darker. Brightening serums help reverse these visible flaws by lightening your skin and evening facial skin tone. 

Some ingredients included in brightening serums are hydroquinone, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.

#2. Hydrating Serums

Just like the name says, hydrating serums hydrate the skin on your face. These types of products are lipid-replenishing serums which nourish the deepest layers of your skin to enhance retention of moisture and prevent facial skin from drying out. In contrast to moisturizers, hydrating serums don’t include lubricating chemical agents that prevent the beneficial ingredients from penetrating the deepest layers of your skin. Using a serum right before your favorite moisturizer is the best way to boost your skin’s hydration.

The main ingredient to look for that will help hydrate your skin is hyaluronic acid.

#3. Free-Radical Fighting Serums

A key component of your skin is collagen. Collagen is responsible for the elasticity of skin, allowing it to contract after being stretched. This function prevents skin from sagging and keeps your facing looking younger. Free radicals break down the collagen in our skin. To fight free radicals, there are antioxidizing serums you can use to neutralize the damaging elements. The main benefit of an antioxidant serum is protection against blemishes, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Antioxidizing ingredients found in serums include retinol (Vitamin A), Vitamin C, and niacinamide. 

#4. Acne-Prone And Sensitive Skin Serums

Oily or sensitive skin can be prone to many different skin issues. One of the most frustrating skin issues is acne. Skin acne is caused by congestion of facial pores, excess sebum production, and bacteria. To combat acne problems, acne fighting serums are great solutions to help reduce inflammation, clear pores, and provide light exfoliation of the skin.

Beneficial face serum ingredients for acne prone skin are salicylic acid, retinol (Vitamin A), and alpha hydroxy acids.

#5. Reparative/Texture Improvement Serums

Some serums are great for enhancing and speeding up the cell generation and recovery process. Reparative serums boost collagen production, a protein that keeps our skin youthful, and helps aged skin repair skin damage via regeneration. Texture improving serums work similarly to exfoliators and are able to penetrate facial skin to resurface your skin by speeding up cell turnover and pushing out dead cells.

Ingredients in serums that are known for their reparative or texture improving abilities are hyaluronic acid and thiotic acid.

Should Men Apply Face Serum?

Guys who are not seeing visible results after keeping up with a regular skincare routine should definitely consider the option of adding face serums to their routine. Men genetically have tougher and thicker skin that is more difficult to penetrate compared to females. Serums are more easily able to saturate the deepest layers of your skin. We recommend that men should apply serums based on our experience testing various products as well as guidance from our trusted board certified dermatologist.

How To Apply Face Serum Correctly

Many *experts* provide guidance on how to apply serums, however there are hundreds of people who are still applying these skincare products incorrectly. Here are 3 quick steps to applying serums properly. 

Step 1. Apply To Damp Skin

After completion of facial cleansers and exfoliation, your skin will still be damp with pores still expanded. You can then apply the specific serum you are using and take advantage of your open pores for more efficient saturation.

Step 2. Don’t Use Excessive Amounts

How much face serum should you use? Face serums come in packaging that includes a dropper. Using the dropper, place 3-4 drops on your finger to apply the serum to your face. Using too much serum will not provide any additional benefit as your skin can only absorb so much.

Step 3. Pat Onto Skin And Don’t Rub

After placing a few drops of face serum on your non-dominant finger, use your finger to gently pat the serum onto skin with an upward motion. The general rule is focused on not rubbing product into your skin. When you use your non-dominant finger and lightly press onto your skin, less force is applied which minimizes potential creation of fine lines and loss of collagen.

Benefits Of Using Face Serums For Men

Using men’s face serums can provide you facial skin with a number of benefits. Below are the top 5 skin benefits from using serums for men.

#1. Experience an improvement in skin texture due to collagen content. Your skin will become more firm, smoother, and more plump in addition to looking young.

#2. Observe a decrease in dark spots, pimples, and acne scars with regular use of a serum.

#3. Reduction in the size of facial pores leading to lesser blackheads and whiteheads.

#4. Reduction in puffiness, dryness, and fine lines around the eyes when using under eye serums.

#5. Decreased inflammation, dryness, and redness. This will cause less breakouts too thus making your skin feel healthy and younger.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Should Men Apply Face Serum?

A face serum can be used by guys on a regular basis as part of your skincare routine. After you have washed your face with a cleanser, texturized with an exfoliator, a face serum can be used prior to the application of your favorite moisturizer. We recommend that you go through this routine during the morning and at night where your targeted face serum can be used each time.

How Long Does It Take For Face Serum To Work?

Depending on which type of face serum you are using, the benefits can be felt almost instantly. However, visible results sometimes take much longer to show on your facial skin. At times, the appearance of healthy skin can take almost 3 to 8 weeks to materialize. The reason for the longer wait period is because serums penetrate to the deepest levels of your skin and the skin layers above require time to completely turnover exposing the younger skin.


Fact Checked by our Director of Dermatology We know that understanding how your skin and hair work can seem scary, so my team and I devote our time to thoroughly researching every single topic and product we write about. We hope you find our reviews helpful and informative.

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