You've Been Applying Your Serum The Wrong Way This Whole Time

A good skin care routine is a must these days, but after spending hundreds of dollars on products, it's best to make sure you're applying them properly. After all, so many skin care mavens focus on accumulating the correct serums and creams without diving into how to apply them. 

First of all, it's important to always begin with a clean face. Cleansing should always come first, points out Cosmopolitan, mainly because you don't want to layer tons of product over clogged pores and debris. On top of that, "For ingredients to properly absorb, you need clean skin that's totally free of oil and grime," dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine, tells the outlet. Before you grab your serum, always make sure that your skin is clean and free to fully reap the benefits of your product.

As for your cleanser, use warm water to properly open pores and gently massage into the hard-to-reach areas of your face, like under your nose, near your eyes, and the sides of your face, Birchbox recommends. Make sure you don't leave anything out. But, as always, be gentle with your skin — too much pulling can make way for wrinkles.

Avoiding rubbing your serum into your skin

Once your face is clean — you've exfoliated and toned — it's time for the big guns: your serum. Since these products are usually loaded with amino acids and antioxidants, you'll want to make the most of them. As Cosmo notes, serums start enhancing your skin tone from the second you apply them.

As for applying, it's best to allow them to work their way in rather than rub the product in. Birchbox recommends gently applying the serum into your skin with your fingertips. From here, spread around your face as gently as possible by patting (you may need more than a standard amount of the product to fully apply). Then, let your pores absorb the product on their own; no more rubbing needed.

This patting technique actually hails from Japan. Allure explains that pulling and rubbing can increase inflammation, leaving you with swollen skin and a puffed up face. Alisa Kerr, a skin care expert in Tokyo, Japan, tells the outlet that "using the patting technique was not only less damaging on the skin structure, but it also increased the absorption and effectiveness of the ingredients as well as stimulated the blood flow, giving a nice glow to the skin." While it may seem like a subtle shift, you'll likely notice the difference after you've applied your serum this way for a few days. Less pulling is always a good idea. If you must rub, always move in an upward motion to avoid pulling the skin down.