You should use serum or acne treatment cream first

Rate this post

Acne-prone skin is always very sensitive and easily irritated, so taking care of it requires you to be careful. Improper use of serum will turn the serum from a “tonic” into a “poison” for your skin.

So, in the skincare steps, should you use serum or acne treatment cream first?

First, you need to understand that there are many types of serums, many active ingredients, and many different uses. Therefore, you need to immediately reconsider what type of serum you are using. What active ingredients does it contain? What is the main use? With each different type of serum, the time to use them is also different. Specifically:

​ Serum is used before acne treatment cream

This serum line specializes in providing moisture. Balances skin pH, creating a protective film for the skin. Therefore, when applying them to the skin, they help rebalance the skin after cleansing and applying toner, thereby helping the skin receive and absorb active ingredients from acne treatment cream better. This is also a product line that helps reduce skin irritation caused by acne treatment cream, providing better acne-repellent effectiveness.

In addition, with some serum lines whose main use is to treat acne, you should also use it before acne treatment cream. Because the serum has a liquid gel form, it can penetrate deeply into the root of acne.

Acne creams have a thicker texture, which can clog acne spots. If you use acne cream first, the serum may not be able to penetrate, and the nutrients will not penetrate the skin and be effective in treating acne. The buffering effect of the serum also accidentally disappears.

​ Serum used after acne cream

Serum lines that have skin care benefits such as serums that help whiten skin, and prevent aging… should be used after using acne cream. At this time, applying acne cream first will help them have direct contact with the skin, penetrate the acne spots, and promote better effectiveness.

In addition, you should note that acne treatment should be your priority first. When acne is not well controlled, sensitive and damaged skin will make other skin care steps such as whitening, anti-aging, etc. less effective. Many women even experience skin irritation due to using these products.

Standard daily facial care routine

Daily facial care steps are an important part of reducing acne and preventing its recurrence. No matter what skin type you have, you need to make sure your skin is being cared for properly.

Below is a standard daily facial care routine for women with acne-prone skin:

Morning skincare steps

In the morning, the skin is exposed to dust, sunlight, etc. throughout the long working day, so skincare steps will focus mainly on protecting the skin.

Clean with facial cleanser

Many people often skip washing their face in the morning because they think that when they sleep, their skin rests and is not dirty or affected by harmful factors. But this is a completely wrong view. When sleeping, the skin can come into contact with pillowcases – which contain a lot of bacteria and dust, or come into contact with oil from the face and hair. Washing your face in the morning will help remove these impurities.

Besides, if the skin is cleaned it also helps absorb nutrients better, providing maximum acne treatment effectiveness.

Use rose water (toner)

After washing your face, toner will help remove remaining dirt and balance the skin’s pH. This step is extremely important for women with acne-prone skin because if the skin’s pH is too acidic or too alkaline, the skin will dry out or secrete more oil, causing acne to develop.

This is also a stepping stone to facilitate the best absorption of nutrients in the next step.

Acne cream

After cleansing and balancing the skin, women with acne-prone skin cannot lack the use of acne treatment creams. You should apply this step right after moisturizing serum and before moisturizer to help your skin fully absorb the nutrients.

To choose the right acne cream, consider your skin type, the ingredients in the product, and the brand. The detailed sharing in the following article will help you make the right and easier decision: Criteria for choosing to buy effective acne cream

Skin moisturizer

Applying moisturizer helps lock moisture in the skin and reduces oil secretion that causes acne. According to dermatologists, daily activities, whether at home or outdoors, cause the skin to lose natural surface hydration, causing the skin to become rough, dry, and age very quickly.

​ You should also choose a moisturizer suitable for each skin type:

Oily skin: Prioritize fast-absorbing gel moisturizers.

Dry skin: Choose a cream-based moisturizer with oil- and water-based ingredients.

Acne, sensitive skin: You should prioritize gel creams that absorb quickly, do not cause greasiness, especially do not contain alcohol, parabens, fragrances, and irritants.


In the morning, this is one of the most important skincare steps. Sunlight is one of the important causes of damaged, sensitive, acne-prone skin and rapid aging.

Therefore, you need to be careful to use sunscreen regularly on your skin to prevent the above harmful effects and help your skin become brighter and healthier!

In addition, you should prioritize sunscreens that have a light, fast-absorbing texture and do not contain ingredients that irritate the skin or clog pores that cause acne such as alcohol, parabens, fragrances, etc.

​ Evening skincare steps

During this time, the skin will rest and be able to absorb maximum nutrients to treat acne and improve skin problems.

Remove makeup and wash your face

Makeup, dirt, and sebum stuck on the skin all day long are the causes of acne to grow and develop. For the above reason, girls need to pay close attention to the step of cleansing their skin at night, especially removing makeup.

However, many women do not have the habit of wearing makeup so they often skip this makeup removal step. After a long day of using sunscreen and being exposed to environmental pollutants, if you only use a facial cleanser, your skin will not be completely cleansed.

Therefore, dermatologists recommend that you use additional makeup remover to optimize the skin cleansing step in the best way.

On the contrary, girls who often wear heavy makeup can use both makeup remover and facial cleanser to help clean their skin better.


Similar to the morning, applying toner helps the skin to be balanced and absorb nutrients better. The toner used at night should effectively moisturize and soothe the skin.

Gentle moisturizing serum

After applying toner for 2-3 minutes, you can apply a light moisturizing serum to your skin. This step helps the skin to be hydrated, strengthens the skin’s protective layer, and also helps the skin absorb acne-fighting active ingredients better.

You should let your skin rest for 3-4 minutes for the serum to fully absorb into your skin before continuing with other skincare steps.

Acne cream

For women with acne-prone skin, this is considered the most important skincare step. After the moisturizing toner step, you can apply acne treatment cream to your skin.

Currently on the market, there are many types of acne treatment and acne reduction creams. But for those with thin, sensitive skin that is prone to acne, you should choose a cream with gentle ingredients such as AHA, BHA, Sepicontrol A5, salicylic acid, and Benzoyl peroxide… to treat acne.

​ Serums and other skin care products

If you need to improve other skin problems such as evening out skin tone, you can use it after using acne cream. But in the case of sensitive skin and lots of acne, you should focus on treating acne first. Other creams may contain ingredients that irritate and make acne worse. Besides, weak skin also affects the absorption of nutrients, reducing the effectiveness of skin care.

You can skip this step until the acne is eliminated to reduce pressure on the skin.


At the end of the skincare process, you should use moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and reduce oil secretion and dehydration at night.

Carrying out the correct skincare routine is an important first step in the process of “clearing acne”. Sometimes, mild acne can improve in a short time just by taking scientific skincare every day.

Be careful when using serum for acne-prone skin

Acne-prone skin is very sensitive and easily damaged due to improper use of serum, causing more and more acne to appear. Therefore, you need to be very careful when choosing and using serum for your skin. As follows:

Choose a serum that suits your skin

When you have acne, you need to prioritize serums that lightly moisturize your skin. Skin that “drinks enough water” will improve its health, increase its anti-inflammatory ability, and reduce acne. This is also a way to help heal damage and help the skin recover quickly.

During this period, you should stop using whitening serums containing vitamins C, and E or anti-aging active ingredients. Due to their high content, these active ingredients can irritate the skin, thin the skin, and make acne worse.

In addition, serums containing large amounts of moisturizers should also be avoided because they can make the skin “overfed”, creating conditions for bacteria to grow and cause acne.

Use serum properly

Once you have chosen the right serum, you need to pay attention to how to use the serum to get the best skin care results. Specifically:

How much to use: You should only apply 2-3 drops of serum depending on the area of your face.

How to apply: Use 2 fingers, applying in a circular motion, from bottom to top. You should apply gently, and avoid strong massage that can damage the skin.

Let your skin rest: Before and after applying serum, you should let your skin rest for 1-2 minutes so that the nutrients can fully absorb into the skin, without causing uncomfortable stickiness.

Leave a Comment