The art of applying serums

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The art of applying serums

Want to layer your serums like a celebrity facialist? Follow these golden rules for combining your skincare products and reap the rewards of every single ingredient.  

You’re standing at the bathroom sink. A rainbow of freshly made, organic Tropic products lies at your fingertips. But what goes first: serum or toner? Glow Berry or Sun Drops? And is it ok to mix and match? Whether you’re a skincare newbie (welcome!) or a well-seasoned expert, this Glow Academy lesson explains the art of layering your skincare products – so you can fully benefit from your serum’s superpowers and enjoy real results. 


Much like the gorgeous green avocado on your toast, or the golden hummus in-between your pitta, serums are the best, most colourful part of your beauty routine. They’re water-based formulations, bursting with powerful ingredients to target specific skin concerns – from dark spots to clogged pores, oiliness or dehydrated skin. They should be sandwiched between the three daily essentials: cleanser, toner, and moisturiser.  

All good sandwiches start with a steady, reliable piece of bread! This is your trusty, daily cleanser. Clear Skies or Smoothing Cleanser will create a clean, prepared canvas – allowing the serum’s actives to sink deep into your skin, without getting blocked by lingering makeup or dead skin cells.

Next up? A thin layer of toner. We recommend Juicy Greens to lift away any stubborn bacteria that might be clinging on after your cleanse. Inspired by the layering traditions of Eastern beauty, Juicy Greens contains niacinamide and alpha hydroxy acids to create a 68% smoother, more refined surface (clinically tested in a 28-day study). This will help the skin-changing ingredients contained in your serum to go deeper, quicker – and target skin concerns from within.  

Now, you’re ready for the superstar serum! Sometimes, you can use two serums per routine – but make sure to use them in the correct order, so that the unique active ingredients perform as they are supposed to. Don’t worry, there’s no guesswork here – find the best serum combinations explained below.  

Finally, your moisturiser acts as the top layer – sealing in the products underneath, so that they won’t escape and can get to work on the task in hand.  

So, now we’ve mastered the basic routine, you’re ready to graduate. Introducing: the skintellectual’s guide to the wonderful world of serums!


GLOW BERRY brightening serum 

Wake up and glow! This powerful blend of illuminating superberries and encapsulated vitamin C will protect from city smog and take your skin from dull to dazzling. 


  • We love to reach for Glow Berry in the morning for ultimate pollution protection. 
  • You can repeat at night if skin brightness is your main goal – after cleansing and toning again, of course. 
  • For those with sensitive skin, this serum is best used every other day. 
  • Don’t use it within 24 hours of Pure Lagoon, as this contains copper complexes that counteract vitamin C! 

What next? Layer with Rainforest Dew for extra dewy hydration and don’t forget to lock in the active serum ingredients with your moisturiser.

SUN DROPS gradual tanning facial serum 

Powered by natural tanning agents and brightening passion fruit extract, this customisable bronzing serum reveals an effortless, radiant tan in just 10 hours.  


  • We love to use a few Sun Drops in our moisturiser as the final step in our bedtime routine, so we look sun-kissed and confident by morning!  
  • You can mix them into your morning moisturiser too, if you want to watch your tan develop throughout the day. 
  • For maximum radiance, avoid using Sun Drops on the same day as Fruit Peel.


FRUIT PEEL resurfacing serum

Let the trio of hard-performing fruit acids work their magic overnight, as they gently exfoliate and eat up dead skin cells to reveal a peach-soft complexion by morning. 

When? Use Fruit Peel at night. If your skin is slightly sensitive, stick with this serum once a week. For skin that doesn’t irritate easily, use on alternating evenings/three times a week. 

What next? Leave for 10 minutes and layer with Super Greens for glossy, overnight results! 

OCEAN DIVE pore-clearing serum

This stronger, salicylic acid serum is a targeted treatment for areas of excess oiliness, bumpiness, or blemishes. Easily applied with Bamboo Buds, Ocean Dive plunges deep into problem areas to sweep away bacteria and stabilise sebum levels.  

When? Apply every night to targeted areas. 

What next? Follow up with Pure Lagoon to prevent further blemishes from developing, then complete with a microbiome balancing layer of Fresh Waves to lock the active ingredients into your skin.  


RAINFOREST DEW hydration serum

An organic blend of juicy botanicals and multi-molecular weight hyaluronic acid, this water-based serum leaves dehydrated skin with a dewy, glassy glow.  

When? Every morning and night.  

What next? If you include Fruit Peel in your evening routine, use Rainforest Dew first and layer the exfoliating serum on afterwards for a refreshed, bouncy surface by morning. Or, build on your radiance with some liquid sunshine in the form of Sun Drops! In any case, the final step is to seal all that hydration into your skin with your moisturiser, otherwise it could evaporate!  

PURE LAGOON blemish prevention serum

If you’re prone to breakouts, bring your microbiome back to equilibrium with this rebalancing serum.  

When? Every morning and night. 

What next? Even if your skin’s often oily, it doesn’t mean you should skip the hydration station! Follow up with a splash of Rainforest Dew and lock in all the balancing benefits with Fresh Waves – without a nourishing layer of omega fatty acids on top, your serums have put in all that work for nothing. 

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