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Co-Founder Celeste Lee on Layering Your Skin Care Products

Celeste Lee on Layering | Caire Beauty

Celeste Lee, Co-Founder of Caire

A customer asked us this question, so our Caire Co-Founder Celeste Lee got busy answering this question and we thought we would share this with you so you can understand how to 1) layer your skin care products and 2) understand how product formulations can sometimes not play well overall and you may need to switch products.  



“Hello Caire Beauty Team:

I am currently on my second bottle of the serum and enjoying how it leaves my skin smooth and hydrated. My question is whether after using it for some period of time (I don't know what the timeframe is for achieving maximum benefits from the serum), I can maintain the benefits while using it only once daily? 

The issue I'm having is that the serum creates what seems to be an impenetrable, though silky, barrier that remains until washed off, and that prevents other products from soaking in. While it's a bit unpleasant to have my tinted sunscreen remain tacky feeling all day, the bigger issue is that I want/need to include other products to treat a range of skincare needs, which I can't effectively do if using the serum morning and night on clean skin.

Thank you in advance for your response and guidance.




“Thanks for sharing your Serum experience. Our consumer usage testing demonstrates that our products do typically play well with others, meaning you should be able to layer products without losing the effectiveness of our Serum or the other products.

The Serum benefits are definitely ‘clinically’ validated (aka tested) with 2x per day usage. Meaning, the more Hyaluronic and Peptides you can push through skin, the more you are able to regulate hydration in the dermis and signal your own skin to accelerate Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid regeneration. Because estrogen/hormone decline dramatically slows down cell generation over time, our proprietary formulations seek to compensate for this.

Caire's Age-Empowering HA Complex includes the 'Tiniest HA Molecule in the World'. Which specifically means it's so ultra tiny it can naturally penetrate skin and serve to help replace some of the HA that is missing due to natural aging. The Complex also includes a bio-fermented peptide to signal your own body to produce more Collagen and HA on its own. The biofermentation makes the entire Complex more bioavailable to skin - meaning the skin can 'metabolize' (aka 'use') it better and works to go deeply into skin.

We understand you are sensing our ‘above and below’ Hyaluronic nutrition as a ‘barrier’. The highest weights rest on top of skin and literally pull moisture from the air to your skin, whereas our signature ultra-tiny weights help the serum to improve and plump skin from as deeply inside as can be done with a skin care product such as Caire. The sensation you are feeling is likely the Hyaluronic larger weights but please know they are nonetheless still very small in size and wouldn’t stop another product or product(s) to be effective.

Many of us use a Vitamin C serum, so I wanted to share more insights on how to use this particular type of serum.  A Vitamin C serum is designed to address oxidative damage (free radicals) and cannot by nature really pass the dermal barrier and therefore works more on the surface of skin. I use a Vitamin C serum from time to time. For application it is best to wait 30 seconds to a minute between Caire and the next serum. Caire is fast absorbing relatively speaking but not 'instant'.

So the general order of use of your products would be: 

  1. Cleanser  
  2. Toner  -- optional  
  3. Caire Theorem Serum  
  4. Vit C or other Serum  
  5. Moisturizer or Facial oil -- optional

I'd also like to mention that the Caire Serum is formulated to be used 2 times per day (2nd time can be afternoon or evening, there's no right or wrong at all in terms of when but feeding the skin more than once a day is a good thing!).

Since you mentioned the layering of products seemed challenging I wanted to also take some time to suggest some skin care alternatives if you find that the serum is creating what you feel might be a bit of a barrier.

The 1st workaround (and the most likely to be successful) is to stay with 2x daily use but to simply use less Serum each time. One of our Spokespersons (Jane, fashion stylist) has also experienced the ‘barrier’ you described, and this solution worked beautifully for her. For example, if you are using 2 dropperfuls, go to one or 1 or 1 and 1/3. If you are using one dropperful, go to 1/2 to 2/3. Then, make sure the Serum is allowed to dry thoroughly before adding another serum and/or moisturizer and/or sunscreen on top. Dr. Beth Goldstein, who is a dermatologist advisor to us, suggested ‘brushing your teeth’ in the interim so that your skin is properly dry before putting on the next product! So in other words, approximately a minute and half to 2 minutes between layering.

The 2nd workaround is to consider altering the order of application. I don’t know what other specific products you are considering but in general the order of use is from thinnest to thickest. It is true that our high performance Serum is a bit of an exception in that the Serum viscosity is quite rich (while carrying very small HA molecules and fermented peptides) which is why we typically recommend using our Serum over cleansed skin first. But you can certainly try another Serum under our Serum. In fact, Dr. Goldstein who I mentioned earlier does this herself. – Her routine is:

i) Skinceuticals CE Ferulic then,

ii)Caire Theorem Serum Boost then,

iii)Modern Ritual Sunscreen Moisturizer All in One (or Elta Pure Sunscreen). Dr. Goldstein demonstrates this in this TikTok video of her morning routine. 

This 3rd workaround is something I do myself. I Serum early in the morning and don’t apply sunscreen until close to leaving the house – this is dependent of course on your lifestyle. Alastin Hydratint sunscreen is my tinted sunscreen of choice, and it has never caused a tackiness issue but I did try Neutrogena again this year and that one does. So it may be the sunscreen formulation itself causing that tackiness. Mid-day (between 1 and 4pm-ish), I pat Caire Serum around key areas (with clean hands of course!!): around the eyes (including the eyelid), the forehead, upper cheek and around the mouth, especially above the lip line! My skin drinks up the Serum. So for you, you might want to try a mid-day application as an alternative 2nd application point. (Although for me, I still do a 3rd light Serum application in the evening after cleansing.)

And last but not least,Caire’s Theorem Serum Boost is not only safe but is in fact deliberately designed (a clinically tested hawthorn extract compound to help lift and reduce under eye purple circles) to boost the appearance of the ocular triangle (eyelid, under eye, outer eye aka crows feet areas).

A long note but I do hope our workarounds will be helpful to you and now many others.

XO Celeste Lee Co-Founder and Mature Skin Care expert


Caire Serum

1 Response

Wendy Nash
Wendy Nash

June 13, 2023

That was super helpful. I was wondering about the Caire serum or vitamin C first. Thank you for clarifying.

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