Reasons Why your Serum is Not Working

reasons why your serum is not working

Just because it is popular doesn’t mean it would work for you. Yes, we are talking about skincare ingredients, specifically skincare serums. Many people claim that a certain ingredient does wonders for their skin issues, while you might not agree with the claim. For instance, people largely use salicylic acid treatment for acne or vitamin C for skin brightness, but the same ingredient might not have delivered the expected results on your skin.


So, what could be the possible reason for the failure of a skincare ingredient on your skin? To understand the logic behind this confusion, we have come up with this write-up, where we would discuss the possible reasons for not letting a skincare ingredient perform its job on your skin. 


So, if your serum is not working, don’t simply start cursing the formula because there could be other major reasons responsible for this failure. Let us take a look at these causes one by one.


Using Expired product

If the product is kept unused for 6 to 12 months, there is a chance that it might have expired. Your skin care products may also become ineffective if not packed properly. So, depending on the product’s packaging, its shelf life can be ascertained.


Furthermore, the biggest flaw is the unavailability of stability and efficacy tests, which is not mandatory for over-the-counter cosmetic products. Unfortunately, non-prescribed cosmetics are not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and because of this, consumers are unable to find out the expiry date of their product.


Inappropriate storage

When you store your products at the wrong temperature, they become ineffective with time. For example, according to expert dermatologists, storing your cosmetic products in the bathroom where you experience high temperatures due to hot showers would degrade the effectiveness of your product.


The products kept in overheated temperature may feel different on the skin, which also alters their result on the skin. In addition, overheated products may also cause skin irritation. Therefore, it is advised that you store your cosmetic products just like you store your food.


The product lacks enough active ingredients

According to a board-certified dermatologist, if a product doesn’t contain enough active ingredients, it won’t be able to target the skin issues appropriately. For instance, if the concentration of the component is too low, it won’t be able to reach deep into the skin, and thus, there will be no changes seen.


So, before you start talking about the ineffectiveness of a skincare ingredient, check the concentration stated on the packaging of your product.


Low-quality product

Every skin care product is different from the other. Even when the ingredients are the same, the difference still gets reflected in the product's price, packaging, and efficiency. So, how do we know which product is worth buying?


The product's efficiency could be known by its brand value and the way they pack products. For instance, open jar packaging can let a lot of oxygen get inside the formulation, destabilizing the active ingredient and making the product worthless. So, ensure that you don't invest your money in products with bad packaging.


A lot of people often get fascinated by discounted products or cheap-priced variants. You need to know that such cheap prices are often offered in exchange for quality. So, open your eyes wide before getting carried away by discounted items. 


Not layering your products appropriately

There are chances that you might be using the right product, but if you are not using it correctly, it won’t do good for your skin. Skincare experts suggest that applying the products in a particular order is as important as creating the proper skincare routine.


The same experts reveal that you should layer your skincare ingredients properly. For this, begin with the thinnest formulation and move towards the thickest ones. As a result, the product with light formula will easily get absorbed in the skin, which otherwise would have to struggle through the thick layer that you might have already applied to your skin.


Moreover, ensure keeping an adequate time gap between applying two skincare products. Let a product sink into your skin properly before giving it another layer. The most important part is to choose the right products together. For example, you cannot use retinol and AHAs on the same day. The best way is to consult an expert for a better understanding. 



Jaliman D. (2019). Personal interview.

Shainhouse T. (2019). Personal interview.