serum 101

We just launched our first ever serum(!), and many of you have been wondering: how do you work a serum into your routine? What sets our serum apart from the rest? What makes our serum formula “clean”? What do serums even do? 

If you found yourself asking any of these questions, know that you aren’t alone. And at the risk of sounding like a fortune cookie, find the answers you seek below.

what do serums do? 

Generally speaking, serums are designed to be lightweight, deeply penetrative, and loaded with a concentrated dose of actives. Said actives are always meant to serve specific purposes, whether they be moisturizing, clarifying, supporting healthy aging, or something else entirely. For example, our serum’s main actives are vitamin C, which helps brighten the look of dark spots and promote an even tone, and sea grape caviar, which helps deeply hydrate skin. 

how do I work a serum into my routine? 

We believe in applying products in order from thinnest to thickest, to ensure the best possible absorption. For that reason, we recommend the following product order: 

1) cleanse

2) tone

3) essence

4) serum

5) moisturizer 

6) sunscreen (during the day)

While you don't have to wait to proceed to the next step between steps 1-4, we recommend letting the serum dry on your skin for 2-3 minutes before applying moisturizer and sunscreen.

why aren’t most serum formulas considered clean? 

At cocokind, we hold a high standard for cleanliness, both in formulas, and in the ingredients we use in them. When it comes to formulas, we believe in using only the ingredients necessary to achieve the performance we want - that means nothing extra,  nothing toxic, no fillers, and no fluff.

Serums formulated without concern for cleanliness are often centered around unsustainably produced, unnatural chemicals. They are also often packed with fillers and thickeners, that help create an attractive texture, but offer very few actual skin benefits. Finally, generally low quantities of “actives” are sprinkled into the formulas, instead of being used at potent, effective levels. These filler-full formulas offer an illusion of efficacy, without actually helping improve your skin long-term, if at all. Yes, this is certainly the less expensive way to formulate, but yikes.

what makes our serum clean? 

In our serum, and in every single one of our formulas, we use only responsibly-sourced ingredients, and organic ones whenever possible. We never use anything suspected to have negative safety, environmental, or social consequences. Ever. 

And since we don’t believe in using unnecessary fillers, every ingredient in our serum serves a critical function. You can find a full ingredient breakdown here

how does it feel? 

Our water-based serum features a lightweight, jelly-like texture. It absorbs quickly into the skin and smells like a combination of aloe and citrus.

what is the difference between a toner, essence and serum? do I need them all?

  • Toners remove any remaining impurities from the skin after cleansing and help to rebalance your skin's pH levels.
  • Essences are designed to contain higher levels of active ingredients in order to kick start hydration and prepare the skin for deeper absorption of serums and moisturizers to follow. (Think of your skin like a sponge - once cleansed and dried, a dry sponge cannot as easily absorb moisture compared to a slightly damp one.)                     
  • Serums are formulated to provide your skin with a highly-concentrated boost of hydration, antioxidants, and nutrients. Applying a serum after an essence will increase its effectiveness by allowing it to penetrate deeper. 

We consider our glow essence and our vitamin C serum to be sister products. While you're free to use either one separately, they make each other better when used together!

They're both formulated with deeply hydrating vegan sea grape caviar, but our essence improves absorption of the products (like serums) that you use after, while our vitamin C serum helps promote bright and even skin. 

when should I use it? will it make my skin more sensitive to the sun during the day?  

Use it twice a day, every day. We formulated our serum with sodium ascorbyl phosphate, which is one of the most gentle forms of vitamin C. For that reason, unlike many vitamin C serums, ours is completely safe for use day and night, without risk of increased sensitivity or irritation.

It’s also priced at $18, because we wanted this highly effective formula to also be accessible. And we can’t wait for you to try it!


we hope you found this helpful! as always, feel free to email or dm us on instagram with any questions!