To get the most out of your skincare products, you want to put them on your skin in the right order. Some skincare products don’t mix well with each other or are harmful to your skin in the sun. To help you build a better skincare routine, this article will teach you how to layer your skincare products in the right order.
This article is going to discuss quite a few skincare products, but that does not mean that you need all of them for a successful routine. As a matter of fact, many people do well with just a cleanser, moisturizer, SPF, and the occasional spot treatment. Simple is sometimes better, and if you feel intimated by the thought of using all these products, don’t be! You do what’s best for your skin. But if you’re ready to get into the nitty gritty of skincare, let’s start by getting you familiar with three general rules.
- Water and oil don’t mix! You should apply water-based products before oil-based products because oils may prevent your water-based products from penetrating. In general, you should let a product absorb before applying the next one, and nowhere is that more important than here!
- Apply your products from thinnest to thickest. Using a thicker product before a thinner product can also reduce absorption. Start with thinner products like serums and toners and end with oils and moisturizers.
- You should apply low and high-pH products from lowest to highest, with acidic products coming first. Ideally, you’ll apply products that have a similar pH, but if the pH gap is more than 2.0, wait 30 minutes before applying a product with the next highest pH. However, if an oiler product has a lower Ph than a watery one, you can apply them at different times of the day.
Your cleanser is the ultimate foundation for your skincare routine. It will help you eliminate excess dirt and oils that build up during the day and while you sleep, so you should always start here. But if you wear makeup during the day, you’ll need to break out the micellar water or cleansing oils to help remove any lingering build-up. You’ll also want to avoid using cleansing wipes because they often have harsh ingredients and leave a soapy residue that’s hard to see. If you’re unsure what type of cleanser to use based on your skin type, everyone can benefit from a gentle, creaming cleanser, even sensitive skin.
Toners are essential the primers of skincare. While they come in many different formulas, they mostly give your skin a shot of hydration and help remove dead skin cells. Because of this, toners allow other skincare products to work more effectively by helping get rid of anything else that might block absorption. However, depending on your skin type and overall skincare goals, you may want to consider different formulations. As a general rule, everyone should avoid alcohol-based cleansers.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, use a hydrating toner with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid. If you have oily skin or are prone to breakouts, you need a cleanser that will unclog your pores like salicylic acid. Just remember, no matter which you use, check the active ingredients to make sure you’re not accidentally doubling up; this applies to all skincare products. For example, if your cleanser already has hyaluronic acid in it, you don’t need to double up with a toner that also has hyaluronic acid.
Serums are a great way to give your skin a concentrated amount of nutrients or antioxidants, such as vitamin C. The great thing about serums is that you can use more than one in a single skincare routine, depending on what you need. Say, for example, you want to use both vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serum–you can use both! But if you notice this combination may be a little too strong for you, you can use the vitamin C serum during the day and the hyaluronic acid serum at night.
We recommend that you check whether the serums you’re using cause your skin to be more photosensitive. For example, if you use a retinol-based serum in your routine, you should use it at night because it makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays and decreases the efficacy of the retinol.
Eye Cream: Day/Night
Your under-eye area is very sensitive and doesn’t contain the oil glands the rest of your face does to help keep the area moist. Additionally, it’s the most susceptible to fine lines, so you want to tread lightly when applying products to this area. And because we’re getting into the stages where you’ll apply heavier products, now is the time to put on an eye cream because they tend to be lighter. When applying your eye cream, use a slow and gentle hand to avoid pulling or pressing at the skin too much.
Specific Skin Treatments: Night
Your skin reaches its peak healing abilities at night between the hours of 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., which is why experts will tell you that good consistent sleep is a must. Whether you’re applying spot treatments, a skin peel, retinol, or benzoyl peroxide, night is the time to do it. You don’t want to apply these treatments before you moisturize because that’s just another layer the product must work through to get to your skin and do its magic. You should let the product sink into the skin for a few minutes before moving on to the next steps.
No matter your skin type, everyone needs to moisturize night and day. Your moisturizer will help lock in the active ingredients you’ve put on your face and ensure that it stays there. Additionally, a good moisturizer will help repair skin cells. Apply thicker moisturizers during the day because applying them at night can cause dead skin cells and dirt to cling to your skin as you toss and turn. Thinner moisturizers should be used at night so that your skin has time to absorb them before it rubs off on your pillow.
As mentioned previously, some active ingredients can cause your skin to become more sensitive to the sun, so sunscreen is a must. But, in truth, sunscreen is nonnegotiable for everyone. Sun damage is the leading cause of fine lines and dehydrated skin. If you want your skin to maintain that youthful glow, sunscreen can make a big difference. Additionally, most active ingredients tend to lose their effectiveness in the sun. When you protect your skin with sunscreen, you ensure that your entire skincare routine doesn’t become pointless.
Face Oils: Day/Night
It may sound counterintuitive, but facial oils are often the thickest part of your skincare routine, and oils, in general, are occlusives. In truth, oils don’t do a great job at moisturizing, but applying face oils last helps your moisturizer stay on. It acts as a protective barrier. And like we said before, oils should always go on after you’ve applied water-based products. Your face oil can easily penetrate the rest of your products, so any active ingredients included in the formula will work just fine.
Now that you know how to layer your skincare products in the right order, you’re ready to tailor a skincare routine that best suits your needs!