Moisturizers, toners, Vitamin C, serums, does it matter which one you apply before the other?
The answer is an absolute yes.
You may have an assortment of products that all have beneficial ingredients for your skin; however, you still ask the question.
“What order will work best for my skincare routine?”
This question can come up in different instances. You probably got a new product that you have not used before, like essence, and wonder where it fits in your skincare routine. Perhaps you are building a skincare routine from zero and can’t quite figure out a logical way to organize the multiple products you are slowly purchasing. Worry no more, here is a comprehensive and straightforward guide to organizing your products and layer them during application for best results.
Let’s begin by understanding the importance of the correct layering of skincare products. The fundamental role of the skin is to protect your body and internal organs from the external world. It only allows very few ingredients to penetrate. A well-organized skincare routine comes in handy; it will enable the beneficial ingredients to penetrate.
The incorrect layering of skincare products could result in the ingredients not penetrating the skin. It often occurs when you apply the thin products on top of the thicker ones. These viscous products form a barrier preventing anything from penetrating. In such a case, the products will go to waste as they are not fully utilized, hence losing their benefits. Also, some products are not to be used close to each other; this could result in unwanted chemical reactions or deactivation of some products. In the end, the skincare routine will not be as effective as intended. Incorrect layering could even result in harming your skin. For instance, if you applied serum over oils, it is possible to lead to drying out your skin since not enough moisture will be reaching the surface.
With this understanding, here are the basic rules to keep in mind for your skincare steps.
- The Consistency rule: This is where you move in the flow of thinnest to thickest in consistency. Begin with the watery products such as toners and serums, then move to the heavier and moisturizing ones such as oils and creams.
- The Product’s function: Always keep in mind what the product is supposed to do or the role it is intended to play. Certain products are meant to prepare the skin for the whole routine. They assist in the absorption of subsequent products. The finishing products are always sealing products; they are barriers such as sunscreen.
With that said, let’s get into the actual layering process. This process is the recommended order of layering your skincare products for the best results.
Some skin types do well with a simple wash with water alone. If you have oily or combination skin where excess oil may be on your skin, a cleanser will do great at clearing that out. Using a cleanser also helps clear out any residue left on your skin from the products used the previous night in your nighttime routine. For a cleanser, it is wise to pick one with a non-drying effect.
Toning is a step that is often skipped or left out in skincare routines. Toners are usually packed with antioxidants and hydrating elements, essential at conditioning the skin after cleansing. Toners play a crucial role in balancing the skin’s pH level after cleansing and revealing fresh, rejuvenating skin.
Step: Moisten a round of cotton with your favorite Gold Elements toner and gently wipe over your face and neck.
The importance of applying essence is to hydrate and prep the skin for the steps that follow in your routine. The essence promotes ingredient absorption; therefore, one with a lightweight consistency will boost the skin’s moisture retention. If you want the most benefits out of your routine, then this will work correctly. It is recommended to use and essence in both your morning and nighttime routines. It’s also suggested to splash a bit of essence on your skin in the day to freshen up. Remember, the essence comes after cleansing and toning but before serums.
Step: Put a few drops of essence into your palms, rub gently to warm your hands then press gently into the skin.
Serums are often left out since you might not be too sure of their role. You probably have some gathering dust in your cabinet. Well, its time to dust them off. Serums are extremely concentrated hydrators, antioxidants, and nutrients useful for the skin.
With this understanding, you now see the importance of applying the essence before the serum. Serums are very rich in antioxidants making it absolutely essential to prepare the skin to absorb. If you have specific skin concerns you would like to address, applying the serum at the targeted will bring forth results quickly. Dermatologists recommend the Vitamin C serum for its ability to protect your skin from inflammation and damage caused by harmful elements during the day. It also brightens the skin and lightens dark spots over time. However, because it is highly concentrated, it’s recommended to use it every other day rather than daily. Following up with a facial oil will seal in the active ingredients and boost hydration, although this is optional.
Step: Apply the serum into your palms and gently pat it into your face and neck.
For the facial oil, place three to four drops in your palm, gently rub to warm the oil, then press it onto your skin with an open palm.
As mentioned in last week’s blog, even with oily skin, hydrating, and moisturizing are essential. A moisturizer locks in the moisture and supports the natural skin barrier keeping it healthy-looking. Aside from infusing hydration, moisturizers help lock in all the other products applied underneath, making them more useful.
Step: Apply moisturizer after serum while your skin is still damp to help lock in the moisture and Ingredients applied.
The eye area is very delicate; it’s the area that shows the first signs of aging on your face. You do not want to leave it out in your skincare routine. You can apply eye cream before or after your moisturizer, depending on the consistency of the two. If your eye cream is lighter than your moisturizer, then apply eye cream first. If vice versa, where your moisturizer is lighter, then apply eye cream after. Remember the rule of thumb that we mentioned earlier; always move in the flow of thinnest to thickest.
Step: Apply a hydrating eye cream and gently pat into the area around the eye socket to target fine lines. Also, pat into the undereye area.
Sunscreen (Daytime Routine)
In your daytime routine, never forget the sunscreen. It should be your last step. Its purpose is to block the harmful effects of the sun from affecting your skin.
Step: Choose a moisturizer that contains sunscreen to avoid making your face feel heavy since the next step is make-up application. Your sunscreen should always have SPF of 30 or higher.
Night Cream (nighttime routine)
If you do not an overnight face mask, then a hydrating night cream will be the perfect final step.
A common mistake made is the assumption that night creams are the same as moisturizers. Night creams are quite different from moisturizers in that they are thicker and heavier than moisturizers. This allows them to fully seal the serums and protect your skin from losing moisture during the hours you are asleep. In one of our previous blogs, we mentioned that the skin is most active at night repairing cells, making it absolutely essential to apply a night cream to ensure the nutrients assisting this repairing process are fully locked in.
Now with this knowledge, do you feel confident to put your products in order?
Here is a bonus tip, literally organize the products in this order to assist you when picking them up during application, in that they will be in the order in which they are applied on your skin.
Try out these easy steps and don’t forget to share with us on our social media platforms on how having a clear layering process is working for you.