If you thought the order of applying your skin care products doesn’t matter, you couldn’t be more wrong. It does. Every product that is meant to care for the skin is designed in its own unique way. When these products are applied incorrectly, it prevents your skin from reaping the full benefits. Furthermore, you still end up wasting a potentially great product in the process. That means you may have the best skin care product in the world in your hands only to get unsatisfying results just because you did not nail down the correct order.
The Order Matters…. And Here’s Why
According to Dr. Heather Rogers, a board certified dermatologist and surgeon, applying skin care products for better skin in the correct order helps you receive the maximum benefits of each product. Without this, you are not able to see the best results from your daytime skin care regimen.
Step by Step Guide to Properly Layer Your Skin Care Products
So, where do you start? Which product goes on top of which and so on. Well, a simple rule of thumb to follow states that you first apply the product with the thinnest consistency and finish with the thickest. The thin-to-thick rule as you might call it. This means starting from liquid, mostly water and finishing up with creams, oils and serums. Make a point of checking the products with the highest priority ingredients concentration and start with them. This helps your body absorb vital ingredients like antioxidants and serums faster and clears the way for the next product in line.
Your morning routine should be all about protecting your skin from the sun, pollution and other elements. Make sure you leave your peel pads and treatment products like retinol for the night.
Step 1: Cleanse First
Start your daytime skin care routine in the morning by splashing your face using warm water. If you can, wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Most importantly, make sure that is right for your skin type to avoid any complications.
Step 2: Apply Toner, if You Must
Some people may skip toners for different reasons, with the most common reason being that they are a skin irritant. Luckily for us all, this is not the case anymore. Although they can’t physically shrink pores, a new breed of toners are designed with quality ingredients to serve multiple purposes. For instance, they act as a delivery system for vitamin B derivatives, antioxidants and even toning acids.
Additionally, most toners are designed for different skin issues. This means it is up to you to know the right one for your skin. If you are lucky, you may belong in a unique group of people that are able to skip a toner and still have beautiful and healthy looking skin. After all, toners were created to balance the skin’s pH after becoming basic mostly due to usage of harsh soaps. Nowadays, face cleansers can get the job done on their own as they are better balanced.
Step 3: Apply an Antioxidant Serum
Serums are vital for any effective skin care order and for good reasons. For starters, they are nutrient heavy, super concentrated treatments that address a variety of key skin concerns. For these reasons, it’s important to have a serum by your side at all times. Even better, there is a wide range of serums in the market to choose from. For your daytime routine however, always go for an antioxidant serum as it provides a range of benefits for your skin. Just to mention, an antioxidant serum is able to blunt your skin’s inflammatory response and also neutralize any damage caused by UV rays and other environmental hazards.
Step 4: Apply Eye Cream
We recommend you apply an eye cream every night, if not twice a day.
Dr Anna Guanche, another board certified dermatologist, says this is a step that you should never skip. She says eye creams work over time to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay.
If there is an age for using specific skin care products, then you should start applying eye creams in your 20s. Eye creams are designed to maintain the health and thickness of the eyelid skin. Improving your eye skin health is a proper anti-aging technique that allows you to maintain the laxity and smooth appearance of the eyelid area for years to come. Just like any other successful practice, consistency is key when using eye cream. Regular use keeps the eyelid skin free of fine lines, prevents collagen loss all while keeping its elasticity intact. You can make the eye skin even better when you use a sunscreen with the right SPF alongside your serum. Also, make a point of wearing sunglasses when outdoors to protect your skin from UV-light damage.
Eye creams also protect the eyes from lines that form as a result of squinting when staring at direct sunlight.
Next, Spot Treatment
Since most acne spot treatments differ in ingredients, you should keep an eye on your products packaging and instructions. If that doesn’t work for you, consult a dermatologist for some application advice. Dr. Diane De Fiori, a dermatologist from Rosacea Treatment Clinic, advices that acne spot treatments, like serums and prescription medications, should be applied as closest to the skin as possible to reap their full benefits. For instance, benzoyl peroxide, which is largely used as an ingredient in acne spot treatment, works great between 1-3 hours. Mixing it with an outside cream before the required time passes may inhibit this active ingredient from giving you expected results. Be warned however, an acne spot treatment may dry out your skin so make sure you only apply it on the spots that need it.
Step 6: Hydrate with a Moisturizer
It goes without saying, you need a moisturizer for your skin. Whether you have oily skin or not, and even though your skin can lubricate itself, moisturizing is still a vital step in many people’s full skin care regimen. Since our natural oil (sebum) may not be enough to protect the skin against harsh conditions and other unwanted infections, you will still need extra hydration.
Dermatologists and skin professionals agree that the best time to apply moisturizer is when the skin is still damp. This means the sooner you finish applying serum and treatment, the faster your skin can absorb some much needed hydrating moisturizer. A proper moisturizer or hydrating mask should get the job done for you.
Step 7: Sunscreen
This should be the last step in a well done daytime skin care routine. That is if you are using a physical or mineral sunscreen. There are few notable differences between physical and chemical sunscreens that will influence your choice. Unlike chemical sunscreens that have to be absorbed into the skin to be effective, a physical sunscreen works by blocking harmful UV rays physically.
This makes the choice more adequate for a day long regimen that involves other products. Even better, a dermatologists recommend a physical sunscreen with zinc as an ingredient. Zinc is considered safe and effective and provides a broader protection spectrum against harmful UV rays.
If you are loyal to chemical sunscreens, choose formulas that give you moisturizing benefits for your daily dose of hydration.
After all is said and done, the timing of application is important if your personal beauty routine is to work well. Many experts will also tell you to consider the time it takes for your skin to absorb your favorite beauty products. In our busy lives especially, this might not always be possible. The solution? Keep your routine simple, shop smart and get the beautiful skin you deserve.