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How to Layer Your Skin Care Products: A Step-by-Step Guide

10 March 2021
The order of application of skincare products is very important. If you don’t apply products in the correct order, you will not see the best results from your skin care routine. So which product goes on top of what? An easy rule of thumb to follow is to apply your products with the thinnest consistency to thickest, since thinner products can’t penetrate thicker products.

STEP 1: CLEANSER 

For products to penetrate you need clean skin. Skip the makeup wipes  and opt for a cleansing oil, which dissolves all makeup without stripping your skin. Then follow up with a gentle, creamy cleanser. 

Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil

STEP 2: TONER

A lot of people choose to skip toners, partly because in the past  most toners contained harsh ingredients like alcohol that can irritate the skin. Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore. The new breed of toners can serve multiple purposes, like act as a delivery system for antioxidants, vitamin B derivatives and even toning acids. Additionally, each type of toner is intended for a different skin issue, so it’s important to use the right kind for your skin concern. If you have very oily skin, look for a toner filled with either BHA (beta hydroxy acid, like salicylic acid) or AHA (alpha hydroxy acid, like glycolic acid or lactic acid), which work to unclog pores, prevent breakouts, and dissolve blackheads over time. 

STEP 3: SERUM

A great ingredient to look out for is Vitamin C which is frequently found in serums. It is like an energy drink for your skin, protecting your skin from the inflammation and damage caused by free radicals during the day while also brightening skin and lightening dark spots over time. 

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum

Another great ingredient is hyaluronic acid which attracts water to the skin. Great for all skins.

STEP 4: EYE CREAM

Use an eye cream at least once a day starting in your 20’s. Increase it to am and pm in your late 20’. Eye creams tend to be lighter and thinner than face moisturizers, so make sure to apply them before your creams and oils.

Regular use of eye cream over time will keep the eyelid skin elastic and can improve or prevent against some fine lines or collagen loss.  Nothing is magic. Results don’t occur overnight.

Olay Brightening Eye Cream

STEP 5: MOISTURIZER

Everyone needs a moisturizer, even if you have oily skin because it’s the only thing that’ll keep your skin barrier. It also infuses your skin with hydration but also helps trap in all the products underneath. Some people use the same moisturizer for day and night. However, night creams are generally thicker and heavier and designed to be absorbed over the course of several hours.

RoC Retinol Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Day Cream SPF 30

Step 6: Face Oil

Face oils are occlusive, meaning they seal in all the ingredients and moisture you just applied to your face to keep them from evaporating as quickly. When you layer oils over products, they help increase your routine’s efficacy while also leaving skin soft and smooth. Just make sure to always, always, apply them last. No product can penetrate an oil, always applied last.

Trilogy Rosehip Oil

Step 7: Sunscreen

Ok, sunscreen is the absolute last step. Oils are still working to penetrate and treat your skin, which is why they would go last in your skincare routine, but sunscreen isn’t trying to penetrate anything—it’s there to protect your skin.

Unfortunately an SPF 15 in your foundation or moisturizer isn’t good enough, the absolute bare minimum SPF you need on your face is SPF 30. You will thank me for it in a few years’ time! 

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