We get asked ALL the time, ” Is there a correct order to applying skin care? ”
Yep, there is!
We cannot emphasis enough how super important it is to layer your skin care products correctly, especially if your routine is as extensive as ours !
- Products won’t penetrate properly if the order is out of whack. If you’re putting water based or thin products on top of thick or oil based products, you’ve basically created a barrier and the thin products won’t be able to reach the essential layer of the skin to treat it!
- You may be causing harm to your skin or creating new skin ” issues”. Applying serums on top of oils could leave your skin dry and dehydrated, since not enough water is reaching your skin. If you’re applying oils or serums on top of your sunscreen, you’ve basically voided the sunscreens ability to protect you and you may be causing premature aging.
Here’s the layering process we use for our night time routine, to ensure our skin is always radiant, healthy and free from pesky zits and blemishes ! Just remember, since everyones skin is vastly different you may not need to use all the products we’ve listed so adjust to meet your needs.
1+ 2 Double Cleansing
First cleanse is always a cleansing balm to remove surface grime such as sunscreen, sweat, makeup, and other impurities that may have accumulated on the skin throughout the day. A cleansing balm should have a good mix of anti-aging ingredients such as rose hip and açai fruit oils and should be free of parabens and formaldehydes. A cleansing balm comes in a solid form but when rubbed onto the skin transforms into a soft luxurious oil.
Second cleanse ( hence why it’s called double cleansing) is always a water based cleanser that penetrates deeper into the pores to remove any dirt or bacteria caught in the pores. When using a water based cleanser, it’s best to cleanse for at least 60 seconds to ensure you are benefiting from the array of ingredients in the product. Don’t rush this step!
You should be exfoliating your skin at least 1-2 times per week to get rid of dead skin build up, oil and other impurities you may not be seeing in the mirror. Exfoliating also unclogs pores, smooths skin texture and enhances absorption of skin care products.
Exfoliating really is the key to glow-y, luminous skin!
There are two types of exfoliating products on the market: Chemical and Physical.
Chemical exfoliating works from within pores to help loosen and remove dead skin cells, bacteria and other really gross stuff!
Physical exfoliation uses grainy ingredients that slough off skin ( think back to early 2000 when EVERYONE was using St.Ives Apricot Scrub) .
We prefer to use chemical exfoliation every other day and only at night as the sun can irritate the skin. At times physical exfoliation is necessary when we notice our skin needs just a bit of extra T.L.C. that day !
We love toners over at Makeup By Maha Matar! They really are a necessary addition to any routine and come with so many benefits; restores your skin’s pH balance, is a great way to add active ingredients like retinoids, antioxidants and exfoliants to your existing products , and minimizes the look of pores! You do not need to wash off the toner, however, you should let it dry before applying the next product.
An essence is a cross between a toner + serum. Toners balance the skin, serums treat the skin and an essence product will hydrate/treat the skin. Essence products are super popular in Korean skincare and now have a massive following in the US and Canada. Korean essences usually contain an active ingredient that optimizes your skin’s natural cell turnover rate. A good trick we learned from our fave Korean website “SOKO GLAM” ; never apply the essence to a cotton pad as it’s fairly watery, instead, transfer the product to a spritz bottle and spray directly onto your face. Like toner, essences do not need to be rinsed off, however, should dry before applying the next product.
Face serums are lightweight moisturizers that penetrate deeper to deliver active ingredients into your skin. Serums can boost the effects of other products you are using and tend to be pricier than other products because they can target specific concern and are full of powerful ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, and ceramides that deliver results. According to my fave online beauty site ” Into The Gloss” there are two types of serums:
“You have the water-based serums and oil-based serums. Water-based serums go under the cream and they are so important. They nourish the inner layer of the skin because the molecule is very small so it penetrates. The oil-based serums (aka Face Oils) go on top of the moisturizer because they have a bigger molecule. They’re supposed to keep the cream and whatever you put underneath moist during the entire day/night.”
7 Eye Cream
An eye cream is not really a necessity, however, can be beneficial if you use a product with a good mix of ingredients. We use eye creams that contain retinol or hyaluronic acid to combat the signs of aging .
This is the step where you can treat specific concerns such as enlarged pores, wrinkles , and dark spots. You can use a product that contains, niacinamide, which is also an antioxidant, and treats pigmentation, wrinkles, acne, redness and dryness. Vitamin C for brightening, fading dark spots and even building collagen. Approach this step with caution as some ingredients do not mix well together so please ensure you research carefully.
Retinol has been dubbed as a “miracle product in achieving youthful, radiant skin”. It’s a vitamin A derivative and works by increasing collagen production as well as increasing the rate of skin cell turnover.
We wanted to highlight retinol as an individual step as there are so many questions surrounding this potent, active ingredient. We wanted to emphasize that you can use retinol after a moisturizer if your skin is extremely dry or even before a moisturizer as we have it listed. Retinol has been known to dry out the skin, so if you’re prone to dryness it’s a good idea to use after a moisturizer to prep your skin for reitonol.
As well, many brands recommend you use a pea sized amount and only use it once to twice a week to start. Many skincare experts and doctors recommend you use Retinol at night as your skin can become uber sensitive to the sun. As well, it’s recommended that if you are using Vitamin C, then it’s best to use it in the morning and Retinol at night.
Remember, these are active ingredients and if not used accordingly to manufactures instructions you can cause sever damage to your skin.
A good rich moisturizer is an absolute necessity in a morning and night skin care regime! The well formulated moisturizer will boost hydration, prevent flaky skin from occurring, and creates a protective layer of moisture that hopefully lasts all day!
11. Face Oil
Oils are packed with essential fatty acids and antioxidants. They penetrate the skin to protect and enhance while building a stronger lipid layer. We prefer to add a few drops of face oil in our moisturizer or serums. It’s super easy to go overboard with face oils, so use 3-4 drops max.
With so many oils on the market, how do you choose the correct one? This is another question we get asked a lot.
Well here’s a quick rundown of oils:
Agin Skin: Rose hip seed or Argan oil
Dehydrated/dry skin: Argan, Jojob, Maracuja, or Marula oil (our fave!)
Oily/acne prone skin: jojoba, tea tree oil