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In What Order Should I Apply My Skincare Products?

Have you ever purchased a new product, read the directions and were confused or mislead on the best way to incorporate into your routine? You’re not alone! Order and application play a big part in maximizing the efficacy of each product to reap the full benefits each has to offer.

While each product line may have different formulas there are general standards for order of application. The order stays the same regardless of where you fall on the skincare regimen spectrum (minimalist/essentialist/enthusiast).

AM Routine:

Cleanse/Tone/Treatment Serums (thinnest to thickest)/Eye Cream/Moisturizer/SPF

PM Routine:

Cleanse and cleanse again (see our blog on double cleansing)/Tone/Treatment Serums (thinnest to thickest)/Eye Cream/Moisturizer

*for glazed donut effect press a facial oil over your moisturizer

PM Weekly Exfoliating Routine:

Cleanse and cleanse again/Exfoliate/Mask/Tone/Treatment Serums (thinnest to thickest)/Eye Cream/Moisturizer

*Exfoliating and masking in the evening is a great way to treat yourself to a mini facial and allowing your skin to rejuvenate after with a good night’s sleep. If you prefer to do this in the morning that is okay as well.

Cleanser – applying products to clean skin allows the active ingredients to have a clean base and penetrate the skin and work more efficiently.

Toner – toning balances the skin’s pH making it more susceptible to the active ingredients in treatment serums in addition to providing extra nutrients to the skin.

Serums – the powerhouses in any skincare routine! Serums are usually concentrated with result driven ingredients to help maintain and transform the skin. It’s important to remember serums do not replace moisturizers.

Eye cream – the skin around the eye is more delicate than the rest of the face. Eye creams or gels tend to be formulated in a way to pack a punch without irritating the eye area.

Moisturizer – applying moisturizer provides more nutrients and result driven ingredients for the skin in addition to locking in moisture. A lot of people with oily skin think skipping moisturizer will help with the oil when in reality it does the opposite. If you do not moisturize your skin it will produce hydration on its own by producing oil. You read that right… applying moisturizer will help balance oil production, not make it worse.

SPF – the number one variable in accelerated aging is sun damage, not to mention skin cancer (which is a topic on its own). If you are spending money on treatment serums and night creams but you are not protecting your investment by wearing sunscreen everyday it’s one step forward and five steps back. Think of SPF as the thing protecting your investment in your skin.

Exfoliant – your skin naturally exfoliates itself through a process called cellular regeneration. Old cells are pushed to the surface and sloughed off allowing fresh skin to be exposed. As you age this process slows down and can cause a buildup of dead skin on the surface. Exfoliating 1-3 times a week helps to regulate this process and allows fresh skin to absorb all the beneficial ingredients being applied.

Mask – applying a mask is a great way to support and boost all of the results you are getting from your treatment serums and moisturizers that are applied every day. Masks can hydrate, balance oil production, brighten, smooth and even calm the skin for a boost a few times a week.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to develop a regimen that suits your lifestyle and needs. A minimalist routine will be short yet efficient, an essentialist routine will have a few more steps to enhance overall results, and an enthusiast routine will include some indulgences in the overall experience. When speaking with your trusted skin care professional be sure to communicate your lifestyle and needs so expectations can be met from each of you.

Enjoy using all of your lotions and potions!