Cleanser. Toner. Moisturizer. Serum. Eye cream. Sunscreen… Our skincare routines are getting longer and longer.
That’s because we’re always looking for new products to help us achieve the flawless skin we crave. But, using the right products is not enough. We also have to apply them in the correct order, IF we want them to work to their full potential.
But what comes first? Toner or moisturizer? Serum or sunscreen? Here’s a quick guide to help you:
THE RIGHT ORDER
Always wash your face first thing both in the morning and evening with a gentle cleanser suitable for your skin type. It removes dirt, oil and all the other impurities that prevent the skincare products we apply next from penetrating the skin as deeply as they should.
You don’t need to do this every day, unless your skin can tolerate that much exfoliation. Usually, 2 or 3 times a week are enough. Unless you have sensitive skin. Then, stick to just the once. But, do it. Exfoliation removes the dead cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin, and that make it so rough and dull. Once they’re off, skin is a lot smoother and brighter. And yes, skincare products can better penetrate the skin, too.
This step is totally unnecessary, but, I know a lot of you like to use a toner. A good one hydrates skin and prevent premature wrinkles.
4. Prescription Products
These are those products prescribed by your dermatologist that you can’t get OTC, like Renova or Retin A. You need to apply them before everything else because they need to penetrate the skin deeply to fix whatever issue you’re dealing with.
I love serums because they contain higher concentrations of active ingredients, so they’re able to treat dehydration, wrinkles, sun spots, and everything else you’re dealing with better and faster than moisturizers. They go before moisturizers because they wouldn’t be able to penetrate skin as well otherwise.
6. Eye cream
This is another unnecessary step a lot of us follow out of habit. The eye area doesn’t need any special ingredients, so your fave fragrance-free facial moisturizer would do. If you want to use a separate eye cream, apply that first. It helps keep the undereye area hydrated, smoother, and brighter.
It locks in moisture and all the other skincare products you have just applied, boosting their efficacy.
This one is tricky. Physical sunscreens can be applied before or after moisturizer. Chemical sunscreens, instead, need to interact with skin cells to be effective, so apply them to bare skin. That means once your serum has fully absorbed, or even before serum. Whatever sunscreen you pick, use it EVERY DAY. It helps prevent wrinkles, sun spots, and cancer.
Why This Order?
As a rule, products with a lighter texture should go first, and those with a heavier texture last. That’s because heavy textures, like those of moisturizers, tend to sit on the skin, creating a barrier that’s difficult for anything you apply next to get through it. So, if you apply serum after moisturizer, it wouldn’t be able to go very far.
I hope this helped you figure out the right order of application. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Are your applying your skincare products in the right order?