Correct order of your skincare routine

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Contrary to popular belief, how many products you incorporate into your skincare routine is far less important than the order in which you use them. No matter how many products are involved in your routine, using them in the correct order can directly impact how effective your regimen is. If you have many skincare solutions but aren’t sure how to use them, this guide will tell you what you need to know.

Why is it Important to Do Your Skincare in a Certain Order?

Primarily if you use more than two or three skincare products, the order in which you use them can determine how deeply each item’s active ingredients penetrate the skin. When you misapply them, you risk lowering their efficacy and failing to solve your skin issues.

How to Apply Skincare Products the Right Way

What skincare products are part of your routine will ultimately depend on your skin type. Assuming you have combination skin, below is a helpful blueprint to determine your product order.  

Step One: Cleanser

You want to start your skincare routine with a clean base—so removing dirt, dead skin, and makeup with a cleanser is a must. Cleansing oils can remove residue without stripping the skin, allowing products to penetrate deeply. 

If you have oily skin or are prone to breakouts, consider a water-based cleanser. In addition, those with sensitive skin should prioritize cleansers with low or neutral pH levels.

Step Two: Toner

Prime your face for the rest of your routine with a toner. These effectively remove excess dirt and skin cells after cleansing. If you suffer from oily skin, consider replacing your toner with an astringent containing a small amount of alcohol.

Step Three: Serum

Chock-full of antioxidants, nutrients, and hydrating ingredients, serums absorb best after applying your toner. Place a few drops on your face and neck, massaging the product gently into the skin.

While most tend to skip out on serums, their benefits are underrated—using one can reverse the effects of aging and correct hyperpigmentation and discoloration on the face.

Step Four: Spot Treatment

If you’re prone to blemishes or want to get rid of that one persistent acne bump, use a spot treatment after applying your serum. Because anti-inflammatory spot treatments can cause dryness, applying them after other hydrating products can keep your skin from becoming flaky and irritated.

Remember, your skin works hardest to repair itself overnight, so applying spot treatment in the evening might be more effective.

Step Five: Moisturizer

Regardless of whether your skin is dry or oily, using moisturizer is a must. Always apply moisturizer twice a day after spot treatment. For drier skin types, consider a cream or balm. Those with oily skin might fare better with a gel or fluid product.

If you’ve already applied four or five products beforehand, remember to apply a moisturizer with clean hands. 

Step Six: Retinol

If retinol is part of your routine, apply it on top of your moisturizer. Doing so can help dilute the product, which may benefit sensitive skin. 

Applying retinol towards the end of your skincare routine can boost collagen production and cellular exfoliation.

Step Seven: Sunscreen

A critical part of your morning routine is sunscreen, which blocks out damaging UV light and lowers your risk of melanoma. Topping off your skincare routine with sunscreen ensures that the rest of your products absorb properly. Avoid placing other products on top of your sunscreen—it may become diluted.

When stepping out of the house, apply your sunscreen within 15 to 30 minutes of leaving to allow it to penetrate the skin. If you’re spending an entire day under the sun, reapply your sunscreen every two hours to prevent sunburn.

Step Eight: Overnight Mask or Night Cream

While these products are optional, those with problematic skin might opt to use an overnight mask or night cream to top off their routine. A sleep mask can help seal in products you’ve already used underneath. 

The Bottom Line

While your skincare routine may not include as many steps as those listed above, applying each product in the right order can make all the difference. As a rule of thumb, applying products from thinnest to thickest may work out in your favor, but it’ll ultimately depend on your unique skin type.

For skincare products that promise fantastic results every time, shop Louis Widmer. We offer fine-tuned day and night treatments for every skin type.