Taking care of your skin sometimes requires you to use several products at once. Whether it’s moisturizer, skincare toner, sunscreen, or serum, your order of using your skin care products can determine their effectiveness. Below are the best ways to layer your skin products:
How To Layer Skincare Products
Layer your skincare products from lightest to heaviest in consistency. If you start with heavy products first, they may keep the lighter products from getting absorbed into your skin.
Starting with light products can enable your skin to better absorb every product you use, allowing you to benefit from each. Layering your skincare products can also allow their active ingredients to work effectively.
The exception to the lightest to thickest rule is oil and sunscreen. Even though oils have a heavier consistency than sunscreen, they should always go first. Sunscreen can come last after all other products.
This is because it is a barrier between your skin and UV rays. Applying moisturizer on top of sunscreen may alter its properties, interfering with its ability to shield your skin from UV damage.
If you use a chemical sunscreen, your skin needs to absorb the ingredients so they can protect your skin. You should apply it before your moisturizer. Mineral sunscreens can be a physical shield from the sun and should come last.
The General Order of Skincare Applications for Common Products
Always cleanse your skin before applying products to it to clear out pore blockages that may prevent your skin from absorbing skincare products. No matter your skin type, use a gentle cleanser to avoid aggravating your skin and disrupting its natural pH level. The only time you should use a more aggressive cleanser is to remove makeup.
A skincare toner prepares your skin to absorb other skin care products, so it should come first after cleansing. Most toners today either have hydrating ingredients to prime dry and sensitive skin or chemical exfoliants to treat bumps on the skin.
Toners filled with BHA (beta hydroxy acid) or AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) work best for people with oily or acne-prone skin since they unclog the skin. Go for a hydrating toner if you have dry skin. Toners come first in both your day and night skincare routines.
Serum comes after toner for both morning and night skincare routines. Serums have active ingredients that can target specific skin issues such as wrinkles, blemishes, and hyperpigmentation. When buying a serum, check the bottle to see what skin problem it helps with.
Serums are lighter than moisturizers and penetrate the skin deeply if applied first. You want the active ingredients in your serum to get absorbed into your skin before other products for optimal efficiency. Serums are not mandatory for skin care, but applying a serum can level up your skincare and boost your skin’s health.
Apply your moisturizer after your serum to lock in all those active ingredients. A good moisturizer can keep your skin hydrated. It can protect it from the elements and allow smooth makeup application. To remain healthy, your skin barrier must be constantly moisturized, so apply your moisturizer at least twice daily.
You can apply the same moisturizer in the morning and at night. If you often forget sunscreen, use a moisturizer with SPF during the day. Use a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer for oily skin and a thick creamy moisturizer for dry skin to promote maximum hydration. A hypoallergenic moisturizer can work best for sensitive skin.
Since sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s UV rays, it is only necessary for your daytime skincare routine. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen (which can protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of at least 30.
Because mineral sunscreen stays on top of the skin, it may wear off after some time, especially when you sweat or go swimming. Reapply mineral sunscreen every few hours to protect your skin from the sun all day.
Other Skin Products
You can also use spot treatment a night, but only if you do not use retinol, as using the two simultaneously might irritate your skin. If your nighttime skincare includes retinoids, apply them after moisturizer and finish with an oil to seal all the skincare ingredients in your skin.
The Best Skincare for You
Layering your skincare products correctly can be the best way to maximize their benefits. You should use products tailored for your skin for optimal skin health. Whether you are buying a skincare toner, serum, moisturizer, or sunscreen, consult a skin care expert to know what works best for your skin.