Finding the right skincare products that work for you can be complicated enough as it is. But perfecting your daily regimen gets especially tricky when you have tons of products in your vanity case all vying for your attention. Which product should you use first? In which order should your remaining products be used? Which ingredients work well together? How long should you leave each product on before applying the next? Yes, it can be challenging. Finding a product that works well on your skin is important, but the step-by-step order in which you apply them in your skin care routine is equally as vital.
As a general rule, products should be applied from the thinnest in consistency to the thickest. The reason behind this is because thinner products tend to have active ingredients which can only penetrate deep into the skin if there aren’t layers of thicker products underneath. It’s also best to let each layer be absorbed into your skin fully before applying another layer. A minute or two may be enough. This way, the products can deliver their benefits without disrupting the layers prior.
The first thing that you should do before applying any skincare is to cleanse your face. Always start with a clean canvass that’s free from makeup, dirt, or any skincare residue. Some may argue that there’s a bit of a one-fits-all approach when it comes to cleansers and that anything that suds up and cleans will do the trick. However, that’s not always the case. People who have dry skin should opt for cleansers that have ingredients that aim to boost moisture, such as glycerin and ceramides. Those who have oily skin should choose gel-based formulas, but avoid those that are too strong and dry the skin up.
Not all facial cleansers have been created equally and not all will be beneficial to your skin, so choose one that can cater to your skin’s needs.
Immediately after you cleanse (and gently pat your face dry) should come the toner. A toner can make a big difference in your skin care routine. Not only because it can be used for double-cleansing, allowing you to wipe off the makeup and dirt residue that your cleanser may have missed, but it can also help your skin better absorb the next products that you’re going to apply. Be sure to always look for alcohol-free toners that have clarifying and anti-aging benefits.
Now, this part of your skin care routine is where the fun starts. Serums! What would we do without these magical liquids? Serums are designed to address specific concerns on your skin like wrinkles, acne, hyperpigmentation, and a host of other potentially problematic skin issues. Since these types of products are highly concentrated, they perform better when applied as close to your skin as possible. Hence a serum should always be applied straight after cleansing and toning. If you feel you have way too many serums in your skin care arsenal, that’s okay too. Try to only use one or two at a time to allow for the ingredients to really work your skin but then be open to changing up the serums every now and then based on what your skin needs on any given day. Feel empowered to assess your skin and choose the products that are right for what your skin needs then and there. Most serums even have effects that increase the effectiveness of other products, making it the perfect primer for the rest of your skincare.