While having a dedicated skincare regimen is one of the keys to great skin, it’s only half the story. You also need to know the correct order to apply skincare products. Things like the texture of a formula or its active ingredients can impact where in your routine it needs to be applied.
Call it a ritual. A time tested method. The result of much toil, research, trial and error, it is what we’ve come to know as “The Skincare Routine.” Ladies, we have our skincare routines down to a science.
Although, as we get ever-busier, we trade portions of our regimen for a few more minutes of staying in bed in the morning. Exhausted, we forgo important steps at night in favor of returning to said bed, a survey by Simple Skincare found that only a pitiful number of us are practicing our regimen on the regular.
How to Apply your Skincare Products
If you are a double cleansing fan, as I am, you’ll want to use an oil cleanser or micellar water first to remove makeup and break down oils, and follow with a foam or gel cleanser to remove any residue. Look for a face wash with glycolic or salicylic acid to assist with exfoliation.
Cleanser should be gently massaged into the skin to stimulate the lymphatics and prepare the skin to accept delivery of active serum. Avoid using hot or cold water while
washing your face with lukewarm is just right. These should be frequently applied to dry skin and the point is to use that rich cleanser to get your makeup off, and then use a gel cleanser to get your skin extra clean. If you are doing a face scrub, that’s the last part of your cleansing process.
Whether you are spritzing your toner or using a cotton pad to rebalance the pH of your skin, always tone after washing your face. Think of toning as the last step in cleansing. Exfoliating cotton rounds for toner are perfect for gently lifting off dead skin cells and balancing the pH of the skin for optimal penetration of the skincare products.
The toner should be the last step of your cleansing routine. If you use a toner, this is where you do it. Pat skin dry and apply all over with a cotton pad, as toners are highly concentrated formulas that help balance the oils in your skin and remove excess impurities that remain after cleansing. It is important to look for one that compliments your skin type. For oily skin , try a pore minimizing toner that helps reduce shine and the appearance of enlarged pores. For normal-to-dry skin, try a gentle, alcohol-free facial toner that is formulated not to over-dry or strip skin of natural oils.
It’s ideal to target any skincare concerns like aging or acne at night, since most of the ingredients that treat these issues cause skin to be more sensitized to the sun. If your main hang-up is fine lines and wrinkles, use a serum with retinol in it or one with peptides, the chemical exfoliant will dissolve dead skin cells so pores look smaller and you’re overall tone will be more even. Basically, it will help prevent clogged pores and future breakouts, plus can minimize the appearance of dark spots from old blemishes. If you’re concerned about glycolic acid drying out or irritating your skin, go with a serum that’s also formulated with soothing, hydrating ingredients. Serums will be different from day to night. In the morning this step should include a
vitamin C serum to protect against environmental damage. At night this might be a glycolic acid product or a serum infused with plant peptides to stimulate collagen production.
- Eye Gel:
When it comes to aging, the eyes are the first to give you away, so taking care of the delicate skin around the eye contour is super important. Apply your eye gel before any moisturizer, hydrating the eye area with a specially formulated eye cream before active ingredients are applied to the rest of your face. Gently dab eye cream around the orbital rim with your ring finger. Eye-specific skin care will penetrate the thin skin quickly and also protect the delicate eye area from stronger ingredients needed for the rest of the face. And avoid swiping on eye cream too close to the lash line, as the product can end up in your eyes when picked up by your eyelashes. Every time you blink, the hairs will lift microscopic amounts of product, and it can eventually deposit into your eyes. Anything that enters the eyes can be an obvious irritant and cause unnecessary puffiness.
Nighttime is when you can use a moisturizer that’s richer than what you would typically use in the morning. “This will keep your skin hydrated throughout the nighttime and ready for the morning,” a myth regarding moisturizer is that oily skin doesn’t need it–this is not true! Oily skin just needs a lighter, oil-free moisturizer that can help control oil production, while still hydrating skin. Even if you have oily skin, it’s important to re-hydrate after cleansing. So grab your favorite moisturizer, and apply generously.
And your face is cleaned and totally dry from your treatments, apply your moisturizer all over your face and neck for optimum hydration and protection. Finally, don’t make the mistake of applying extra layers of moisturizer in an attempt to heal dry skin. Using thicker coats of moisturizer may result in clogged pores and definitely product waste; the skin can only absorb so much.
Sunscreen is the most important skincare product of all, and needs to be worn every day, year-round. I only recommend physical sunscreens that sit on the skin surface to reflect away the light (which is why they need to be your last skincare step). They don’t absorb into the bloodstream to cause hormone disruption, and at high enough concentrations, you know the importance of proper sun protection. Once all the other goodies have soaked in, slather on your sunscreen, and don’t forget your neck.
In conclusion; Products generally go from thinnest to thickest for application. Every product in your regimen should be completely dry before applying the next product. Each product should have a specific purpose that enhances the efficacy of the other products in your skincare ritual. Thanks