Applying Your Skin Care in the Correct Order

Are you applying your skin care in the correct order? Are you sure about that? When it comes to your skin care routine, it can be confusing to know which product to apply first. I mean, if you don’t know any better…you might be applying your moisturizer before your serum and think all is well in your skin care regimen. Unfortunately though, if you don’t apply your skin care products in a specific order, you don’t get the full benefits of them. I know, it’s a bummer.

what order to apply skincare

Applying your skincare in the correct order gives your skin max benefits and helps you not waste what you spent your hard earned cash on. In order to allow your skin care to work for you, you need to apply it in the order of least molecular weight. For example, a serum is less molecular weight than a moisturizer, so if you were to apply the moisturizer first, the serum would not be able to pass through it to reach your skin. In other words, you wouldn’t get the max benefit of the serum.

Below can find a suggested list on how you should be applying your skin care.  I hope this helps you out!

Step 1 (Cleansing):

Hey lazy skin cleansing people out there, this is a crucial step! Cleansing your skin creates a clean slate for you skin to absorb additional serums and moisturizers. If you forgo this step, you mine as well not waste your time by applying any additional skin care.

Step 2 (Toner): Toners can be applied after you cleanse to clear out any leftover debris that might be blocking your skin from receiving other products.

Step 3 (Medicated/ Spot Treatments): Prescription skin care medicine or spot treatment skin care like Benzoyl Peroxide, and Retin-A can be applied next. These products need to be in clear contact with your skin so that they can work their absolute best.

Step 4 (Serums): After you cleanse, tone, and apply any medicated product, applying your serums is next. Serums are packed with tons of skin benefits that help with keeping your skin in good shape, so applying them to clean skin is really important. In general, serums are applied by their molecular weight: liquids first and gels second. If you aren’t sure what type of serum is best for you, using an antioxidant like Vitamin C and a Hyaluronic Acid in your routine is a great start. You would apply the Vitamin C fist and the Hyaluronic Acid second. You also should allow each serum to be absorbed into the skin for around two minutes prior to layering the next.

Step 5 (Eye Cream): Some people think that an eye cream is just a gimmick and something else to buy. But I am here to tell you that I would sell an eye cream to a 5-year-old if they would actually put it on. I have an almost 5-year-old, and I know that would never happen….so forget that. But seriously, you’re under eyes have the thinnest skin on the body, and they tend to gather wrinkles at a faster pace. You need a product that can address this issue along with being mindful that it’s in a delicate area that is close to the eyes.

Step 6 (Creams and Lotions): Creams and lotions should be applied over serums to give your skin the moist hydration. If it’s your PM regimen, this should be your last step and if it’s your AM regimen; step 7 is your final step.

Step 7 (SPF): During the daytime, using an SPF is crucial to keeping your skin in the best shape possible. You want to apply your SPF over your lotion, or use a lotion that already has SPF in it.

Applying your skin care in the correct order just helps you keep your skin in the best shape possible. Although these are the general rules for layering skincare, everyone has different skin story and should pay attention to what’s working and not working in their regimen.

What are your favorite skin care products to use daily and are you using them the correct way?


Note* There are affiliate links within this post, all thoughts and opinions are that of my own. See disclosure page for details. I am a licensed aesthetician, but if you have questions regarding your skin care routine, please seek out a professional in your area.

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