Applying Your Skin Care in the Correct Order

Applying you skincare in the correct order is important when it comes to having healthy skin. In my experience, loads of people just apply their serums and moisturizers with out much of a thought and hope for the best.  When it comes to your skincare routine, it can be confusing to know which product to apply first for your morning and night routines. 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 skincare regimen. Unfortunately though, if you don’t know the order of skincare products and how to apply them, you don’t get the full benefits. I know, it’s a bummer.

Here is the order for applying skincare with tips and tricks on getting the most out of your skincare regimen.

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 skincare to work for you, whether it’s for acne or anti-aging, 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 skincare. I hope this helps you out, friends!

General Order of Skincare Products

Want to know the order to apply skincare products? Check out this list by beauty and lifestyle blogger, Kendra Stanton and click through for even more skincare tips and tricks!

Step 1 (Cleansing): Hey lazy skin cleansing people out there, this is a crucial step! Cleansing your skin creates a clean slate for your skin to absorb additional serums and moisturizers. If you forgo this step, you mine as well not waste your time by applying any additional skincare. If you want a really deep cleanse, check out the Clarisonic or this less expensive version. You also want to make sure to double cleanse your skin! This helps to first remove the junk the your skin like makeup, and then the second cleanse helps to get deeper into your pores.

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. Check out the Mario Badescu Toner for adding radiance, clarity, and balance to your skin.

Step 3 (Medicated/ Spot Treatments): Prescription skincare medicine or spot treatment skincare 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. Check out the Insta Natural Retinol serum –has over 2k positive reviews on Amazon and rates a 4/5!

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 before layering the next

Here are a few of my favorite serums to try!

Step 5 (Oils): Skincare oils have become a major beauty essential for skincare routines. If you need the added hydration, you want to make sure that you apply them after your serum and the molecules are typically larger. Some of the best skincare oils are from Beautycounter! But you can also check out Drunk Elephants Virgin Marula Oil .

Step 6 (Eye Cream): Some people think that 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 7-year-old if they would put it on. I have an almost 7-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. If you want a good anti-aging eye cream, check out the Rosehip Hibiscus Eye Cream. It has over 4k reviews and has 4.5 stars and its non-toxic and under $20!

Step 7 (Creams and Lotions): Creams and lotions should be applied over serums to give your skin the most 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. Try Vital C Hydrating Repair Cream (under $60) and the Beautycounter Tri-Peptide for anti-aging. For daytime, the Beautycounter Nourishing Day Cream is perfect for added hydration that won’t leave you greasy feeling.

Step 8 (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. You can check out all of my favorite SPF’s and Sunscreen tips and Tricks here.

Applying your skincare 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.

Applying Your Day Skin Care in the Correct Order

Depending on your skin type, you may or may not need all of these products. But in general, for the order in which to apply what you have for your routine, this is it!

  1. Cleanser (make sure you double cleanse)
  2. Medicine like benzoyl peroxide, sulfer, salicylic if you need them. (Do not put Retinol on your skin during day.)
  3. Serums
  4. Skincare Oil
  5. Eye Cream
  6. Daytime Lotion
  7. SPF

Applying Your Night Skin Care in the Correct Order

This is a general night skincare routine. With that said, you may or may not have all of these products, but if you do, awesome! Here are the order of skincare steps.

  1. Double Cleanse
  2. Medicine like Retinol
  3. Serums
  4. Skincare Oil
  5. Eye Cream
  6. Night Cream

What are your favorite skincare 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 skincare routine, please seek out a professional in your area.

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