Optimal Order

How to layer skincare products for best results


Across the net, skincare gurus are all around showing off their intricate routines. From slugging to skincare cycling to glazed doughnut skin, skincare routines come in all shapes and sizes. Revolutions in skincare and key ingredients have enhanced our understanding of the skin, leading to a release of more efficient, effective, and irresistible products that work wonders for the face. When advising clients on getting the most out of a skincare routine, it’s all about layering up – and yes, order does count!

Lighter products seep into the skin while heavier products layer on top to protect the skin barrier and seal in moisture.

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How To Layer Skincare Products

The key point to remember when building a skincare routine is to go from light to heavy. Lighter products can seep into the skin while heavier products layer on top to protect the skin barrier and seal in moisture. While you don’t have to worry about this with standard steps like cleansing and toning, you do need to be mindful of order for things like moisturizers, serums, and sunscreen. So, how can you optimize a daily and nightly skincare ritual? 

The Ultimate Skincare Routine 

During the day, you want glowing skin that’s protected from all of the elements. Once the sun is down and it’s time to turn in, you want to cleanse the day away and indulge the skin with cell-regenerating retinoids. For skincare application orders for both day and night, here is the essential order from start to finish. 

1. Cleanse + Tone  

The first thing you should do to start (after coffee, of course!) and end the day is cleanse and tone the skin. This gives you a clean and refreshed slate. 

2. Serum

Serums tend to be lighter and seep into the skin more efficiently. After cleansing, apply serum and pat it in, giving it a few minutes to seep into the skin before moving on. 

3. Eye Cream 

Eye cream can make you look more awake even if you were up all night. After serum, dab some under and around the eyes lightly for an instantly brightened look. 

4. Moisturizer 

Moisturizers tend to be heavier than other products, taking a spot toward the end of askincare routine. Smooth it all over the face for a hydrated finish. 

5. Face Oil 

Using a face oil amps up skincare immensely. Post-moisturizer, add a few drops to the face, and push the product in for maximum effect. 

6. Sunscreen

(Daytime Only!) 

Last but not least (and never to be skipped!) is sunscreen. Never leave the house without it for protection from harmful UV rays and antiaging benefits. 

Nighttime Skincare

A product like retinol works to generate cell turnover and reveal new, fresh skin. Over time, users will notice smoother, more even skin tone with fewer fine lines and wrinkles. To boost skin overnight, add some retinol after moisturizer and before face oil. This will allow it to work its magic and seal in with a layer of oil on top for radiant skin first thing in the morning. 

Finding the Perfect Skincare Products for Clients

The good news is, there are a lot of products on the market. The bad news is, well, there are A LOT of products on the market! That can make choosing perfect matches difficult. While it might take some trial and error (samples are your friend!), here are some tips to try out when choosing. 

Tip #1. Know Skin Types

The first step is determining skin type: oily, dry, acne-prone, or combination – all of which have a wide selection of available products.

Tip #2. Keep An Eye On Ingredients 

Advanced and more natural ingredients are flooding the shelves, backed by a lot of in-depth research. Ditch products filled with harsh irritants and choose natural, more skin-loving ingredients. 

Tip #3. Seek A Pro 

When in doubt, encourage clients to consult a professional with any questions about treatments or skincare products. The pros usually know best!


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