Correct Order Of Skincare Products

Updated: Jan 24, 2020

According to skin experts applying your skin care products in the proper order ensures that your skin receives the full benefit of each product.

By: Tatiana Cortes


Many of the skincare products have key ingredients we want the skin to absorb, but it’s a difficult task to penetrate the skin even if these products are formulated and perfectly applied. It’s a difficult task because the skin’s job is to keep things out, so if you don’t apply products in the correct order, your skin care regimen will not deliver best results. So, which product goes first or on top of what, you ask?


An easy rule of thumb to follow is that you want to first use the products with the ingredients that are most important to penetrate into the skin (antioxidants/serums) and finish with the products that need to sit on top of the skin (moisturizers).


Day routine is all about protection from the sun, the pollution and the elements, whereas the night routine should be all about treatment and giving your skin what it needs. So, here’s the best order of skin care products to make sure you get the most out of them:


Daytime Regimen



Step 1: Cleanser

In the morning, wash your face with a gentle face cleaner designed for your skin type. You need to wash your face before slathering on your products, to have a clean, oil- and grime-free skin for ingredients to properly absorb.


Step 2: Toner

The right toners are filled with gentle-hydrating ingredients to protect dry skin, or with chemical exfoliants to treat acne. Toners are meant to sit on your skin, priming your face for ingredients to better penetrate your skin.


Step 3: Antioxidant Serum

Serums are essentially just shots of extremely concentrated nutrients, hydrators, and antioxidants that really pump-up your skin health as soon as you apply them. Many of us skip this step, but they’re honestly the heavy lifters of your skin care routine. For daytime you wan to focus on vitamin C serums, which protect your skin from inflammation and damage caused by UV rays and environmental pollutants during the day, while also brightening skin and lightening your dark spots over time.


Step 4: Eye Cream

Usually lighter and thinner than face moisturizers, eye cream helps constrict and tighten puffy undereye and eyelid skin. Consistency is key, the use of eye cream over time will keep the eyelid skin elastic and can improve against some fine lines or collagen loss.


Step 5: Spot Treatment

Spot treatments can be used to treat dark spots, acne scars, and pimples. Dermatologists recommend applying these treatments only on the affected area to prevent irritation. You have to also make sure you apply them before your moisturizer, so they can really penetrate your skin and work their magic.


Step 6: Moisturizer

A moisturizer not inly infuses your skin with hydration, but also helps trap in all of the products underneath it to make the ingredients even more effective. Make sure to apply moisturizer around your spot treatments, rather than directly on top of them, so you don’t accidentally wipe them away. You can also get a moisturizer that has SPF in it (at least SPF 30), especially if you’re planning to skip step 7, which is applying separate sunscreen.


Step 7: Sunscreen

The absolute last step! Why? Sunscreen is there to protect your face and act as armor against the outside world. Unless you’re cool with premature aging, worsened acne scars, and an increased cancer risk – SPF 30 sunscreen is your new BFF for daytime skin care regimen.




Nighttime Regimen


Step 1: Cleanser

Skip the makeup wipes, they’re irritating and leave behind a layer of gunky residue that can break you out. First, take off your make up with a cleansing oil, then use a face wash to remove all the excess dirt and makeup.



Step 2: Toners, Essences & Booster

Use toner as you would use in the morning. At night some people like to use skin care boosters, these are infused with different active ingredients which purpose is mainly to hydrate and nourish skin. You can apply toner, then essence – Toner is more to clean and essence is more about delivering a treatment.


Step 3: Eye Cream

Aside from addressing crow’s feet and dark circles, eye creams can also serve to protect delicate eye area from your other skin products.


Step 4: Treatment Serums

Look for a serum filled with hyaluronic acid, which pulls water from the air into your skin to pump it up and keep it hydrated while you sleep.


Step 5: Night Cream or Moisturizer

Night moisturizers are generally thicker-heavier and designed to be absorbed over the course of several hours. Creating a protective coating on the skin to prevent water evaporation while you sleep – this is key for healing and maintaining healthy skin.

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