If you’re tired of not seeing results from your skincare routine, the problem might lay in what order you are applying them to your face. Skincare routines might feel overwhelming at times and that is why we created this step-by step post to guide you in what is the correct order to apply skin care products (for both your day and night beauty care regime).
Moreover, understand what each product does for your skin and what are their benefits.
At the end of the post you can download a skin care printable for you to always remember these steps and each product’s benefits.
Skin Care 101 for Beginners
Hi girls, how are you today?
Are you wondering what is the correct order to apply your skin care products?
Nowadays, with so many skincare items such as toners, serums, moisturizers, etc, it can easily get overwhelming to know what the correct order to apply your skin care products is.
Today we will go over basic skin care routine steps (for both morning and night skin care habits, of course).
For a more in-depth understanding of what each product is, be sure to read 10-steps Korean Skincare Routine, Explained (a post where I walk you through what is the Korean skin care routine and the order to apply each product).
Ready to set your daily skin care routine at home?
Why is it important to apply your skin care products in order?
Did you know that the order in which you apply your skincare products matters almost as much as what you’re putting on your face?
This is because if you apply certain products in the wrong order, they could render ineffective or simply not work as well as they should (and that is a big YIKES, especially if you invest $$$ into your skin care items).
If you’re new to the skincare world or if this is a bit overwhelming, download the skincare routine checklist for both your morning and night skin care application. Print it out and place it next to your bed or bathroom mirror so you never forget.
Now lets move on to learning all about the correct order to apply skin care products.
A simple trick to know the correct order to apply skin care products
A good rule of thumb is to apply products from thinnest to thickest – toner, serum, moisturizer, oil.
How to Correctly Layer Products in Your Skin-Care Routine
Below is the bare-minimum skin care routine that you should follow every day. I will list the correct order for each product application and then I will explain what each of these does for your skin.
- Spot treatment
- Eye cream
- Sunscreen (AM only)
The Correct Order to Apply Skin Care Products, Explained
As the name says it all, this is a super important first step in both morning and night skincare routines. Applying your products to a clean face will improve their absorption and effectiveness.
Depending on your skin type, you might only need to rinse your face with warm water in the morning. If you have acne-prone skin, a face wash with a proper soap is important to help prevent more breakouts.
At night, I personally do a double cleanse using oil as a first step (I talk all about it in my Korean Skincare Routine post).
There is also a variety of beauty tools to help with deeper cleaning, such as the Foreo Luna.
What is a toner for skin?
Many people wonder what toners are used for.
In short, toner removes any last traces of dirt, grime and impurities stuck within your pores after you wash your face. Think of it as a prep for your pores.
Toner looks like water and acts like water, however, I swear it’s not water. Depending on the toner, it can contain acids, glycerin, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories, and when added to your daily skincare routine, it can have a major positive impact on the appearance and tightness of your pores.
In fact, a toner is a fast-penetrating liquid that delivers skin a quick hit of hydration and helps remove some dead cells off the surface of the skin. Think of it kinda like a primer for skincare.
Face serums are lightweight moisturizers that penetrate deeper to deliver active ingredients into your skin. They are designed to deliver high concentrations of specific active ingredients to different skin types. Most often, serums are clear, gel-based, or liquid (less thick than moisturizers).
Whether you’re looking to reduce oil production, improve your skin texture, or increase firmness, there are plenty of different options of serums for you to choose from.
How to apply serum?
The right way to apply serum is with your fingertips, patting it on, and then smoothing it out. Let the formula absorb on its own. The key here is to press gently, and not brush or smear the formula into your skin.
4. Spot treatment
Spot treatments are concentrated products that you apply directly to the affected area.
The trick here is to avoid applying spot treatments over your entire face, as they could have drying effects.
Feel free to skip this step if you don’t have any blemishes. If your acne is persistent or cystic, we recommend consulting with a dermatologist.
5. Eye cream
It’s never too late or too early to start applying eye cream (even though, the earlier the better). By applying eye cream every morning and night, you’ll likely reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time.
This is especially important if you have dry skin or if you live in dry countries.
Tip: The skin around your eyes is especially sensitive, so it’s important to gently moisturize the area. Use your ring finger to gently tap your eye cream onto the area beneath your eyes It is said that our ring finger applies less pressure to the skin).
Foreo Iris is a great tool to massage the eye area and apply eye creams (what can I say? I love Foreo).
Girls, don’t overlook this step, even if you have oily skin (such as myself). If you have dry skin, you can use a thicker cream, but those with oily skin will want to opt for something a little more lightweight.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but dehydrated skin may increase the risk of breakouts. When the skin becomes excessively dry, the body compensates by producing more oi. This can lead to the clogging of the pores and the development of more pimples.
Lastly, moisturizers are ultra important to lock in your serums, especially at night.
Not applying sunscreen every single morning is like inviting wrinkles, blemishes, and fine lines to party on your face.
Seriously though, I find it crazy to hear some friends who say they don’t apply sunscreen daily.
I am so neurotic with sunscreen that I apply it even when it is raining and when I am home all day (UV rays pass through clouds and your windows, don’t be fooled).
Skin Care FAQ
Now that we learned the correct order to apply skin care products, let’s go over some frequently asked questions regarding skincare in general.
Do I need both serum and moisturizer?
- Serums and moisturizers help the skin in different ways. Sometimes a serum alone will be enough for what your skin needs, and other times you’re going to find that you need both for a more thorough effect, depending on your skin needs. Moisturizers are thicker and creamier than serums and should be used as the last step (at night), or before your sunscreen during the daytime.
Do you FOLLOW your skincare routine twice a day?
- Yes, skincare routines should ideally be done twice a day.
Do you need to wait between skincare products applications?
- Yes, ideally you should wait until each product dries before applying the next. This should take around 30 to 60 seconds per product, depending on its consistency of course.
Is it better to do your skincare routine in the morning or at night?
- Skincare is most effective at night since the skin absorbs and replenishes itself while you sleep. This does not mean you should skimp out your morning skincare, rather it means for you to pay special attention to your night regime.
The Correct Order for Both Your Morning & Night Routines
What’s a good morning skincare routine?
- Eye cream
- Light moisturizer
What order should you apply skin care at night?
- Oil cleanser
- Foam cleanser
- Eye cream
- Face oil
- Sleep mask (aka, a more thorough moisturizer