You probably know the basic skincare steps but somewhere in the middle, things can get somewhat muddled. If you have experienced your product flaking or “balling” off during application, chances are, you most likely got the order wrong. The proper order in which you apply your skincare products is essential in ensuring that your skin receives the full benefits of each product. Here’s how to layer your products day and night.
The AM Regimen
The morning routine is all about protection from the harmful UV rays, pollution and any other elements from the environment.
Step 1: Cleanser
Start by splashing your face with water to “wake” the skin, then wash with a gentle face cleanser designed for your skin type.
Step 2: Toner
This step is meant to prep your skin for the following treatment products you use. Traditionally, a toner is used to help return the skin’s pH after washing. But today’s toners do much more. The new breed of toners serves multiple purpose, from mild exfoliation to softening and hydrating the skin. Choose a toner that’s right for your skin concern.
Step 3: Essence / Serum
While beauty essence is more fluid in nature, a serum is more concentrated and nutrient-rich. For day, pick a serum with antioxidants to help protect skin inflammation caused by free radical damage from UV and other forms of light and environmental pollutants.
Step 4: Eye Cream
Applying eye care at least once a day is vital in improving skin quality and preventing future eye concerns like fines lines and wrinkles. As the skin around the eyes are the most delicate, apply using your ring finger to gently dab or pat on. It is always best to put your eye care product before a richer based product like moisturizer to prevent any oil build-up around the area.
Step 5: Spot Treatment
For targeted treatments like acne spot, it is best to check with your medical professional for the best way to apply it. But as with prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, a common acne spot treatment ingredient, it has a one- to three-hour working time, so any cream that comes in contact before it has completed its work will likely inhibit the active ingredient from working properly. Besides, acne spot treatments can be drying, so do apply only on where it’s needed.
Step 6: Moisturizer
Everyone needs a moisturizer, even if you have oily skin. The best time to apply a moisturizer is while the skin is still damp or moist, so follow quickly after your serum or other treatments to lock in the much-needed hydration with your moisturizer. If you’re using an acne spot treatment, skip those areas when applying your moisturizer to make sure its ingredients won’t interfere with the active ingredients in your spot treatment.
Step 7: Sunscreen
Apply your sunscreen as the last step in your daytime skincare routine to protect your skin from the UV rays.
The PM Regimen
As your skin naturally repairs itself at night, your night-time routine should be offering your skin what it needs. Here’s how to get the most of your skincare routine.
Step 1: Makeup Remover / Cleanser
If you wear makeup, double cleanse by using a cleansing oil first to dissolve your makeup and then washing your face again with a regular cleanser to remove all the excess sebum and dirt. If you’re doing an exfoliation, use the facial scrub in place of your cleanser after removing your makeup.
Step 2: Toners Essences and Boosters
Apply toner as you would in the morning. At night, it’s a good time to layer products like skin boosters – think mists, essences, beauty waters or hydrating serums that are infused with various active ingredients with the main purpose of hydrating and nourishing the skin. When it comes to layering, apply in the order from thinnest to thickest by texture.
Step 3: Eye Cream
Do apply your eye cream before your treatments to protect your eye area against potent ingredients that could potentially cause irritation. There are however treatment products that may be suitable for the eye area so check with the brand for usage.
Step 4: Treatment Serums and Creams
Like the rest of the body, your skin does most of its repairing, restoring and regenerating when you sleep. This is why most targeted skincare treatments are better used at night. But instead of layering up all your treatment products, choose one or two to take care of your skin’s at-the-moment needs only.
Step 5: Facial Mask or Face Oil
Treat your skin to a facial mask once or twice weekly depending on the type of mask (ensure your skin is exfoliated before mask). If your skin is on the dry side, you may want to add a hydrating mask or face oil.
Step 6: Moisturizer
Although you can use the same moisturizer for day and night, it is best to switch to a moisturizer that’s richer in texture – especially if you sleep in an air-conditioned room as it will dry your skin more. A richer moisturizer creates a protective film on the skin to prevent water loss while you sleep.
Note: This is just a general guideline, the order may differ from brand to brand. For IDS Skincare, the eye care is recommended for use after treatments in order for the peri-orbital area (the area surrounding the eye sockets) to receive benefits from the potent ingredients.