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An Esthetician Explains: The Correct Order For Applying Your Skincare Products

Have you ever wondered if that expensive eye cream is really doing anything, or if your serum should be applied before or after your moisturizer? You’re not alone! Knowing how to apply skincare products is as important as choosing the correct products for your skin type. What good is spending all that time and money researching the best facial oil if you’re not allowing it to do what it’s supposed to?

An Esthetician Explains: The Correct Order For Applying Your Skincare Products

Step One: Cleanse

If you are a double cleansing fan, as I am, you’ll want to use an oil cleanser first to remove makeup and break down oils, and follow with a foam or gel cleanser to remove any residue. Avoid using hot or cold water while washing your face–warm is just right.

Step Two: Tone

Whether you are spritzing your toner or using a cotton pad to rebalance the pH of your skin, always tone after washing your face. Think of toning as the last step in cleansing.

Step Three: Serums and Pollution Fighters

Serums will be different from day to night. In the morning this step might consist of a Vitamin C serum, whereas at night this might be your glycolic or salicylic acid product.

Step Four: Hydrate

One myth regarding moisturizer is that oily skin doesn’t need it–this is not true! Oily skin just needs a lighter moisturizer that can help control oil production, while still hydrating skin. This step should also include hydration for the eye area with a specially formulated eye cream. Gently dab eye cream around the orbital rim with your ring finger.

Step Five: Protect AM

In the morning, no matter where you are going, never ever skip sunscreen! Certain SPFs are formulated as a one step moisturizer/sunscreen blend, so steps 4 and 5 could be combined in the morning. But sunscreen should be the last skincare item you apply before you walk out the door. It protects skin from sun damage, harmful radiation, and premature aging. Sunscreen usually helps makeup go on smooth and even as well.

Step Five: Protect PM

While we sleep our skin is given time to repair and recover. To help seal in the serums we use and allow the products to work their wonders, applying a facial oil or overnight mask is the last and final step. For oils, try warming them for a few seconds in the palms of your hand and then pressing them gently into the skin.

General Tips:

Products generally go from thinnest to thickest for application.

Always start your skincare routine after you’ve brushed your teeth to prevent any bacteria from hanging out around the chin area and causing breakouts.

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