Skincare Routine: Correct Order To Follow When Applying Your Skincare

Skincare Routine: Correct Order To Follow When Applying Your Skincare

So by now we've all got cabinets and drawers full of skincare products and we're like, what's next? No like really, I just used this face wash, what's next?

In any skincare routine its safe to say products should always be applied from thinnest to thickest for maximum absorption and efficacy. If you follow this rule you'll layer on all your products so they compliment, not compete. Here's what a nightly routine can look like.

1) Exfoliate

Do this every other day or every 3 days if you have dry skin. Exfoliate before cleansing so your cleanser can get a deeper and be more effective. Dermatologist, Michele Farber, from NYC says, "Exfoliating before you wash can help to prime your face for the rest of your skin-care routine." 

2) Cleanse

Rinse away excess oil and dirt by using products free of harsh surfactants like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Cleansing with gentle ingredients will make sure your pores are open and ready for the next part of your skincare routine but won't leave your skin stripped and vulnerable.

3) Toner

Tone, tone and tone. Toners are some of the most effective products when it comes to helping further cleanse pores and prevent breakouts. “They’re not meant to be something that sits around on your skin and feels heavy,” says Dr. Mona Gohara from Yale School of Medicine. They are light but powerful and should be part of your nightly routine no doubt.

4) Serums

There are so many out there, can include anything from a blend of thin and lightweight oils to hylauronic acid blends and more. Serums are thinner than a regular moisturizer and therefore, when used in a correct order can penetrate deeper layers of the skin delivering vitamins and nutrients way deep where they'll be most effective. 

5) Eye Creams

Dab or roll them under your eyes and all around the corner area. Dr. Gohara suggests opting for a product with a metal roller ball applicator, the cold steel helps smoothen out fluid retention meaning it can help reduce the appearance of under eye bags.

6) Spot Treatments

We're talking products like for dark spots, scars and breakouts. Use these only as intended as using them all over the face can result in wasting your product or unintended results such as over drying. 

7) Moisturizers

Here, you can gently massage in the thickest product in your routine. We've layered your skin and filled your pores with all the good stuff, now to seal it all in. Give yourself a good 5 minutes before hitting the pillow at night or applying makeup. During this time your skin will have a chance to absorb all the goodness you just gave it. 

8) SPF

No matter the day or the time of year, SPF in the mornings is a must. "Sunscreen should go after skincare and before makeup. It would not be ideal to put SPF under a lotion or cream moisturizer because, by nature, SPF products block sun's rays (and anything else) from absorbing into the skin," says dermatologist Craig Kraffert. Many makeup products come with SPF already, if you choose this route just make sure you're getting at least SPF 30, any less really won't provide the protection you need. If you're using a separate SPF, look for products made specifically for the face as they'll blend in a lot easier and won't leave you with the dreaded white SPF residue. 


Masks get their own little section because the order in which they used during your skincare routine wholly depends on what type of mask you're using. No matter the mask you must first cleanse, like always no matter what, wash your face. 

- Most masks that are meant to be washed off will go in between cleansing and toning. Cleanse, use your mask as instructed, wash off and then tone. 

- If you're using a leave on mask, apply it after toning and proceed from there. 

- Overnight masks will go last in your routine. 

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