Why is proper skincare layering important?

Layering your skincare correctly is an essential part of your skincare regime. Doing so will guarantee effective absorption of products and deliver maximum results¹. When it comes to skincare layering, there is a universal 7-8 step process depending on your needs: water-based cleanser, toner, essence, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, and SPF¹. The idea is to apply the products that absorb quickly first, followed by products with a thicker consistency. So you’d apply your active ingredients (typically found in serums) before applying your hydrating moisturizers and creams¹.

retinol serum

How to layer your skincare:

  1. Cleanse: Always start your skincare regime on a clean face. Use a gentle cleanser to wash away any dirt, makeup, and excess oil. This will help with the absorption of the product and deliver better results.
  2. Toner: This step is often skipped, but using the correct toner will leave your skin hydrated and conditioned after cleansing. Most toners are packed with antioxidants and revitalize your skin while balancing out the skin's PH levels.
  3. Essence: Essence Boosts your skin's ability to retain moisture and prep your skin for the next product. Since it is generally a lightweight formula and used to keep skin hydrated, you can use it any time of the day. It’s recommended to use an essence in the morning and at night before your day and nighttime applications¹.
  4. Serum: Apply your serums after prepping your skin with toner and essence. Make sure to use a potent nutrient-dense serum rich in antioxidants. Add a few drops to your face or palms and gently tap all over your face and neck.
  5. Eye cream: This is the area of your face where wrinkles will begin to develop first. It is always a good idea to apply eye cream twice a day. Pat gently around the eye area targeting fine lines and underneath the eye to prevent bags.
  6. Moisturizer: A hydrating moisturizer is essential for keeping skin healthy. The best time to apply a moisturizer is when the skin is damp so moisture stays locked in with rich nutrients¹.
  7. SPF: A good sunscreen should be the final product you apply during the day. It is also a good idea to find a moisturizer that contains SPF for daytime use. SPF blocks UV rays from harming the skin and age-accelerated damage.
  8. Night Cream: This is the final step to your skincare routine. Night creams are heavier and thicker than the average moisturizer you would wear during the day. They provide hydration throughout the night to prevent moisture loss while working to rejuvenate and repair cells. It is recommended to use a night cream packed with botanicals and extracts².

How to apply skincare:

layering skincare

It is just as important to know how to apply your products as it is to know the order they are applied. As a rule of thumb, you want to apply a dime-size amount of serum and oils but can be generous with your moisturizer and SPF². It is also a good idea to wait 30 seconds between layers for maximum absorption and efficacy¹. Apply on your face and neck by moving in a circular motion with creams and lightly pat with serums and oils. Proper application will also help increase blood flow and reduce puffiness¹.

It is highly recommended to consult your dermatologist before combining multiple active ingredients. For example, you never want to mix Retinol with AHA (Alpha hydroxy acids.) If you choose to use Retinol at nighttime, remember to always wear a good SPF to protect your skin the next morning¹. The same goes for Benzoyl peroxide and Vitamin C. These two will cancel each other out as Benzoyl peroxide is commonly used to treat acne and will cause the vitamin C to oxidize and be ineffective¹. Face oils should always be applied last in your skincare regime if you choose to use them. Oils tend to create a barrier, not allowing other products to seep in and absorb².

Skincare layering is considered an art form to many and if done right, can be very beneficial with each application¹. So the next time you begin your skincare routine, just remember to take your time and follow these easy steps to achieve maximum results.