These days we are inundated with so many different products to purify, brighten, hydrate, refine, moisturize and protect our skin. It’s hard to keep up with it all! Let alone know how to use and layer them properly. Thankfully, with a simple order of operations, what seems daunting can actually be made incredibly simple. From stage one of cleansing and skin prep, all the way through treatments and masks, here are a few simple skincare tips to make sure that all the products in your routine work properly and effectively. Bright, hydrated, glowing skin is just a couple steps away.
Step 1: Double Cleanse
Let’s start with the most basic and arguably the most important part of your routine: cleansing. Cleansing seems like a simple, casual endeavor but you should actually be thinking of it as 50% of your routine. This first step is meant to remove the day from your visage and prep your skin for treatment products to follow.
First and foremost, start thinking about cleansing as a two-step process. Your first cleanse will be dedicated to gently yet effectively removing makeup, SPF and the daily grime and pollution your skin may be exposed to. Oil, cream and balm cleansers tend to work best for this first step as their oil rich formulas can help to break down the products on your skin that are designed to stay there throughout the day, i.e SPF and makeup. The first cleanse breaks down these products and lifts them from your skin to ensure that there is nothing foreign blocking your skin from absorbing and benefiting from the products that follow in your routine.
After the first cleanse it’s time to cleanse, again! While it may seem excessive to cleanse your skin twice, especially after you’ve already removed your makeup, it’s imperative that you take the time to do it once more to ensure that your skin is truly clean and your pores are freed of any additional debris that may not have been picked up the first time. Think of this second cleanse as more of a treatment cleanse. Take this opportunity to treat your skin and corresponding skin type with the proper ingredients that will help to hydrate, balance or purify. Depending on genetics or seasonal weather, the needs of your skin may change over time so adjust accordingly. Like the first, this second cleanse should be gentle yet effective. We’re not looking to strip your skin of essential oils or damage barrier function and the acid mantle that keep your skin functioning properly. We’re simply looking to ensure that your skin is truly clean and ready to receive your treatment products. To do this, you may use the same creamy or oil cleanser that you used in the first step or if your skin requires something a bit more refreshing you can use a gentle, non-foaming gel cleanser.
Step 2: Tone
Now that your skin is truly clean and refreshed from the day, it’s time to move into toners. Not to be confused with the stripping and drying toners of the past, toning in 2019 is as it should have always been: a step to help rehydrate and balance your skin. Depending on what your skin type is, you should either look for toners designed to soothe and add moisture or toners designed to balance and help control oil. Keep it simple. You’ll want to look for toners that are alcohol-free and contain lightweight moisture binding ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Spritz or pat on your toner post-cleansing before you move onto your serums and oils.
Step 3: Eye Cream
Here’s where things take an unexpected turn: eye cream. The area under your eyes is a delicate and tender area. We don’t want to overwhelm it with too much product, so by applying your eye products at this point in your routine they are able to do their job without obstruction from other serums and creams. Applying an eye treatment at this stage can also help create a soft barrier from the other products in your routine. The eye area doesn’t require immense layering as that has the potential to cause milia. So for ease, just remember it’s best to apply dedicated eye products first, before moving onto oils and moisturizers.
Step 4: Serums
Arguably the most important and targeted part of your routine, let’s talk serums. These lightweight concentrated formulas are generally considered to be the workhorse of your routine. They are often designed with a more liquid-like consistency, are easily absorbed and boast high concentrations of active ingredients like Vitamin C, peptides, Hyaluronic Acid, retinol or botanical actives. Depending on your skin goals, pick the serum that best fits your needs and apply it now, post-toner on damp skin. Layering the serum on first will allow it to absorb into your skin to incite positive change.
Step 5: Moisturizers & Oils
Speaking of which, we’ve made it to our final category in this layering saga: oils and moisturizers. Most will say that these two products are interchangeable and to a certain degree that’s true. Depending on the season and your skin, you can use either an oil or moisturizer to lock in hydration and complete your skincare routine. However, if you tend to lean dry or you’re using an oil with more serum- like properties, like our Essential Corrective Complex, then this is the ideal way for you to use and layer the two.
Option 1: Oil as a treatment. If you’re using an oil as a treatment step (like we mentioned above with our Essential Corrective Complex) then you’ll want to apply this on damp skin after your serums but before your moisturizer. Spritz your skin once more with a toning mist or hydrosol and then apply a small amount of the oil all over the skin with gentle patting and upward motions. Follow up with the appropriate moisturizer and you’re good to go!
Option 2: If your skin tends to be on the drier side, including an oil into your routine can help boost moisture retention and create a shield against the elements. In this case you can be a little more flexible in your application and choose the order that works best for you. You can layer it underneath a moisturizer on damp skin, mix it into your moisturizer, or use it as a final layer overtop of your moisturizer to really lock everything in. With either of these options your skin will be nourished and deeply cared for.
As always, if you’re applying your skincare in the daytime you should follow up with your favorite SPF, but this general order of application is applicable to both day and night routines. So no matter what products you’re using or when you’re applying them, this simple order of use will see you through and ensure the best results from your products.