Which Order Should I Apply My Skin Care Products?


Eye cream before or after moisturiser? When do I put on my SPF? And what about a serum? Knowing which order to apply skin care products can seem a little confusing when you have a few products in your arsenal.

But getting the order right is incredibly important. It effects their potency and ensures your skin care routine effectively penetrates the skin.


What’s The Right Order to Apply Skin Care Products?

As general rule of thumb, you need to consider the weight of the formulation. Start with the product that has the lightest texture and work your way up to the heaviest.

You might like to use this as a guide:

  1. Cleanse – in the morning and evening, start with clean skin.
  2. Toner – Not everyone uses a toner, but if you do, sweep it on with a cotton pad.
  3. Topical Treatments – if you’re using a topical treatment for acne or to lighten scars, apply it as your third skin care step.
  4. Serums – warm up two drops of your favourite serum in the palms of your hands and pat over your face.
  5. Eye cream – Much like serums, these lotions are thin and need to be clear of barriers, so pat one on next, using the pad of your ring finger.
  6. Moisturiser – Even if you have oily skin, make sure your don’t skimp on moisturiser. It forms a barrier between the skin and environmental conditions, helping to form a fine, protective layer that enables the skin to retain the moisture it requires.
  7. Physical Sunscreen – A physical sunscreen is mineral, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide based. Pop it on as your final skin care step. If you’re using a chemical sunscreen it needs to be applied to clean, dry skin, which makes using serums, topical treatments or an eye cream tricky as they are less effective when worn over a sunscreen.

One last pro tip: When layering skin care products, wait at least one minute between steps so that your skin has enough time to absorb each product.


 Illustration by Stacey MacDonald via A Little Oppluent.
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