You may be looking in your skincare cabinet and wondering how to apply all the different products you own. Does it matter if you apply your night cream before your serum? Is there a right or wrong way to layer your skincare? The short answer is YES.
As a general rule of thumb, you should apply your product in order from lightest to heaviest / thinnest to thickest. This means: cleanser, toner, mask, serum, eye product, moisturizer and finally, oil. Sunscreen should always come last!
[Photo Credit: Indie Lee]
Why the order is important:
1. The product may not penetrate into your skin.
… like if you use a water-based product over an oil-based one. The occlusive (oil) product will form a protective layer on your skin that prevents your water-based skincare from being absorbed.
1. The product will be less effective.
If the products are not being absorbed, you are not getting max benefits! There are also certain ingredients that should not be used together. Example: Niacinamide and Vitamin C reduce each other’s efficacy when combined. More seriously, AHA and BHA’s should not be layered with Retinol as they can cause severe irritation.
3. It could harm your skin.
When you use products in the wrong order, it can potentially create new skin issues. For example, applying an oil to dry skin without prepping with a water-based serum or facial mist can actually make your skin more dehydrated because not enough water is getting to your skin.