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How To Layer Your Skin Care Products In The Right Order

How To Layer Your Skin Care Products In The Right Order

We all have many beauty products in our vanity that do wonders for the skin. But you may not be getting the most out of them because of the way you layer your products. Today we're discussing the correct way to layer your products to maximize their effectiveness. 

Before we get into the order of applying skincare products to maximize their effect, you'll need to understand the difference between Hydrating and Moisturizing. I have an entire post dedicated to breaking down the difference between the two so suggest taking a look at that first. For now, you'll just need to understand the viscosity and opacity of the product you're layering. 

VISCOSITY

When layering your products, you'll want to consider is the viscosity. Viscosity refers to the thickness of the product you're applying. Whether the product has a thick consistency; like a cream or a butter, or thin consistency; like a toner or a gel. Start applying the thinnest consistency first because it will be pretty hard for a liquid to penetrate the skin with a thick oil blocking it.

OPACITY

Opacity is a fancy word to define the clarity of the product. Whether a product is clear in colour, or stark white for example. A clear product does not contain any additives or colorants. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to guess what I'm about to tell you, apply the clearest product first since its usually harder for these products to penetrate through opaque products. 

Now that we have the basics behind layering covered, let's get down to how your skincare routine should be ordered.

LAYERING SKINCARE ROUTINE

  • Makeup Remover
    • The first step to any good skin care routine is removing anything on the top layer of the skin. This is especially important for those who wear makeup on a daily basis, so you can skip this step if you do not have makeup on that day. You can use an Oil cleanser, Micellar Water, Makeup-Removing Face Wipe to get the job done.
  • Cleanser
    • Next is the actual cleansing portion of the routine. You'll want to use a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt, excess oil, and debris from the surface of the skin. Rub the cleanser between your hands to build a good foam, and gently massage over the skin in circular motions using the tips of your fingers for at least 1 minute. 
  • Exfoliate
    • Once your skin is cleansed, you'll want to exfoliate to remove the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. Our skin cells regenerate on a 28-day cycle. Every cell could be at any stage in their cycle at any given time so you'll want to exfoliate regularly. It doesn't have to be an intense scrub, actually, the milder the better since you don't want to disrupt the new, delicate skin cells with excess exfoliation. Choose a gentle facial scrub with small exfoliating beads, a gentle peel, or an AHA or BHA of your choice. 
  • Toner
    • A toner is typically the lightest consistency which means it should be applied first in your moisturizing routine. It helps to re-balance the skin pH levels, bring it down to a low pH. The skin's acid mantle (moisture barrier) sits comfortably between 4.5 and 5.5 and it is important to maintain that level. Harsh cleansers, scrubs, tap water, and yes DIY's can increase the pH level of the skin. You'll want to bring it back down for the skin to allow the skin to absorb the rest of your hydrating products. 
  • Essence/Ampule
    • Like a toner, essences and ampules are thinner consistencies that have potentially beneficial properties. Because of their consistencies, you'll want them to be able to fully absorb into the skin without intrusions. Layer them on next and leave 10 seconds to soak in. 
  • Facial Mist
    • Following the trend, facial mists are next. Light mists should be sprayed on before moving on to any thicker consistencies. A great tip is to pat them into the skin so the liquid penetrates the skin and doesn't sit on the surface where it can evaporate into the air. 
  • Serum
    • Now its time for those amazing serums! These are by far my favourite products because they provide great benefits to the skin. They are typically a bit thicker than a liquid, and usually, don't contain oils so you'll want to apply them next. If your serum is an oil then, of course, refer to oils below in the sequence of product layering. 
  • Eye Cream
    • Ahhh, eye cream. The skin under your eyes is quite think so you'll want to give that area some TLC before moving on to lotion. Apply under the eyes and also on the eyelid. Dab the product in with the balls of your ring finger because it gives you the least pressure; you don't want to be pulling on the skin. You really don't need to use a lot of this product, because the point is not moisturizing, the purpose to prevent lines. 
    • Tip: Eye cream doesn't just have to be around your eyes. Its made to diminish the appearance of fine lines as well as prevent them so apply them to the corners of your eyes, between your brows, over your frown lines, and in your smile lines to get the most out of your eye cream.
  • Spot Treatment
    • Now is a good time to tackle your problem areas. If you have annoying pimples, apply a spot treatment like Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid. Alternatively, you can focus on any hyper-pigmentation issues with an acne mark lightener. The point is doing this before applying thicker layers of moisture to get the most out of its benefits. 
  • Gel
    • Gel products are hybrid hydrators that are lightweight and easily absorb into the skin. Gels generally consist of a hyaluronic acid, and typically have little to no oil content so they hydrate the skin without leaving an oily film on the surface. This makes it a great choice especially for those with combination or oily skin. 
    • Garnier has a great article on the different types of gel moisturizers and how to use them. I suggest giving it a quick read.
  • Lotion
    • A lotion is an opaque moisturizer with a runny consistency. It is perfect to apply as your first level of moisture because it is lightweight, and has a higher water count than a regular moisturizer. For oily, and combination skin types sometimes this is all you need. 
  • Moisturizer
    • A moisturizer a thicker of the two. It still has a pretty high water count but it has more oil than a lotion. These type of products are more emollient than the previous products mentioned so they are really great at locking the moisture into the skin.
  • Oil
    • And now we have oils. Oils are some of my favourite skin care products because they do wonders for the skin. One thing I want to iterate is that an oil is a sealant, not a hydrator. To properly hydrate the skin there needs to be some water content in the product, oil, as the name suggests has none.  

Now, I know what you might be saying; that's a lot of products you're adding! You're not expected to put all of these on, choose the ones your skin responds to best and apply accordingly. If nothing else, the best way to know what order to apply your skincare is by trial and error. If your skin feels sticky, or the product pools on the skin and is not absorbing, that is a good indicator that something you're applying is not going on in the right order. Adjust your skin care routine until you're happy with the feel and effectiveness of the products. 

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