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Which Product Goes First? The Correct Way to Apply Your Skincare Routine

It's important that you understand the proper process for a successful skincare routine.From toners to moisturizers, to oils, there are all sorts of lotions and potions on the market that work together to improve skin.

More often than not, these new products simply get used once and cast aside, left in the bathroom cabinet to expire.

The reason why? Because with so many products we’re supposed to incorporate into our daily skincare routine, it can all get so confusing.

Which product do you apply first? Which needs to go last?

Here’s the thing – if you don’t apply your products in the correct order, you could end up rendering your skincare routine as completely ineffective. Or even worse, with the wrong application, you could gift yourself an irritated, sensitive face, full of breakouts – nightmare!

To save you putting your skin at risk and randomly slapping on a bunch of products and hoping for the best, we’ve broken down the exact order to apply your skincare products for your routine to work as effectively as possible.

Pin it, save it, screenshot it – do anything you can to memorize the order, as this is a skincare game-changer. You’re welcome.

Step 1: Cleanse for Clear Skin

Cleansing is one of the most important steps of your whole routine – removing the grime and makeup off your face before slathering on the rest of the products. After all, your expensive toners and oils aren’t going to do the job if there’s a thick layer of foundation in the way! For ingredients to absorb you need clean, fresh, and grime-free skin.

While many of us reach for the makeup wipes, it’s time to ditch them. While makeup wipes seem handy, they’re irritating to the skin and can leave a layer of gunky residue that can encourage a breakout.

Instead, opt for a gentle cleansing oil which dissolves even the toughest of makeup without stripping your skin. Then, follow up with a creamy cleanser. We love PCA Skin’s creamy cleanser that works to remove all traces of makeup, debris, and dirt.

Step 2: Treat with Toner

Today’s toners are filled with gentle, hydrating ingredients to pamper dry skin. If you suffer from breakouts, there are also toners on the market featuring chemical exfoliants to battle acne.

Generally, toners work to prime for your face for ingredients to absorb effectively, making it a key part of the everyday skincare routine.

An option that works for most is a cooling and hydrating toner, which replenishes any water your skin might have lost throughout the day or when washing and drying your face.

Suffering from oily skin? Don’t worry – a hydrating toner will still work. There’s no such thing as too much moisture, no matter how oily your skin is.

Step 3: Smooth with Serum

Have you got a serum? Let’s admit it – most of generally have no idea what to do with a serum and at which point of the skincare routine it should be applied. That means a lot of the time that pricey potion you’ve invested in simply gets cast aside.

However, if you’re looking to improve the quality of your skin, using a serum is the way to go.

Full of extremely concentrated nutrients, hydrators, and antioxidants that smooth and amp up your skin, serums will work wonders. To dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as you snooze,  apply CosMedix’s serum before bedtime. Loaded with vitamin E, the product works to soothe and even skin tone overnight.

Step 4: Massage with Moisturizer

Another key step to the daily skincare routine is the application of moisturizer. Not only will moisturizer keep your skin hydrated, but it also helps trap all the products underneath it, making the ingredients even more effective.

Depending on your skin type, there are a plethora of different moisturizers available to suit you, whether you suffer from dry skin, oily skin, pigmented skin, or facial acne.

Step 5: Occlude with Oils

Facial oils are occlusive, meaning they seal in all the ingredients applied to your face to stop them evaporating.

Used alone, oils aren’t too beneficial to the skin. However, when used in conjunction with the rest of your products, it’s the ultimate tool to increase the efficiency of the routine.

Just remember to always, always, always, apply oils last otherwise any products you apply afterward won’t have the chance to work your skin.

Many women and men avoid oils as they believe they are only suited to dry skin; however, this isn’t the case at all. Despite their consistency, certain oils such as rosehip and jojoba can reduce excess in acne-prone skin. Who’d have thought it?

While you can apply oils both morning and night, some prefer to opt just for the latter to avoid walking around with a shiny face all day!

Step 6: Seal with Sunscreen

While you might expect the locking ingredients of facial oils to be the ultimate last step in the skincare routine, sunscreen takes the crown.

While oils work to penetrate and treat your skin, sunscreen isn’t trying to penetrate anything – it’s sole use is to protect your face as an armor against the harsh rays of the outside world.

While it’s easy to skimp on applying sunscreen – especially on those gloomier days in the winter and autumn – it’s crucial to prevent long-lasting signs of sun damage and aging.

Haven’t invested in a decent sunscreen yet? It’s about time. Check out our favorite sunscreens your skin will thank you for.