Between cleansers and essences, SPFs and sheet masks, eye creams and toners, figuring out the order in which you should apply products in your skin care routine can be tough. But in a 10-step routine, every step exists for a reason, and in order to maximize results, following the rules is important.
Save the handy infographic below as a reference and then read on for more info on layering like a pro.
The first order of business of any routine is to remove the makeup, sweat, sunscreen, dirt, and excess sebum from your face. This not only keeps skin healthy and clear, but creates a clean canvas for the rest of your products to get to work on. Start with an oil cleanser to remove sunscreen, makeup, and excess sebum, then finish things off with a water-based cleanser to remove dirt and sweat from pores.
Toning after cleansing exfoliating (which can both be stripping and harsh on skin) helps return your skin to a balanced pH and moisture level, and preps your skin for the next step: essence. Another prep step, esssences provide hydration, moisture, and aid in cell turnover, and the lightweight liquid helps the rest of the products in your routine absorb better into your skin.
Now that your skin has been cleansed and prepped, its time to target your specific concerns. This is where treatments – serums, ampoules, and spot treatments -come in, and they can differ depending on the skin care concerns you want to treat. For example, a vitamin C serum is great for brightening dark spots, while a formula rich in antioxidants can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
After you’ve applied your treatments, you can indulge in a sheet mask to infuse your skin with a concentrated essence and provide nutrients and moisture.
Skipping the sheet mask step? No worries – move right on to eye cream to hydrate the sensitive skin around your eyes and prevent signs of aging!
Next, apply moisturizer to nourish and hydrate your skin. This could be an emulsion, a lotion, a gel, a cream, an oil, or a sleeping mask—whatever moisturizer looks like to you, make sure you use it day and night!
And last but not least: sunscreen. Arguably the most important step, sunscreen is an absolute must for all skin types and skin concerns, as it protects the skin from damaging UV rays and prevents premature aging.