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Is There a Correct Order to Apply Your Skincare Routine?

African American woman smiling while holding her hands to her face

If there is one question that I am asked most often, it would be the question of “In what order do I apply my products?” The skin absorbs products at different rates. After cleansing and toning, apply the products one at a time for maximum results, and allow a few seconds to penetrate before putting on the next product. This time will vary from person to person, depending on your skin and the climate you live in. Applying products in a specific order allows each product to penetrate to its maximum ability. For instance, it would be hard for a lightweight serum to effectively penetrate through a heavier cream.

I have heard of many people who squirt 3 or 4 products in their hand, rub them together and then apply in one step. This is not advised. By mixing multiple products into one application, you are greatly reducing the concentration of active ingredients in the formulas. Diluted concentration of ingredients equals diluted results. If you are looking for less steps, then you should consider using fewer products rather than mixing several together.

Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when applying your products:

CLEANSE & TONE/TREAT. Immediately after cleansing is when you would use a toning or treatment pad. (Treatment pads should not be used for cleansing the skin!)

SERUM/GEL TREAT. Following the use of a treatment pad, serums or gels would be the next product to apply.

MOISTURIZE. Following a serum or gel, the next application would be treatment creams or nighttime and daytime moisturizers.

SKIN IRRITATION. If you start to breakout or your experience irritation, reduce the products that you are using, down to the basics until you can determine the product that may be the culprit.

RETINOL RULE: Retinol makes the skin sun sensitive, so it is advised not to use Retinol products during the day due to UV exposure, even if you are using a sunscreen.

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