30% OFF $40+ PURCHASE!
Inclusive Clinical Skincare
Inclusive Clinical Skincare
FREE SHIPPING on U.S. orders $50+   Learn More

How to Apply Your Skincare Products the Right Way

Dark skinned lady biting lip looking guilty

So you’ve racked up on all your favorite skincare products. Now what? It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed if you end up purchasing a bunch of products at once before establishing a proper skincare routine. Don’t beat yourself up if after months of trying to get into the groove of the skincare game you’re still asking yourself questions like:

  • Which comes first, the serum or the toner?
  • Should my AM routine and PM routine look exactly the same?
  • Do I even need a moisturizer?

Just take a breath. Finding the right order for your skincare routine may seem like rocket science at first, but once you’ve gotten some practice under your belt, you’ll be a pro in no time!

Yes, the order of skin operations matters

Before reading this article, if you thought the order in which you apply your skincare products didn’t matter, you thought wrong. Remember learning Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally in math class to establish the order of operations? Well, skincare is no different.

Following a proper order of application (while paying attention to which skincare products are best for your skin) can lead to an ineffective skincare routine or possible irritation.

To start, the general rule of thumb is to apply your products thinnest to thickest in terms of texture. Following this line of thinking, here is a basic order of skincare product application you should follow in the morning and at night:

  1. Cleanse - The very first step in ANY and EVERYONE’S skincare routine should be to cleanse your skin. Wash off makeup, dirt, and excess oil before you do anything else! Find a cleanser that best works with your sensitive, oily, dry, or combination skin. Finding the right cleanser and using it first sets the stage for the rest of your products. (Pro-tip: if it’s time for a mask after you cleanse here’s where you would insert the mask of your choice.)
  2. Tone - Next up, is your toner, a fast-penetrating liquid that delivers skin a quick hit of hydration or exfoliation. Whether you have a liquid serum or pads (like our Glycolic Pads), this product is usually the thinnest one you’ll have in your skincare armory.
  3. Apply serums - Are you layering serums? That’s just fine. Just remember to layer them just like you do every other skincare product - from thinnest to lightest. You can use the same serum in the morning and at night, but you can also tailor your AM/PM routines to include different serums. For example, in the morning you may want a Vitamin C serum that is designed to help brighten your skin and improve the appearance of dark spots. At night, you may opt for a serum packed with hyaluronic acid that will hydrate your skin while you sleep. (Pro tip: Here’s where you can add in other products that aren’t necessary designed for full-face application such as eye creams and spot treatments.)
  4. Moisturize - NO MATTER WHAT SKIN TYPE YOU HAVE, EVERYONE NEEDS A MOISTURIZER. A common misconception in the skincare world is that people with oily skin don’t need to moisturize. This is untrue. Moisturizers aren’t only designed for individuals with dry skin. Moisturizers help maintain your skin barrier’s balance while forming an outer layer of protection and sealing in all prior skincare products. During the day, we suggest using a moisturizer that contains SPF (yes, every skin type should be applying SPF). And at night, a moisturizer that’s designed to boost hydration and lock in moisture.

There you have it! A beginner’s guide to proper application of skincare products. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to your glow up in no time! If you have any other questions regarding skincare applications or products, first visit our FAQs. If you still have burning questions, consult The Melanin Experts™.

For other information on skincare essentials, tips, and techniques, check out Urban Skin Rx’s Glow-Up Guide often!