In What Order Do I Apply Products In My Skin Care Routine?

The fact is that understanding skin care regimens can be more than a little bit confusing to the uninitiated, with the order in which products are used complicating things even further. A skin care routine carried out by one person can differ greatly to the next, so how do you get a definitive answer about how things should be done?

No one is born knowing the correct order skin care products should be used in and the fact is that getting it right is important if you’re wanting the best results. Conversely, if you get the order wrong and apply your products in the wrong way, you could render them useless or even worse, irritate your skin - so by hook or by crook, you need to learn the best skin care routine order - as set down by the experts.

So, to help you in this regard, we’re now going to shine some light on the subject and provide you with some definitive answers about how best to approach your own skin care needs. By reading our article to the end, you should have a basic understanding of skin care best practices and a grasp of why it’s important to order your products correctly. 

So, Let’s Get Started With The Morning Routine...

Step One - Using a Cleanser 

The first part of your morning skin care routine should always be to cleanse your face, as you need to begin with nice clean skin that’s completely free of dead cells, dirt, and oil. If you don’t, then any products you use aren’t going to be able to be properly absorbed. 

We’d recommend using a cleanser with something nice and gentle inside like aloe and green tea that’s able to get rid of all foreign bodies whilst also using its antioxidant properties to restore your skin’s natural pH balance.

Step Two - Applying a Toner

There was once a time when toners were quite harsh, but modern-day varieties don’t physically shrink the skin and potentially cause irritation anymore. Whether you use a toner as part of your morning skin care routine is your prerogative, but if you do, it should be appropriate for your skin type and used after your morning cleanser. 

If you’re lucky enough to have naturally healthy skin, then you might be able to skip this step, but if not, using a toner will help restore your skin’s pH if the cleanser you’ve used is on the harsh side.

Step Three - Moisturize (With a Day Cream)

If you want the best skin care routine results, then you need to include a moisturizer, irrespective of whether you have oily skin or not. Even though your skin produces its own oil - sebum - to protect itself against the outside world, most of us still need extra hydration to combat the prevailing weather conditions, be it sun, wind, snow or all three!

You should be using a day moisturizer that’s specifically formulated to protect against being outside, with many brands also including SPF protection against sun damage. Get these three steps right and you form the basis for an effective, protective skin care regime. 

Next We Move to Your Night Time Skin Care Routine...

Step One - Cleansing the Day From Your Skin

Ok, so moving on to the nighttime now, your first step - as with your morning skin care routine - is to properly clean away all the dirt, oil, and grime that’s built up over the day. Particularly when talking about people living in the inner city, a lot of dirt can build up and start causing breakouts if it’s not removed.

Again, use a cleanser that’s appropriate for your skin type and ensure that you have nice clean skin as a base for the next two steps.

Step Two - Using a Toner

Your skin goes through an awful lot during the day and whilst your cleanser will have gotten rid of 95% of the dirt and grime that’s on your face, a toner should be used to clear up that final 5%, clearing out your pores and ridding your skin of any lingering impurities.

Using a toner as part of your nighttime skin care routine reinforces what you’ve done in the morning, again rebalancing your skin’s pH, and smoothing out any rough or dry patches.

Step Three - Moisturize (With a Night Cream)

The last part of your routine will protect your skin against drying out during the night. By using a specially created night cream - that’s typically much thicker than a day cream - you’ll provide your skin with some deep moisturization whilst you sleep. And because of how it’s formulated, it’s able to repair the damage done during the day.

This is an essential part of your regime, as the nighttime is when your skin does most of its self-healing and with a good night cream as part of your skin care routine, you’ll wake up with smooth, nourished, well-balanced skin. 

Other Things You Can Use to Support Your Skin...

So, we’ve been through the basics that the best skin care routine for your needs should be built around. What we now look at are other things you can be doing to support your skin’s health and vitality and we’ll start with another important job - exfoliation. 

Exfoliating Those Dead Skin Cells Away

Another vital part of anyone’s routine is exfoliation and that’s because we all shed dead skin cells every day. We all lose around 30,000 to 40,000 every day and when they’re not cleared away with regular exfoliation, they can end up clogging your pores and causing spots.

Anyone with sensitive skin needs to be careful and use a gentler product for this process, as it can cause irritation if the option chosen is too harsh. Once you’ve found the ideal choice for your needs, you should use it once or twice a week to ensure that you clean all those dead skin cells away.

Where does this fit into your skin care routine? Well, it’s recommended to exfoliate in the morning, as any glycolic acid or retinol products you used the night before will have nicely loosened the dead skin on your face. Cleanse your face first to get rid of any surface dirt and oil and exfoliate that dead skin away!

Locking In Moisturizer With Serums

Another commonly used item in the skin care regimen of many are serums, which are anti-aging products that lock in your skin’s moisture. Serums are popular due to their ability to hydrate more effectively than the heaviest creams available on the market. 

Serums are quite thin in consistency when compared to creams, which is what allows them to penetrate deep down, providing hydration where other products can’t reach. This option should be included in both your night and morning skin care routine just before you moisturize.

Protecting Your Skin Against the Sun With Sunscreen

Of course, the sun can have a significant impact on skin health, so it’s vital to include sunscreen in your morning skin care routine. We mentioned earlier that someday creams come with SPF protection contained inside, but if you want to be protected against both UVA & UVB rays, you’ll need some kind of full-spectrum sunscreen brand.

When is it applied? It’s recommended to apply your sunscreen - which should also be a type that’s suitable for your skin type - before moisturizing and after your serum if you’re using one. That way, you know that you’re spared the aging effects that direct, unprotected sun exposure can bring.

Getting a Skin Care Routine That’s Right For You!

So, as we’ve seen, the sequence you use to apply your skin care products does matter and once you’ve done it a few times, it will be second nature to you. What we don’t want is for you to spend lots of your hard-earned money on top products, only for their benefits to be lost because you’re using a poorly sequenced skin care routine.

Follow the basics that we’ve laid out for you here and you’ll get the utmost out of your skin care spend and you’ll have the balanced, blemish-free skin you’ve always wanted. Sure, there’s more to it than we’ve covered here, as skin is a very complex thing, but if you stick to these simple principles and stated order, you’ll have a much better chance of success.

That’s it from us for this time, we hope you found our blog interesting and useful. We’ll be back again soon with more advice, guidance, and tips on using the best products in the best way.

Until next time!

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