Dr. Laila Hassan is an Aesthetic Physician. She’s also a laser therapist and an anti‐aging expert for the last ten years.
There is no such thing as a single “correct” skin-care routine order, but there’s definitely an optimal way to apply your products. Whether you’re a minimalist who prefers sticking to a three-step routine or the type of person willing to undertake a few steps daily to get a clear skin, the way you layer your chosen products has a big impact on how well they work:
1. Makeup Remover/Cleansing Oil
Removing all makeup from your skin should always be your first step at the end of the day.Look for formulas that are effective enough to melt away waterproof mascara, but still gentle on your face—like micellar water. You can also double cleanse with an emulsifying oil.
Now that your makeup layer is gone, you can proceed with washing your face. A cleanser gets rid of dead skin, pollutants, oils, dirt, and bacteria. The best cleanser for you will depend on your skin type.
3. Eye Cream
The first product to go on your face is your eye cream. A hydrating gel can also be used as it sinks in quickly and stays longer. For the best results, look for ingredients like peptides—which help tighten your skin and depuff—as well as antioxidants.
This step is optional depending upon skin type and few special cases may not be required to use toners or essences depending upon the sensitivity of skin.
Serums are formulated with smaller molecular-weight actives so they penetrate into deeper skin layers.If you apply your serum after a thicker formulation, the active ingredients may not penetrate as well. While you should apply serum twice a day, you shouldn’t be using the same formulation. Serum actives differ for day and night During the day, choose serums with antioxidants that protect skin from daytime stressors like free radicals (caused by UV rays), pollutants, and blue light. At night, opt for a serum with peptides and growth factors to repair skin.
Retinol reduces fine lines, reduces pore size, increases collagen and elastin production, takes off dead skin, reduces oil production, unclogs pores, and evens out skin tone.Use retinol to clear breakouts or fade fine lines.
They are there to simultaneously hydrate and seal in hydration, which is why these formulas tend to be heavier than the layers that go underneath. You can use a lightweight formula in the morning that blends better with your makeup and reserve a heavier cream for evening.
8. Spot Treatment
You need to use spot treatments on active breakouts only, but if you’re experiencing acne, you can apply a leave-on spot treatment both morning and night to speed up its healing cycle. Wait for your a.m./p.m. moisturizer to sink in, then carefully pat over the affected areas.
9. Face Oil
This depends upon sensitivity of skin.The important thing is that you don’t overdo it—with face oils, a little goes a long way. To apply, warm about two to three drops of oil in your palms and pat lightly over your face.
What derms unanimously agree on is that you should wear sunscreen every single day to prevent UV damage—whether or not you go outside. Sunscreen needs to go over face oil in order to be most effective. You do not want anything to stop the sunscreen from working, or making it less effective.