To have great products is wonderful, but if you are unclear on how or when to use them, you can actually do more harm than good. There is a system to how skincare products must be applied in order for them to be most effective. The first step is to know your skin type and your skin’s needs. Once you have that clear, the easiest rule of thumb to adhere to is: to apply your products in order of texture, from thinnest to thickest. Thinnest will penetrate quickly and if you apply thicker products first, the thinner serums and actives will be unable to do their job.
Let’s break it down, but no matter what is occurring with your skin, you want to start with a clean, balanced canvas!
1. Wash your face with a cleanser mixed with a dab of water and gently massage. One minute would be optimal. Use either a gentle washcloth or cotton to remove or if in the shower, just rinse well. Pat dry.
2. Tone with the right product for your skin type to balance the pH level. If using a hydramist or hydrosol, then just mist onto your skin.
3. Vitamin C! I find the best time to use your vitamin c or antioxidants is in the morning. These serums do the best job at protecting your skin from free radical damage, which mostly happens during the daytime hours.
4. Any and all other serums can go directly after your vitamin C. If it is a water-based product, you want to ensure it is applied underneath your moisturizer. But if you use an oil-based one, apply after your moisturizer. If you are struggling with acne, pigment, or fine lines and have spot treatment products to assist in these areas, then apply during this step.
5. Eye Cream is applied right before your moisturizer and you need only the tiniest amount. Result driven eye creams can be quite expensive so use sparingly!
6. Moisturizer hydrates and locks in all of the other products you’ve applied so far.
7. SPF is your last step. In my opinion this is a step you are incorporating year round, as we need to protect our skin from UV rays year round. Chemical and physical sunscreens are both effective, but if you struggle with pigment or melasma you will want to focus on the physical sunscreens. The ingredients you are looking for in a physical is only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are a physical block and cause the rays to be completely deflected off the skin rather than absorbed and then bounce off.
The only difference in your PM routine would be the placement of your Retinols and/or AHA/BHA peels. Any sort of peel would be applied after step 2 and then you would continue on with your regime. This also applies to a mask of any kind. Leave on for desired amount of time and then rinse and continue.
Retinol/retinoids etc would be applied after step 5, however, DO NOT use the same nights as your AHA/BHA as they could either cancel each other out or cause irritation.
It may take a little time to perfect your regime, but following these steps will have you well on your way!