In what order should I apply my skincare products, and does it even matter? Turns out the order of your care products can improve their effectiveness and reduce sensitivity.
A simple rule of thumb is to apply your products from the thinnest to the thickest consistency. Also, you should use the products with the ingredients that are most important to you first so that enough of the ingredient can penetrate your skin.
A good, effective skin care routine doesn't have to include each of the following steps. It really comes down to personal preference and your skin goals and desires. However, there are three essential steps no one should skip, which you can find in our post for skincare newbies.
#1 Oil Cleanser/Cleansing Balm
An oil cleanser or cleansing balm is the first step in a double cleanse. A double cleanse is the best way to rid your face of dirt, makeup, and sunscreen at the end of the day. It is also an effective way to remove oil without overly drying the skin. Just try out which of the two products suits you better.
A cleansing balm or cleansing oil cleans your skin more thoroughly than, for example, cleansing wipes and is a lot gentler on the skin. The problem with most makeup wipes is that they don't effectively cleanse the skin or remove makeup properly. They just spread dirt and make-up further on the face.
Also, most people tend to tug and rub heavily with wipes - particularly around the eye area when wearing mascara - this can lead to premature wrinkling over time. In addition, they are usually not biodegradable and are harmful to the environment due to the pure annual amount.
Apply a small amount of your cleansing oil or cleansing balm to your dry face. Now start gently massaging the oil or balm onto your face. Be extra gentle around your eyes. Now take a deep breath and relax. If your makeup, sunscreen, or whatever else you have on your face has dissolved, wash off the oil or balm with lukewarm water.
In a double clean, an oil-based clean is followed by a water-based clean. This ensures that your skin is free of dirt, make-up or sunscreen and is ideally prepared for the care to come.
Finding the right facial cleanser for you is important. Your cleanser should never be too wicking or harsh, even on blemish-prone skin. The drier your skin is, the more moisturizing and mild your cleanser should be. For particularly dry skin, we recommend a mildly perfumed cream cleanser. If you are sensitive to perfume or fragrances, then you should also pay attention to them.
If it's a gel cleanser, make sure to lather it up with some water. This will ensure that you don't pull too hard on your skin while cleaning. Again, be gentle around your eyes. After the second cleaning, your face should now be “clean”. For example, if you still see some eye makeup residue, then you should take more time cleaning with your oil cleanser or balm.
#3 Eye Cream
The skin around the eyes is very sensitive and easily irritated. Eye cream can soothe irritated skin caused by make-up, for example, and visibly reduce signs of aging such as crow's feet. It can also protect the particularly sensitive eye area from stronger ingredients such as retinol to prevent irritation.
It's about maintaining the health and thickness of your eyelid. An early improvement in skin quality can visibly help the eyelid skin remain firm and strong as we age.
Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to wait until 40 to start eye care. If your skin feels better from eye cream, you can use it as early as you like!
#4 Toner and Exfoliating Toner
Toners aren't necessary for every skin type, but are recommended for extra hydration when your skin is dry or dehydrated, or to visibly reduce fine lines. In addition, many toners contain skin-soothing ingredients that can prepare sensitive skin types for BHA, PHA or retinol, for example.
Exfoliating toners with AHA, BHA and PHA are less intended for hydration. Its task, as the name suggests, is to exfoliate the skin. AHA penetrates deeper layers of the skin and stimulates collagen production. It's great for blemishes, but it also improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Oh, and it increases skin's moisture levels. BHA is the most popular ingredient for blemishes, blackheads, textured skin, enlarged pores and anti-aging. BHA penetrates deep into the pores and frees them from dirt, sebum and dead skin cells. This makes the pores appear smaller and prevents impurities and skin texture. It also hydrates the skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
So the functions of a normal toner and an exfoliating toner are very different. When using an exfoliating toner, care should be taken to avoid the eye area to prevent irritation.
Essences are difficult to define, as essences differ from brand to brand: some essences are more like a toner or facial mist, others resemble a light serum. An essence often has similar benefits to a serum, it has a lower molecular weight than a moisturizer and therefore (when properly formulated) penetrates deeper into the skin.
Essences should be treated like serums when used. Many skin essences provide an extra layer of hydration for dehydrated skin and are ideal for preparing the face for make-up.
Highly concentrated and nutritious, serums are formulated for specific skin concerns. Here it is also important to find the right serum for you. You can use serums as a precautionary measure (e.g. to prevent skin aging) or because of a specific skin concern (e.g. for blemishes or blackheads).
- To prevent skin aging : AHA/ BHA, Retinol, Ceramides, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrates, Antioxidants and Niacinamides
- For blemishes and blackheads : BHA, Retinol, Niacinamide, Green Tea
- For dry and dehydrated skin: beta-glucan, hyaluronic acid, cocoa extract
- For pigment spots : vitamin C, AHA/ BHA, niacinamide, liquorice extract and azelaic acid
Even if you have oily skin, you should use facial care . In order to keep the moisture content in the skin optimal, moisturizing care is recommended for all skin types. Moisturizer is your last step because not much will penetrate through it.
It is best to apply the skin care when your skin is still slightly damp from the previous products. Your care then forms a protective coat that prevents further moisture loss in the skin. Maintaining high levels of water in the skin is key to maintaining healthy skin.
Cover picture: Vino Li