What is the Correct Order to Apply Skincare?
A rule of thumb for skincare application is always apply thinnest to thickest.
The will allow for products to penetrate the skin evenly and not allow larger molecules in products to essentially block smaller ones.
That may sound confusing but let’s break it down so that you feel really confident in how you apply your products.
Cleanser is always the first step.
If you are a makeup wearer then I recommend using a Pre-Cleanse step with an oil-based cleanser like, One Love Organics Botanical B Cleansing Oil.
Once makeup is removed - go in with your cleanser. Cleanse for 30 seconds to a minute and use your fingertips in small circular motions to break up any dead skin cells, dirt and oil inside the pores.
The goal for cleanser is to deep clean your skin and prepare a clean canvas for the rest of your skincare routine to maximize the benefits.
It all starts with the cleanser so make sure you are using one that works best for your skin.
iS Clinical Cleansing Complex and Elta MD Foaming Cleanser are excellent options for all skin types. If you wear face makeup daily I also suggest using a cleanser twice in the evening to make sure everything has been removed.
- Toner (maybe)
This will help to balance the pH of the skin and optimize product absorption.
The next step will be your serums because we want to always think “thinnest to thickest”. Toner is essentially the consistency of water and serums are the next thinnest option in your routine. This can be anything from Vitamin C Serum, Treatment Serums like iS Clinical Poly Vitamin Serum, or Chic MD Retinol Serum (in the evening).
Serums have a very small molecular size, they are able to penetrate the skin deeply and cause focused change.
The molecules in serums are tiny, but in other products like lotion, are going to be larger. If you applied lotion before serum the larger molecules of the lotion would essentially block the smaller ones of the serum. So, serum goes first!
Retinols need to be used in your evening routine and would be used after serums and before moisturizers. This is an in between thickness of serums and moisturizers, that will allow the retinols to go deeper into the skin.
*A trick when starting a retinol product is to make sure your skin is completely dry before applying the product to the skin.
This can include Eye cream, Neck Cream, Lotions, Creams and balms.
This step is when all your other products have been applied and you are locking everything in to rehydrate, plump and nourish the skin.
You want the moisturizer to sit on top and work on the outer layers of the skin while everything else before it can penetrate and treat deeper.
Sunscreen is always the last step in your morning routine and can be applied over any moisturizer. It is protecting the top layers of your skin from the sun like a shield, so it is best to have it be the last step and re-apply throughout the day.
Think of it this way
Think of being on a basketball court with both a basketball and large beachball.
You throw the beachball into the net and it sits right on top of the ring without going through.
You then try to throw the basketball and because the beachball is blocking the net it bounces right off.
BUT if you throw the basketball in first it will easily go through the net and then the beach ball can sit on top.
Much like a serum can penetrate through the skin to work on the deeper layers of the dermis and epidermis while the moisturizer or lotion can sit on top of the skin and hydrate the outer layers. If a lotion is applied first the serum would not be able to make it through.
Always think thinnest to thickest as your guide. For an easy reminder we provide an extremely helpful reminder with each of our product orders that will help guide you through your routine with ease.