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What’s the Right Order for Applying Skincare Products? Flo Breaks It Down

Developing a skincare routine that works for you can reduce premature skin aging, hyperpigmentation, acne, and many other common skin concerns. Establishing the right skincare routine order is an important part of the process.

Here, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide for your skincare routine.

Determining your skin type is the first step in finding the best skincare regimen for you. After all, someone who has dry skin will require different products than someone who has oily or combination skin.

Picking products that contain the right ingredients for your skin type is one of the best anti-aging skincare tips. These are the four main skin types:

  • Normal skin: people with normal skin aren’t prone to breakouts, have a T-zone that isn’t too oily or dry, and don’t usually suffer from flaky skin.
  • Dry skin: this type of skin produces less sebum than normal skin, and it can look dull. Dry skin can feel tight, rough, and irritated, and it’s prone to flaking.
  • Oily skin: this skin type is the result of excessive sebum production. Oily skin tends to result in enlarged and clogged pores, pimples, and hyperpigmentation. It’s less likely to age prematurely, since sebum hydrates the skin.
  • Combination skin: as its name suggests, combination skin consists of a mix of different skin types. The most common combination is having an oily T-zone with dry or normal skin on the rest of the face.

You can also have sensitive skin in conjunction with any other skin type. It’s important to figure out which skincare ingredients irritate your skin so that you can avoid inflammation.

Your skincare routine steps can be simple or elaborate; but either way, applying products in the correct order is very important. Your morning skincare routine should focus on preventing skin damage during the day.

Step #1: Cleanser

This should be the first step in your skincare routine each morning. You can combine your favorite cleanser with a facial cleansing brush — just don’t use it everyday if you have sensitive skin, or skip the brush if you have a sunburn, psoriasis, or eczema.

Water-based cleansers work best for oily or acne prone skin. Meanwhile, oil-based cleansers are better for dry skin. Sensitive skin will benefit from a gentle cleanser, such as micellar water. It’s better not to overly cleanse your face, since stripping your skin of its natural oils can actually lead to breakouts.

Step #2: Toner

Toners can be hydrating, or astringent. Each type of toner will suit a different skin type, but they can all help balance your skin’s pH and prepare your skin to absorb other ingredients.

Step #3: Serum

Vitamin C, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid serums are popular options. They can hydrate and brighten your skin,  improve texture and firmness, decrease hyperpigmentation, and help prevent premature aging.

Step #4: Eye cream

Eye creams that contain caffeine and come with a rollerball applicator can help reduce morning puffiness around your eyes.

Step #5: Moisturizer

Stick to a lighter, oil-free moisturizer if you have acne prone or oily skin. Dry skin, on the other hand, can benefit from a heavier moisturizer — especially in cold, dry weather.

Step #6: Face oil

Not everyone uses face oils, but if you do, apply it at the end of your routine to seal in other products. Facial oils can help boost the efficacy of your skincare routine and leave your skin feeling smooth and soft. Popular face oils include jojoba oil, rosehip oil, marula oil, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil.

People with oily skin may want to skip this step to avoid clogged pores.

Step #7: Sunscreen

The damage that the sun inflicts on your skin is cumulative. As your skin accumulates sun damage over the years, you risk developing skin aging and skin cancer.

Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 on your face and neck everyday. If you’re going to be out in the sun, reapply your sunscreen periodically and consider wearing a hat and sunglasses.

Step #8: Makeup

Once your sunscreen has been absorbed, you can apply your makeup normally.

Your skin works to repair itself during the night, so this is the best time to apply nourishing ingredients that will help restore it.

Step #1: Double cleansing

Double cleansing with both an oil and water-based cleanser can help you remove all the makeup, dirt, and sweat that has accumulated on your skin throughout the day. 

Use an oil-based cleanser first to remove makeup, and then follow it up with a water-based cleanser. The cleansing regimen should suit your individual skin needs. In the case of acne-prone skin, liquid cleanser with good rinsability is an option worth considering. 

Step #2: Exfoliator or toner

Glycolic acid is a popular chemical exfoliant, and it can benefit most skin types. Other options include lactic acid, malic acid, mandelic acid, and salicylic acid. You don’t have to exfoliate your skin everyday, especially if you have sensitive skin. Also, be aware of allergic reactions and ask a dermatologist before choosing skincare products that contain acid.

On days when you’re not exfoliating, a toner can help balance your skin’s pH and prepare it for the rest of your nighttime routine. 

Step #3: Active skincare treatments or serums

Applying active skin treatments on clean skin without dead cell buildup can help these products penetrate your skin more efficiently.

Different skin types can benefit from certain skincare treatments, such as retinol, or tretinoin. Some of these ingredients can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so dermatologists recommend using them at night.

Certain active treatments can result in irritated, flaky skin when combined, so they should be used on alternating days. Combinations that you should avoid include:

  • Vitamin C + Acids
  • Vitamin C + Niacinamide
  • Retinol + Acids
  • Glycolic acid + Salicylic acid
  • Benzoyl peroxide + Retinol
  • Retinol + Vitamin C

Step #4: Eye cream

Your nighttime routine should include an eye cream that targets this delicate area and helps you prevent premature aging. Common ingredients include collagen, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, herbal extracts, retinol, vitamins, and neuropeptides.

Step #5: Spot treatment

Spot treatment can help relieve pimples, discoloration, and hyperpigmentation. Dark spots can be treated with hydroquinone or niacinamide. You can try benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid for pimples.

Step #6: Night cream

Night creams tend to have a heavier, richer formula than daytime moisturizers. Night creams are full of ingredients like hyaluronic acid, collagen, lipids, antioxidants, and ceramides which help repair your skin while you sleep.

Step #7: Face oil

Just as you did in the morning, applying a face oil last can help seal in other ingredients to maximize their benefits. It’s important to apply your face oils last, since other products won’t be able to penetrate oil to reach your skin.

Wait for your skin to absorb each product before you apply the next one. This should only take a few minutes, but it ensures that your face will reap the benefits of each ingredient.

You’ll also need to adapt your skincare routine to each season. Dry skin, for example, will usually require intense moisturizing during the colder months. And while you always need to wear sunscreen, this is even more important during the summer. Skin can also get extra oily during the summer.

Avoid trying out more than one new product at once. This will make it easier for you to know when a product has a negative effect on your skin so you can discontinue using a product if needed.

In addition to a good skincare routine, there are other habits that can help you achieve great skin, such as staying hydrated and eating a healthy, balanced diet. In addition, it’s best to not touch your face throughout the day as it may spread dirt, oil, and bacteria from your hands to your face. In some cases, medical treatment may be required to treat more serious skin problems.

Once you find the best skincare routine for you, it may take consistency over time to achieve the desired effect.

https://www.yalemedicine.org/stories/can-sun-damage-be-reversed/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3088928/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605218/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583892/

https://www.aad.org/skin-care-basics/apply-skin-care-certain-order

https://www.aad.org/skin-care-basics/oily-skin

https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/do-you-really-need-a-skin-care-routine

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