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Skincare Layering - Why and How?

Applying your skin care products in the proper order ensures that your skin receives the full benefits of each product.

The order of application is very important. The skin’s job is to keep things out, but many of the skin care products we use have ingredients we want to get in. Only a very small amount of these key ingredients can penetrate the skin, even when perfectly formulated and perfectly applied. If you don’t apply products in the correct order, you will not see the best results from your skin care regimen.

How To Apply In Order

An easy rule of thumb to follow is to apply your products with the thinnest consistency to thickest, or from liquid to cream.

In general, think thin-to-thick, but you also want to first use the products with the ingredients that are most important to penetrate into the skin (like antioxidants in serums) and finish with the products that need to sit on top of the skin (like emollients and humectants in moisturizers.

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There are a few big ones that you shouldn’t mix unless you’re looking to burn off your current face and start fresh with a new one.

If you like to tone: The easiest thing to do is spritz your face with something balancing and hydrating. Your other option is a treatment toner, but that’s when you’ve got to tread lightly. Our Toner or toners with AHA, BHA active ingredients could limit what you can use later.

If you have a zit: Go for a spot treatment. But keep in mind: Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid shouldn’t be mixed with any retinol or retinoids in your routine. Retinol will break down your skin barrier and lead to irritation; other products might mess with the actual potency of the spot treatment. So consider your options here. Maybe just use your retinol one night and a spot treatment another night, since it’s also a good acne eradicator. Alternatively, a treatment toner like ours or those with AHA/BHA properties might allow you to skip this step.

If you’re into serums: Cool, just watch out for vitamin C. While it’s been touted as a miracle ingredient for everything from acne to sun protection, it can also be quite drying and irritating when used with too many other actives. Ascorbic acid is still an acid. The easy fix for this is to use it during the day and leave your harsher BHAs, AHAs, and retinols for nighttime.

If you prefer an oil over moisturizer: Great! Us too (Glow Serum). But oils go on last. So layer your water-based serums on before adding a few drops of oil to lock it in. The other crucial tip here is time. Let each product soak in completely before adding another product on top. Remember when you learned that water and oil don’t mix? That’s still true! So let the lighter serums make their way into your dermis before sealing them in with a heavier hydrator.

If you don’t like an oil: That sounds like a personal preference. See the above tips, but sub in a cream or gel moisturizer for oil.

If it’s daytime: You know what we're going to say. Sun protection. SPF is always the last step of your skincare routine. Adding a moisturizer on top of it can mess with the protection factor. No good. So apply moisturiser and then SPF.

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