How to Layer Skincare Products In the Right Order

posted on October 15, 2018 | by Lauren Abraham

How to Layer Skincare Products In the Right Order

It seems like 2018 has been the year of skin care. Every beauty blogger and influencer has been talking about trends like the 10-step Korean skin routine, the importance of using clean products, jade rolling, LED light facials…you name it.

If you’re anything like me and like to stay up-to-date on these trends, you know it can get a little overwhelming. You might be asking yourself questions like, ‘What should I be using on MY skin?’ and ‘How can I take care of my skin, but also not break the bank?’

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to start taking care of your skin today. It’s all about finding a routine that works for your skin type and applying your products in the right order. Yes! You heard that right–the order in which you apply your skin care products matters.

Applying your skin care products in the right order ensures that your skin receives the full benefits of each product. Think of it this way: you want the good ingredients to be able to penetrate into your skin and deliver the benefits they’re supposed to! If you’re putting in the effort to have a fancy skin care routine, you want it to actually work, right?

If all of this sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry – follow along as we walk you through an ideal morning and nighttime skin care routine!

How To Layer Your Skin Care Products: Day


In the morning, you want to start with a clean slate. Depending on your skin type, you can either wash your face with just water using a washcloth, or use a gentle cleanser (no harsh exfoliators!). This will wake up the skin and give you a smooth canvas to work with.


There are so many toners out there, and they all serve different purposes. Some benefits of toners can include shrinking pores, removing any last traces of makeup, restoring your skin’s PH balance, adding a boost of moisturizer, and refreshing your skin.

Do some research and find a toner that works for you. To apply, pour some on a cotton round and swipe it across your skim! This step isn’t necessary, but it might be a game changer for your routine if you’ve never tried one before.


Serums typically have a thin, water-like consistency. These treatments are often very dense in nutrients that your skin will drink right up! For this reason, you want to apply your serum before layering on any other products that might be heavier.

layer skincare products


After allowing your serum absorb into the skin, it’s time to add a boost of moisture. Even if you have naturally oily skin, this step should never be forgotten! Applying a layer of moisturizer will act as a protective barrier for your skin and help to repair any damage caused by the sun or environment. After applying moisturizer to your face (it can be an oil or cream), follow up with a lightweight eye cream!


Last but certainly not least, before heading out the door, apply sunscreen.There are so many great options out there that are lightweight, smell nice, and sit well under makeup. Just treat this step as applying another layer of moisturizer! Your skin will thank you later.

How To Layer Your Skin Care Products: Night


Cleansing is an essential part of any good nighttime skin care routine. It’s important to wash the day away and start with a fresh face before layering on any products!

To start, remove your makeup with a cleansing oil or cream. These kinds of products will really get in there to remove the dirt and grime, while also maintaining your skin’s moisture. Then, once you rinse your makeup away, cleanse one more time with a face wash. This ‘double cleansing’ method will ensure that you’ve not just removed your makeup, but that you’ve also cleansed the skin underneath.


If you’re wanting to do some pampering, now is the perfect time. Whether you’re doing a sheet mask, clay mask, peel-off mask, it’s best to do so on clean skin and before applying any products.

Apply the mask and watch a TV show or curl up with a good book–take this time to do some self-care! Once you’ve left the mask on for long enough, remove it and move on to the next step.


If you’re someone that likes to use a toner, apply it the same way you would in the morning. Another step you can incorporate into this part of the routine is to use an essence, which often comes in a water-like consistency and contains higher levels of active ingredients that are designed to penetrate deeper into the skin. A facial essence instantly balances the skin after cleansing and toning and can really help to add a boost of hydration.

If you do decide to use an essence, apply it just like you would with a toner – pour some on a cotton pad and sweep it across your skin! Make sure to give it a few minutes to absorb into your skin fully.

layer skincare products

Spot Treat

If you have acne-prone skin or have a few stubborn breakouts, do some spot treating. Depending on your skin type, you might find that a drying lotion or acne cream works for targeting certain areas. Remember not to go overboard, as these treatments can be drying! Apply them only to the areas you need to.


Last but certainly not least, a crucial step in a nighttime skin care routine is sealing the deal with a good moisturizer. Even if you have oily skin, don’t be afraid to moisturize. In fact, keeping your skin hydrated will actually make it so that your skin produces less oil.

When it comes to moisturizer, you can really layer up. Start by applying your lotions and creams, and then seal the deal with a good facial oil (this one is amazing too!). Facial oils are great, because they really lock in all of the moisturizer you just applied. When you wake up in the morning, your skin will be so soft and smooth!

At the end of the day, remember that everyone’s skin care routine is different. It’s all about finding what works best for you! Use these steps as guidance as you create your perfect day and nighttime routine.

What are some of your favorite skin care tips? Let us know in the comments below!

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