Toners, serums, and lotions- oh my! Let’s face it (pun intended)... many of us have huge arsenals of skincare products sitting on the bathroom sink that we have absolutely NO idea how to properly apply. By the time you are done wondering whether or not to apply your face oil before your spot treatment, you realize you’re running late, slap some drugstore moisturizer on, and leave, defeated once again. This is super frustrating because our skincare products, some of which are way too expensive, do not work properly or at all if not applied in the right sequence. Well waste no more, because we are going to review the basics of skincare product layering 101.

  • 1


    Okay, this one is pretty obvious. It is essential to wash our faces every morning. As we sleep, our skin produces a buildup of oils and becomes congested by environmental pollutants. Cleaning all that nasty stuff away is essential to any skincare routine.

  • 2


    Toner is like a post-cleanser cleanser. Toner gets all the dirt and grime out of pores that the cleanser missed. They can also, depending on the brand, act as a delivery system for antioxidants, vitamin B derivatives, and even toning acids. There are many different toners out there that can provide different benefits, so it’s important to choose based on our specific skin type.

  • 3


    Serums are concentrated, nutrient-enriched treatments that address specific concerns, so it’s better to keep them as close to the skin as possible. Dr. Heather Rogers, a board-certified dermatologist, recommends antioxidant serums. These have several skin-boosting effects, like reducing inflammation or increasing resistance to environmental damage.

  • 4

    Spot Treatment

    Dermatologist,  Dr. Diane De Fiori, says treatments should be applied as close to the skin as possible to work effectively. Ensure all other products on the face have been fully absorbed (your face should feel dry), apply, and wait 30 minutes to an hour before the next step. It’s also important to remember that these are SPOT treatments. They should only be applied to affected areas to avoid overdrying the face.

  • 5


    Whether we have extra dry skin or extra oily skin, it’s true, we all need a moisturizer. Dr. Sandra Kopp, a board-certified dermatologist, states that no matter the skin type, most people still need extra moisturization after a day exposed to the sun and other pollutants. It’s important to avoid areas where a spot treatment was applied, if you use one at all, to ensure it does its job.

  • 6


    Dermatologists recommend using a physical or mineral sunscreen as the last step in any skincare routine. This cream protects the skin from the sun by physically blocking UV rays. Sun damage can cause an array of skin issues. Premature wrinkles, discoloration, uneven texture, moles, and even skin cancer are all caused by sun damage to the skin. Sunscreen is essential to anyone who wants to preserve their skin.

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