How to Layer Your Skincare: An Expert’s Guide

Imagine you're getting dressed for a beach day… and you put your swimsuit over your shirt and shorts. Not ideal, right? Well, neither is mixing up the order of your skincare products. Getting the right balance of moisture and hydration, not to mention maximizing each formula's active ingredients, is a vital part of an effective skincare ritual, and the order in which you're applying products really matters.

That's why we've compiled this guide to layering your skincare, with advice straight from our estheticians.

How to Layer Your Morning Skincare

Your morning skincare routine should focus on prepping your skin for the day ahead through hydration and nourishment—not to mention a mandatory dose of sun protection!  

  1. Cleanser. Take care to match your cleanser to your skin type—for instance, overly dry skin might benefit from a gentle cleansing balm, while acne-prone skin often thrives on a foam. Not sure what your skin needs? Take our Skin Quiz to find out!
  2. Mist. Adding hydration and extra nutrients helps active ingredients penetrate more deeply into the skin, which makes them last longer and work even better. Plus, a mist will help give your skin a dewy finish.
  3. Serum. This layer sends a concentrated dose of hard-working ingredients directly into your skin, helping lift concerns like fine lines, dullness, or dryness on contact.
  4. Eye Cream. Using your ring finger, dab a small amount of eye cream under your eyes to help strengthen and de-puff this delicate area. Pro tip: Keeping it in your fridge can help constrict blood vessels and tighten the skin.
  5. Moisturizer. This key step also locks in the hydration your skin needs to thrive during the whole day. It also helps protect skin from environmental stressors like pollution and harsh air.
  6. Face Oil. If you're using a face oil to protect dry or sensitive skin, use it after your moisturizer to create the ultimate protective barrier.
  7. SPF. Protect your complexion every day with SPF to ensure your skin stays healthy and vibrant for years to come.

How to Layer Your Evening Skincare

Your evening skincare ritual should kickstart your skin's recovery cycle, helping your complexion repair and renew itself overnight. (Beauty sleep: it's real!)

  1. Cleanser. Use your preferred cleanser to remove the day's accumulation of oil, sweat, and dirt. If you're wearing SPF or any makeup, consider double cleansing, with your first wash taking off any cosmetics, and the second clearing pores more deeply.
  2. Mist. Hydrate and refresh your skin and prep it to best receive the powerful vitamins and nutrients coming next. Which brings us to...
  3. Serum. Feed your skin its nightly dose of active ingredients to help maintain its optimal health and resilience as it recovers and repairs itself overnight.
  4. Eye Cream. Using your ring finger, dab a small amount of eye cream under your eyes to help tighten, strengthen, and de-puff.
  5. Retinol. If you're using a retinol treatment to smooth and repair fine lines and wrinkles, gently press it into your entire face, neck, and décolleté.
  6. Moisturizer. Seal in the active ingredients from your skincare routine while refueling it with essential hydration and protection overnight.

How to Layer Your At-Home Facial Routine

This ritual for extra TLC is a great way to take some restful moments for yourself, and level up your skincare results at the same time!

  1. Cleanser. Any extended treatment should begin with a freshly-cleansed face.
  2. Mist. By hydrating and prepping your skin with a mist, you'll be clearing the way for active ingredients and ultimately, better product penetration.
  3. Enzyme Peel. Use an antioxidant-rich formula to gently exfoliate your skin and clear dead skin cells and debris to reveal a softer, brighter layer of your complexion.
  4. Treatment Mask. Choose the mask that addresses your specific complexion goals, like brightness or firmness. (Pro tip: If your mask is part of an overnight treatment, bump this step to the end of your routine!) Remove the mask with a soft, damp washcloth.
  5. Serum. Pat the serum of your choice gently into your face and neck to infuse your skin with long-lasting, super-concentrated benefits.
  6. Eye Cream. Using your ring finger, dab a small amount of eye cream under your eyes.
  7. Moisturizer. Add this final layer of protection and nourishment—but skip it if you're using an overnight treatment mask, and do that here instead!

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