Learn how to layer skincare and achieve glowing, healthy looking skin.
There’s no miracle of the face, BUT there is miraculous results with a regular skincare routine.
The key to successful skincare is consistency, patience, and understanding which skincare ingredients work best together and the order in which they should be applied to your skin.
Learning how to layer skin care products will help you achieve glowing, healthy looking skin.
There is a specific order to apply skincare products to maximize their benefits.
After washing your face, start with the lightest products and end with the heaviest products.
Spot treatment, toner and serum should always be applied before moisturizers, face oils and lotions.
Anything water-based will soak into your skin more easily without any heavier products getting in the way.
Concentrated treatments like retinol or prescription topical treatments should only be applied at night because, for the most part, they can cause sun sensitivity.
Always put on lotions, moisturizers, face oils, night creams, and sunscreen last.
It’s important to consider the purpose of your products – why you’re using them in the first place – and which layers of the skin they affect to get the maximum benefit.
Let’s take a look at a cross-sectional diagram of the skin.
The outer layer of the skin, the epidermis or the surface of the skin is made up of layers of dead skin cells close together like tiles, which are constantly peeling off, this is the visible layer.
The deep layers of the epidermis are where new skin cells form and this is where our active ingredients and targeted treatments are formulated to penetrate.
Products that affect the surface of the skin are:
Cleansers, mechanical exfoliators/scrubs, toners, eye creams, moisturizers (day and night creams), sunscreen
Products that affect the deeper layers of the skin where new skin cells form:
AHA’S/chemical exfoliation Retinols Vitamin C Masks Spot treatments
Now let’s see what each of the above products actually does.
Products that affect the outer layer of the skin:
Cleansing should always be the first step in your morning and evening routine. Morning cleansing is important because your skin regenerates itself during the night, it will produce toxins, dead skin cells, sweat and excess oil.
Your evening cleansing will remove makeup, dirt, grime, pollution, dead skin cells and the sweat that builds up and sticks to the skin’s surface throughout the day.
Toner is an important second step in your layering, as a good toner should contain antioxidants to fight environmental damage and restore the skin’s natural PH after cleansing.
It also refines open pores and prepares your skin for your concentrated treatments.
Exfoliation is the removal of dry/dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and is one of the most important aspects of your home skincare routine.
Exfoliation helps solve many skin problems, but it also increases blood circulation, which helps achieve healthy, glowing skin. It also stimulates cell renewal which then stimulates the production of collagen to slow down the aging process.
It’s important to remove dead skin, but you have to be careful not to remove too much of your natural oils. I recommend exfoliating 2-3 times a week as part of a good skincare routine.
Moisturizers are designed to sit on the outer surface of the skin as a protective layer to lock in moisture and prevent moisture loss. I prefer a moisturizer with a broad-spectrum SPF, but that’s a personal choice.
If you choose an SPF-free moisturizer, your last skincare product to apply in the morning is broad-spectrum sunscreen before your makeup.
Eye contour cream
The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate and one of the first areas to show signs of aging. This is why it is important to use a product specially designed for this area. An eye cream should be applied morning and evening.
It’s not called “Beauty Sleep” for nothing. At night, while we sleep, our body regenerates. A night cream is like a “superfood” for the cells, rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to nourish and regenerate the skin while we sleep.
Now let’s look at products that penetrate deeper into the epidermis. These are your specific treatment products such as serums, masks and targeted spot treatments to correct skin conditions such as aging, pigmentation, sun damage, dehydration, sensitivity and acne.
AHA (alpha hydroxy acids)
Remember those outer dead skin cells that are tightly packed like roof tiles? As we age, this layer thickens, resulting in dull, lackluster skin. Fine lines begin to appear, pigmentation and dry scaly patches leading to uneven skin tone.
Dead skin cells are held together by an “adhesive” substance. Mechanical exfoliators slough off surface dead skin cells while AHAs dissolve the “sticky” stuff and release dead skin cells, resulting in deeper exfoliation.
This accelerates cell renewal and stimulates collagen production.
It is therefore a must if you are looking to slow down or reverse the signs of aging, sun damage and pigmentation. Concentrated AHAs can be found in serums and masks.
Retinol (Vitamin A)
Retinol is one of the most popular active ingredients on the market and is known for cell renewal as it can help reduce wrinkles and sun damage. It is the most effective substance for the care of aging and UV-damaged skin.
Retinols should only be applied as a nighttime treatment because vitamin A is photosensitive and it is important to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day. Retinols are usually found in concentrated serum form.
The antioxidant properties of vitamin C and its role in collagen synthesis make vitamin C a vital molecule for skin health as it protects your skin from the effects of aging.
Vitamin C is not only necessary for the production and maintenance of collagen, but it is also a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals in the skin. Vitamin C usually comes in the form of a concentrated serum.
A face mask is meant to treat your particular skin condition, so choosing the right one is important… Depending on their ingredients, masks can tighten and tone, hydrate, nourish, remove impurities, help heal blemishes, calm and soothe, and rejuvenate the skin.
A mask can be applied weekly after cleansing and exfoliation. Then follow with toner, serum, day cream/night cream.
NOTE: Some masks are formulated as an overnight treatment and it is usually not necessary to apply a night cream on top.
The best way to apply a spot treatment is after you’ve cleansed and toned without any other products on your skin because it works best at maximum strength and undiluted and it can penetrate deep into pores to kill acne-causing bacteria.
There are no other oils, gels or lotions on your face creating layers that prevent your skin from getting the maximum effect from the spot treatment. The longer you can wait to apply the rest of your products, the better.
The most effective skincare lines are designed to work in synergy, and I’ve always advised my clients to stick with one full line at a time. Using pieces from different ranges can have a negative effect on your skin, as getting the right balance of active ingredients will give you maximum benefits and results.
And remember, it takes at least 30 days for new skin cells to reach the surface of the skin and see real results. So patience and consistency are key.
THE The Essential Beauty Value Pack from Merindah Botanicals is a great pack that gives you all the basics you need to start a necessary skin care routine. you can buy it here.
About the Author:
Carol Hazimarcu is a qualified Paramedic Skin Therapist with a passion for helping clients achieve healthy, youthful, glowing skin. With nearly 30 years in the industry, 15 of them have been teaching beauty therapy at a private college in Melbourne Australia and have had their own salon for 8 years. Carol now how a very successful online health and wellness direct selling business.