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Best Order to Apply Skin Care

Yes, the Order in Which You Apply Skincare Matters

After cleansing, the best order to use facial skin care will depend on what type of products you are using and/or you prefer to use. Let’s examine the different product types and when they should be applied within your skincare routine.


#1 Cleanser: The first order of business is to cleanse your face before moving on to any further skincare. Even if you washed your face before bedtime and think your face is clean and ready to go in the morning, it is not. As your skin regenerates over night it is shedding its dead cells. As you go about your day, your skin is exposed to environmental pollutants. Cleansing in the morning and before bedtime helps remove impurities on your face thereby removing any barriers to your skincare. So wash and pat dry.

#2 Facial Mask: On the days that you are using a mask, apply it immediately following your facial cleansing on that day. Fruit enzyme masks work a little deeper in your skin and do not require tugging and pulling like peel off masks. This skin care usually helps the appearance of your pores, removes impurities and also helps boost hydration to your face. Rinse your mask off, pat dry your face and let’s get ready for the next step.

#3 Serums: Serums are lightweight, not heavy like creams and oils. Quality serums are highly concentrated and a little goes a long way. Serums tend to absorb quicker and penetrate deeper into the skin. These will help target key areas that you want to focus on such as acne, skin discoloration, dull skin, fine lines and wrinkles. Serums should be applied as the first layer and will serve as a good foundation for your facial skincare.

#4 Lotions, Hybrid Creams & Creams: For some, serums are enough to meet moisturizing needs for the face. For those who need additional moisturizing, then lotions and creams are your next order of skincare. Lotions and hybrid creams (absorb like a serum, moisturize like a cream) are more lightweight and are water-based. They would best benefit those with oily skin as they are less likely to clog pores. Serums absorb into the skin without leaving any residue. Creams are oil-based and are of thicker consistency. Creams help dry skin by providing a barrier that helps seal in moisture. It is also beneficial during times when the environment is causing the dryness such as during the winter months or if you live in a dry climate area. The choice between lotions and creams is dependent on your skin type and can also be a personal choice. Some individuals do not like the heaviness of creams while others prefer the extra hydration. You can use lotions routinely and also add creams to your skincare during times of extra dryness, however lotions always go before creams.

#5 Oils: Top off your skincare with oil. Oils are able to penetrate through the other skincare applications and is therefore applied last. Some oils will help enhance your serums, lotions and creams by further sealing in their properties. For a light touch, you can add some oil to the palm of your hand, rub your palms together and then pat your face with your palms. Patting or tapping is a gentler way to apply your skincare and it also helps increase blood flow and circulation for a healthy glow over time.

#6 Sunscreen: Sun exposure can be counterproductive to your skincare. Protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays with a layer of sunscreen. This should be the final step of your daytime skincare.

Best order to apply all skin care products for maximum results every time.

* Yes toners have been around for decades but they have evolved, therefore the same rules no longer apply. Toners were initially formulated to help balance the skins PH after the use of harsh cleansers. But with a ton of toners using witch hazel as a base, this also caused a cooling sensation which closes pores. Cooling skin and shrinking pores may be beneficial in creating a smoother look but this unfortunately blocks the active serums that we apply after from absorbing fully.

Here are few easy remedies if toners are a must for you:

#1 is to simply wait five - ten minutes for the skin to return to warmer temperatures before applying active serums such as peptides, vitamin c, eg factors, retinol, plant extracts, etc...

#2 don't use harsh cleansers that disrupt the Ph balance in your skin as they really aren't necessary. There are tons of gentle cleansers that work just fine, such as the Dove Beauty Bar which costs less than $3 and lasts through many, many cleansings. 



It is important follow a facial skin care order to achieve optimal benefits. You want to make sure that the main or active ingredients can be absorbed directly to your skin. Barriers and impurities add an extra layer that may hinder actives from potentially reaching your skin layer. Not all liquids are created equal so help your skincare provide its maximum potential by paving the way to the most effective application sequence for maximum absorption following cleansing (and mask): serums first, followed by lotions, creams and topped off with oils.

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