• 04/24/2024

This Is the Skin Care Order You’ll Ever Need to Follow

woman applying moisturizer

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With so many skin care trends, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to discern reliable information online. Numerous fads make bold claims, making it difficult to determine which routines are truly effective. To alleviate confusion, here’s a clear step-by-step guide to the skin care order you’ll ever need to commit to.

Your Morning Skin Care Order 

The AM routine is all about protecting your skin from harmful UV rays and pollutants. Here are the steps and the essential products you’ll need to keep your face healthy and protected.

Step 1: Cleanser

Cleansing your face using a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser eliminates products from your nighttime routine and the possible dirt and oil on your face. Splash your face with lukewarm water and apply your cleanser gently on the skin. Pat dry with a clean towel.

Pro tip: Use a product containing either hyaluronic acid or ceramides for dry skin. Gentle cleansers with glycolic acid, tea tree oil or salicylic acid are best for those with acne-prone and oily skin, as these ingredients help unclog pores and control oil production.

Step 2: Toner

This is an optional step but a highly recommended one. Feel free to skip using a toner in the morning if you’re just staying at home all day. However, if you want to amp up your skin prep to achieve a flawless-looking base, toning acids can help achieve it. A toner provides balance to the skin after using cleansers. Just soak a cotton pad with the product and pat it on the face.

Pro tip: If you have oily skin, you’ll benefit from toners containing astringent properties, like AHA or BHA acids. If you have dry or sensitive skin, achieve a plump-looking base by applying a hyaluronic acid toner or rose water.

Step 3: Serum

Serums are concentrated, lightweight treatments that address specific skin concerns. Popular choices include niacinamide, vitamin C and hyaluronic. Apply a pea-sized amount on your fingers and gently rub in a light tapping motion.

Pro tip: Use antioxidant serums like vitamin C serum that help stimulate collagen production and neutralize damage from environmental pollutants and UV rays. 

Step 4: Spot Treatment

Acne affects up to 50 million Americans every year, which is why many rely on spot treatment. This product contains dermatologically prescribed ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and adapalene, to help combat acne. It should be applied as close to the skin to maximize its benefits. Remember that this step is only to be done if you have active pimples.

Pro tip: Acne spot treatments can excessively dry, so only apply where needed.

Step 5: Moisturizer

Moisturizers usually have the thickest consistency among all skincare products. Aside from keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized, it locks in all the ingredients. This step is crucial, especially for dry skin and compromised skin barrier. 

Pro tip: If you have dry skin, look for products containing glycerin, shea butter or ceramides for long-lasting hydration. For oily skin, non-comedogenic gel moisturizers will benefit you the most.

Step 6: Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen is the last and most crucial step in your AM skin care regimen. This product is vital in preventing premature skin aging, wrinkles, damage, skin cancer and sun spots caused by harmful UV rays. Regardless of your gender, race and age, you should use a product that contains at least SPF 30 or higher. 

Avoid being misled by higher SPF numbers—while SPF 80 may seem like it offers more protection, the truth is it isn’t much different from its lower counterparts. SPF 30 can block 97% of sun rays, while SPF 50 can shield you from 98% of UV rays.

Pro tip: Generously coat your face, ears, lips and neck with sunscreen and apply 15 minutes before going outdoors. Remember to reapply every two hours after exercising or swimming. 

Your Evening Skin Care Order

Prepping your skin can be part of your relaxation routine before bedtime. Incorporate these steps before hitting the hay:

Step 1: Double Cleanse

Double cleansing refers to using two types of products to ensure pollutants, makeup and oil are eliminated. The first step requires using micellar water or an oil-based cleanser to remove sunscreen and makeup. Next, use a gentle cleanser to remove the remaining dirt and pollutants. Remember to use products without active ingredients.

Pro tip: An oil-based cleanser is ideal if you wear makeup daily. Makeup dissolves in oil, which makes it more effective than micellar water.

Step 2: Toner

Like before, use a toner to balance your skin’s PH levels. You don’t have to follow this step daily—sometimes twice or thrice a week shall suffice. Look for acid ingredients, like glycolic and mandelic acids, that help exfoliate your skin. 

Pro tip: Avoid using alcohol-based products as they can damage your skin barrier, leading to sensitive skin.

Step 3: Eye Cream

Applying this product around your eyes helps address dark circles and crow’s feet. Since the skin under your eyes is thin, an eye cream provides another layer of protection from potent ingredients that might cause irritation.

Pro tip: If dark circles are your primary concern, look for ingredients like caffeine and vitamin K to help improve blood circulation and minimize puffiness. 

Step 4: Treatments (Serums and Prescription Meds)

Products such as retinol, serums and prescription meds for rosacea are better used at night. Your skin regenerates as your body recharges while you sleep.

Pro tip: Using too many products can increase the risk of irritation. Pick your treatment based on what you need for that night. Avoid using retinol on the same night as exfoliative products.

Step 5: Moisturizer or Night Cream

Once you’ve given your treatment products time to absorb into the skin, seal your skin with a moisturizer. Use a more concentrated hydrating solution, like a night cream, with added ingredients, such as peptides and vitamin E.

Pro tip: Aloe vera gel is a natural alternative to a pricey moisturizer. It contains soothing and hydrating properties that help reduce dryness.

Get That Glow

This detailed skin care order will help you achieve healthy, radiant skin. Remember to give each product time to absorb into the skin before proceeding to the next step. Lastly, don’t hesitate to try products and see which works best for your skin type.

What do you think is the most crucial step?

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