How to layer Skincare: What order to apply?

How to layer skincare, and in what order to apply your products?

First and foremost, I’d like to say that even though there are many different skincare products, you don’t have to use them all at once.

Sometimes less is more, which can also be valid with skin, especially on your face.

In my case, I can only add a few layers of products because it may give me pinpoint.

There are many people like me, and there are also people who don’t want to take too much time on skincare and are looking for a quick and easy way o do it.

How to layer Skincare: What order to apply skincare Products?

How To layer skincare?

To achieve the best results from your skincare routine, you must follow a step-by-step with the right products in the proper order.

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The simplest way I found to memorize how to layer skincare products (or what order to apply skincare products) is the following:

Start with the lightest texture, move to the thickest, and finish with sunscreen. In a nutshell, here’s the basic order:

  1. Cleaning
  2. Treatment
  3. Hydration
  4. protection

It would be best because the lighter texture is absorbed more quickly than the thick ones, which makes the application more efficient.

This way, each cosmetic will do its job bringing all its benefits to your skin. In the following lines, I discuss each product in more detail.

But before that, here is a quick summary:

  • Start with liquid, serum, gel, cream lotion, heavier cream
  • The first step is invariably cleansing, and the last is sunscreen protection (for the day).

The list above e is one of the essential lists because there are still other products some people may apply for, such as facial masks, facial butter, etc. 

We will talk about these extra products (for sure), but before we move on, you must try out the best routine.

What order to apply skincare Products?

How to layer Skincare: What order to apply skincare Products?

After all this explanation, you are expected to want a more concrete example of applying skincare products. Simply put, here is an example:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Tonic
  3. Eye Cream
  4. On-target treatments: Facial Masks, Serums, vitamin C, etc 
  5. Moisturizer
  6. Oil (if you use it)
  7. Sunscreen.

The best way to know what to do is to ask your dermatologist; however, these specific treatments are really simple and efficient.

You can try the eight steps I mentioned for three weeks and see how your skin responds.

Some people may be able to identify if a specific treatment is working quicker than others.

For example, there are times that I try a treatment that I can see within one or two days that my skin is not liking it.

When this happens, I wait a bit to see if this is a purging reaction. 

Of course, if the irritation is too intense, I wash my face immediately with abundant water and baby soap.

Some other treatments may take longer, so three weeks is excellent timing to understand more or less if the product brings at least some improvements.

Now, let’s talk about each of the productions I mentioned above.

Step 1.  Cleansing


Before any skincare routine, we all know we need to cleanse our skin to prepare it to receive all the benefits of the product we are about to apply.

At the moment, I am using the Chanel Cleanser morning end evening. 

I find it very purifying, and I love how it can clear my skin, removing pinpoints from clogged pores.


Once a week, I like to use the Stee Lauder exfoliating gel, which is fantastic as well; this helps me protect my skin from acne.

Funny enough, I have recently discovered that my skin likes baby soap, which I use for showers, and I decided to try it on my face.

To my surprise, it worked really well, so from time to time, if I am lazy and not wearing any makeup, I wash my face in the shower with the baby soap from johnson. 

Morning Routine

For the morning, it is nice to cleanse the skin only once with light soap as we want to take off excess of the night products and remaining sweat.

Evening Routine

Double cleansing in the evening or any time you take off makeup and sunscreen is a good idea. 

You can choose between soap bars, liquid, foaming, cleansing oil, gel, milk, etc.

Oily & Combination Skin

If you have oily acne-prone skin, you will probably prefer the soap bar or certain foaming creams.

Dry Skin 

For dry skin, milk and cleansing oils are great for nutrition and hydration as your skin requires more moisture.

You can also use micellar water for cleansing and makeup removal, which is excellent for all skin types.

Step 2 – Intensify cleansing With Tonic.


Now that your skin is sparkling clean, complement the cleansing with a facial toner that regulates the skin’s pH and strengthens the skin barrier.

Make sure you gently apply toner on dry skin with cottonwood or a cotton pad. You don’t need to rinse it out.

One Tonic I am using now is Estee Lauder for oily skin, which is excellent for unclogging and minimizing pores.

There is a debate if you choose to use tonic or micellar water for your facial skincare; I am talking about this in this article; go there and check it out for further instructions!

Step 3 – On Target Treatments

After cleansing and toning your skin, you start with your targeted treatments to treat problems that are specific to your skin.

This is the most specific part where you can use products that treat certain conditions such as acne, oleosity, wrinkles, and spots.

The recommendation is to start with the most liquid products (lotions and serums) and finish with firmer products such as creams.

It is good to remember that in this phase, you can apply Facial masks, vitamin C, acids (hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, glycolic acid), and anti-aging products.

Facial Masks

Always use the facial masks immediately after cleansing, apply it and wait for a few minutes, depending on the recommendations given by the brands.

You can use a face mask of your choice once or twice weekly. 

The facial mask should be used only a few times a week, as it is a concentrated treatment, so use it at a maximum of 3 times a week if your skin really needs it.

Otherwise, once or twice will be enough. 

After rinsing out the mask, you can move on to the other treatments, such as serums, vitamin c, etc.

I like to use charcoal masks once a week, but sometimes I need to remember to use them from time to time.

Step 4. Eye Creams

Eye Cream

In addition to protecting the region, the eye cream reduces fine lines, controls dark circles, improves sagging, and moisturizes the skin!

It doesn’t matter in what order you apply eye cream because you will apply it solely on the eye area, and there is no other cream to layer up with.

I needed help finding an eye cream that works. I tried many, and I don’t know why, but most of these products make my skin really dry.

However, not so long ago, I found the Chanel Eye cream that works great and really does a great job hydrating the area.

It is a bit pricey, but I liked the results, so I recommend it.

Step 5. Moisturizer


You can skip all other steps (apart from cleansing), but you should take the moisturizer.

And also, use moisturizer even if you have oily skin because every skin needs hydration.

It reinforces the natural protective barrier, “replenishes water” in the skin, and improves its texture and appearance.

Know your skin type and get a moisturizer specific to your condition.

Of course, opt for a lightweight product if you have oily skin. On the other hand, if you have dry skin, you can opt for a rich formula.

The tip is to apply the product in the center of the face and use your fingertips to spread it to the ends, making firm movements (carefully!) and from bottom to top. It can be applied twice a day, morning and night.

I am in love with the 365 Moisturizer from Lancaster and the Chanel Moisturizer, which are my favorites.

I recommend these two because I noticed a considerable improvement in my skin texture, especially when sun exposure.

The Lancaster moisturizer I know for a long time, and I have purchased it multiple times because it was the best I tried.

Recently I decided to test and try the channel because I love their cleanser, so I decided to try the entire line. 

I have had great results, especially regarding skin texture and luminosity for both lines.

Step 6. Oils: When Should I use them?

Use oils after applying all your skincare products and before sunscreen.

This is because they are occlusive, and the skin will hardly absorb anything you apply after it.

It is crucial to notice that if you apply oil, you don’t need to apply a heavy cream on the same day. Use one or another.

Step 7. Sunscreen


Sunscreen should be the last product to apply because the protector factor creates a film of protection for the skin.

Not only the protector factor but, in general, the skin creates a layer of protection on your skin that is not absorbed by the skin.

It should be the last because it won’t allow the skin to absorb nutrients from further products and because another product on top may disturb the protection.

For this reason, if you plan to apply makeup after sunscreen, opt for foundations with SPF protection to complement the sunscreen.

I love using Vichy because it won’t clog my pores, and for those days that I apply makeup, I am in love with the MAC SPF protection.

How to layer Skincare Final Takes

The routine presented here is basic and does not consider specific skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis, etc. 

To address specifics, the ideal is to consult a dermatologist and explain the current skincare routine and what discomfort you want to treat.

It is also important to remember that everyday habits, such as diet, hydration, and exercise, strongly influence the appearance of the skin.

If you want to learn more, take some time to check out these skincare routines adapted for each skin type:

  • Skincare routine for normal skin
  • Skincare routine for oily skin
  • Skincare routine for dry skin
  • Skincare routine for combination skin

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