Learn how to apply your skincare products in the correct order
By Carla Snuggs
If you’re anything like me, your bathroom cabinet is cluttered with every skin-improving concoction known to man. Gels, serums, creams, lotions - maybe even substances you didn’t know existed (what’s a hydrogel??). If the variety wasn’t confusing enough, applying them incorrectly or in the wrong order may mean you’re not reaping the max benefits, turning all that effort into a waste of your time, and let’s face it, a waste of money.
“The key to skincare success is to understand what ingredients work together and which order they should be applied,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group. “Start with thinner water-based products first (quicker evaporation, quicker absorption) then the thicker oil- based products,”
Dr. Nazarian demystifies layering with some simple guidelines:
1. Water-based solutions like toner should be applied first and can be transferred to skin directly from the bottle with a roll-on or sponge, or on pads.
2. Facial serums are mostly water, so they’re up next.
3. A classic gel formulation is oil-in-water, and should be applied third. Hydrogels are essentially the same and can also be applied after serums.
4. Lotions, creams, and ointment are all oil-water combinations, with lotions having the least amount of oil. Ointment has the moist oil (80%!) and should go on last to avoid blocking other skincare ingredients from penetrating.
Simple right? But where does SPF come in? Application timing varies for chemical vs. sunscreens.
Chemical – These sunscreens work by being absorbed into skin and should be applied to clean skin for best protection. Steer clear of applying chemical SPF over products containing anti-aging or chemical resurfacing ingredients to avoid degrading the active ingredients in your sunscreen.
Physical – Active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide work by reflecting radiation. This means these SPFs can be layered on top of other lotions. Just keep in mind that mixing sunscreen with lotions will dilute the SPF number.
Have you been layering your skincare products properly? Leave your comments below!