Now making an appropriate skincare routine and following it sounds incredibly tough when you’re starting off, but it is nonetheless important. What’s more important is sequencing your products in the correct order.
Following the instructions outlined on your products is the most important thing to consider while trying to determine how to layer skincare products effectively. The ‘one-size-fits-all’ rule just isn’t it.
So, when trying to remember the correct order to apply your products, the common rule of thumb is to layer your products, starting with the thinnest, water-based formulas and ending with the thickest products. The goal is to allow each product to absorb before layering on your next product, and lightweight, water-based formulas are typically more penetrable and quicker to absorb than heavier products. The lesser your products penetrate your skin, the less effective they’ll be. Also, when certain active ingredients are meant to be applied away from each other, using them together can deactivate them or even create a new, unwanted chemical reaction, and harm your skin.
WHAT PRODUCTS SHOULD WE USE IN THE MORNING?
Morning routines should be all about prevention and protection. It consists of the three simple steps: cleanse, treat, and moisturize.
Cleansing is the first step of any good skincare routine. You may not put much mind to it but, the type of cleanser you’re going to be using matters much more than you think. You should generally go for a gentle cleanser, particularly if you’re thinking of using active ingredients right after- you don’t want your skin barrier to break down, do you?
Now cleansers come in two forms: oil-based, and water-based. Certain oil cleansers work great on oily skin, others work great for dry skin. If you have a combination, or combination-to-oily, or oily skin- then you shouldn’t be using a cleanser that contains only oil rather than a blend of oil and emulsifiers and surfactants. Also oil-based cleansers work like a charm while removing makeup.
Water-based cleansers most commonly contain surfactants, which basically just remove all the dirt and sweat. They are used in double cleansing after the oil cleanser to remove all the remaining oil collected on top of your skin by the oil-based cleanser.
One thing to remember is that you shouldn’t double cleanse if your oil-based cleanser has surfactants that can remove dirt from your face, otherwise it could break down your skin.
Toners are highly concentrated formulas that help balance the pH of your skin and remove the excess dirt and dead skin that remain after cleansing. They are supposed to be hydrating, so if your face feels dry and itchy after using a toner, then you’re most definitely using the wrong one for your skin type. If you have oily skin, then you should try a pore minimizing toner that, well, reduces the appearance of large pores. For normal-to-dry skin type, use a gentle, alcohol-free toner that is formulated to not strip your skin of your natural oils.
- ANTIOXIDANT SERUM
These serums contain a high concentration of certain ingredients. An antioxidant-based serum will protect skin against the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. The best choices would be to use a Vitamin C and E serum. It helps reverse a majority of the damage that we get the sun and the polluted environment, and improve the texture and firmness. Look for a serum which contains a stable form of vitamin C, so that it might actually seep into your skin.
- SPOT TREATMENT
If you’ve got blemishes and acne on your face make sure to use an anti-inflammatory product to remove it first, then switch to spot treatments. Spot treatments target the infection that lays under your skin and causes breakouts. Don’t use a spot treatment unless and until you have actual marks on your skin.
- EYE CREAM
Now the skin under your eyes is ten times thinner and extremely sensitive, which makes it prone to signs of aging, and fine lines, and lack of sleep can cause darkness. Good eye creams can brighten, smoothen and firm the area under your eyes. But since our skin has different requirements during the day make sure that one of the key ingredients in the eye cream should be vitamin C as it will help brighten and protect the area.
- FACE OIL
Face oils are lightweight so they should always be applied before the moisturizer. Again, the lighter the product, the earlier it should be applied. Face oils are useful to reduce dryness, flaky skin, and dehydration of your skin. They boost your skin care routine by balancing your skin’s natural oils. During the day you should use an antioxidant facial oil to revitalize your skin.You can also mix your face oil in your moisturizer to dilute the formulation. Try different oils to see which one fits your skin best.
A moisturizer works to soothe and soften your skin. It will keep your skin hydrated and will strengthen your skin barrier. Look for ones with a blend of humectants and stable emollients, that are low in silicones and fragrance. Thicker creams work best for combination, or combination-to-dry, or dry skin, and fluid and gels that are lightweight are good for oilier skin types. People with oily skin usually skip this part, which should not be done.
Sunscreen is the holy grail of skin care routines. If you don’t apply sunscreen you might as well not do any of the above. Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer and rapid signs of aging, and you most definitely don’t want skin cancer. The American Cancer Society Recommends choosing a sunscreen rated SPF 45 or higher. Also don’t think that if you’re indoors, you won’t be needing sunscreen, because UV rays can still come in through your windows and from that phone or laptop that you are using to read this article.
NIGHTTIME SKINCARE ROUTINE
Now after going through the day with all the dirt and pollution in the air, that piled up on your face, your skin feels absolutely tired and nighttime routine is the perfect time to make sure that your skin gets as many nutrients and active ingredients as possible, since your skin regenerates and repairs itself while you catch some Z’s. This is the time to use the products that make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
- OIL-BASED MAKEUP REMOVER
Now as mentioned above, an oil-based cleanser can dissolve the excess natural oil produced by your skin, but it also breaks down the oil ingredients in makeup. If you don’t wear makeup, or have oily skin, then you don’t have to use an oil-based cleanser.
- WATER-BASED CLEANSER
Water-based cleansers remove all the remaining makeup and oil left from the oil-based cleanser and wash it away with the water.
- EXFOLIATOR OR CLAY MASK
Exfoliation removes all the dead skin cells. Clay masks work to unclog the pores, and absorb excess oil. These masks should be applied at night as they easily remove the leftover dirt and enable your pores to absorb the products more easily. Make sure to not use masks and exfoliants when your skin is already irritated.
- TONER AND HYDRATING MISTS
Apply your toner like you did in the morning routine. If your toner is exfoliating- meaning it includes ingredients like glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells- then only use it at night. Hydrating formulas can be used both times. Make sure to not use exfoliating toner and retinoids or other exfoliators together at the same time.
- ACID TREATMENT
Now the term acid may set off an alarm in your head, and the idea of then using it on your face might just skyrocket the terror. But as scary as it may seem, acid treatments can actually cause a major skin cell turnover. Salicylic acid is used to get rid of acne and black/white heads (which in my experience are extremely difficult to get rid of by physical appliances), and Hyaluronic acid retains moisture in your skin. Make sure to do a patch test before you start using the product. Stop using acid treatments immediately if you see a reaction on your skin due to the product. Better be safe than sorry.
- SERUMS AND ESSENCES
Serums are formulas that provide ingredients directly to your skin. Essences are basically just watered-down versions of serums. Vitamin E works best for people with dry skin. If you have acne-prone skin then use retinol or Vitamin C. People also use green tea extracts on dull skin. Again, make sure to do a patch test to see that the product suits your skin. And use the water-based ones before the oil-based ones.
- SPOT TREATMENT
As mentioned above, spot treatments work like a dream for blemishes with heads. Also don’t use this product if you don’t have any spots on your skin.
- HYDRATING SERUMS OR MASKS
These masks and serums are the holy grail for dry skin. They, as the name suggests, hydrate your skin. They don’t clog pores. They get absorbed into your skin, leaving it plump and bright. However, if you’re using an overnight mask, rather than a sheet mask, apply it at the very end of your routine.
- EYE CREAM
The eye cream you use at nighttime should be much richer than the one you use in the daytime. It will help reduce baggy eyes, and fine lines. It should have a high concentration of peptides and antioxidants. Usually eye creams are just moisturizers packed in small boxes and suddenly become expensive. Be wise to choose a good eye cream or use an extra amount of your face moisturizer under your eyes.
- FACE OILS
Face oils at night are best for dry or combination-to-dry skin. Apply it all over your face like you did it in the morning.
- NIGHT CREAMS OR SLEEPING MASKS
Now while daytime creams protect the skin, nighttime creams are rich moisturizers that repair your cells. Sleep masks hydrate your skin throughout the night and seal in all your products. This is a completely optional last step.
Now you need to know that when you’re starting out, you need not follow the ten-tier routine. For some people, even something as simple as the basic- Cleanse, Moisturize, and Protect- work perfectly.
And it’s always best to go to a certified dermatologist, and get your skin checked out in order to get an in-depth knowledge about your own skin. Also just to get to know what products suit your skin and what don’t.
Once you’ve made an appropriate skin care routine, all that’s left to do is go through with it.
Follow the routine, and you’ll see results within a couple weeks or months.
Comment below your skincare success stories, we would love to know!