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How To Layer Your Skincare Products The Right Way : Step By Step Guide

A woman applying her skincare while looking into a mirror

It’s 2023, and if you’re not sucked into the skincare trend like the rest of us then honey, it’s time to catch up. If you’re one of us (skincare enthusiasts), then you’ve come to the right place! I understand keeping up with new skincare trends can be overwhelming. I mean what really is the difference between toner and essence? And how many products do we really need in our skincare routine?

Life’s already complicated enough as it is, your skincare doesn’t have to be. So, to make things easier, we’ve come up with this guide to help you achieve glowing results in no time.

Pay attention to the consistency

When it comes to skincare products, the right way to layer them is from the thinnest consistency to the thickest. After washing your face, start with a toner. You can tap the toner into your face or use a cotton pad. Personally, when it comes to exfoliating ingredients such as glycolic acid, I prefer to use a cotton pad and if it’s for hydration, I prefer tapping the product directly into my skin. Using exfoliating ingredients helps to remove dead cells from the surface of your skin so the rest of your products can penetrate better. Next, comes the essence. Essence is slightly thicker compared to a toner hence why it comes second.

Pro tip: Try putting your toner or essence in the fridge for an added cooling effect!

Add your serums

A woman's hands holding a serum bottle and the dropper

Once you’re done with essence, pick a serum of your choice. My favorite one is either a Vitamin C serum (for dark spots and pigmentation) or hyaluronic acid (to bring moisture back into your skin), just depends on what my skin needs that day. Serums are the most effective at delivering active ingredients into the skin so if you want to invest in a specific skincare product, always go with the serum. You can also try different active ingredients based on your skin concerns like salicylic acid for acne, glycolic acid for congested pores, and aloe vera to soothe your skin.

Lock in the moisture

A woman rubbing moisturizer on her hand

Now that your skin is soaking in all the goodness from the serum, you want to make sure you lock all those goodness in. How? A moisturizer! Moisturizer does more than just provide hydration and moisture retention. It is essential to any layering process since it seals in serums on your skin, making them more effective. Feel free to stick to the basics when it comes to moisturizers. If you’re feeling a little fancy during your nighttime skincare routine, you can always add a night mask!

Add an oil

A skincare oil placed on a table with roses in the background

Now this one is for my dry skin girlies, especially during the winter. Okay I know I said when it comes to layering skincare products, go from the lightest consistency to the heaviest but oils have larger molecules compared to the other products. To keep it simple, the molecules in your skin oils can penetrate serum and moisturizers but not the other way around. Oils are best incorporated into your nighttime skincare routine.

Take note: Oils are not a necessity unless you have extremely dry skin, avoid going overboard with your skincare routine. If you have normal to oily skin, a moisturizer alone is sufficient.

Skin protection

Ahhh the trending topic of 2022 and now 2023. If I had a dollar for every time someone mentions how important SPF is, I’d be a millionaire by now. Jokes aside, if you don’t incorporate SPF into your daytime skincare, you've basically just wasted your time. No amount of skincare product will help your skin unless you use SPF. A study was conducted that showed a lady who applied SPF on one side of her face and nothing on the other. When compared to the non-SPF side, the SPF side exhibits reduced symptoms of age and hyperpigmentation.

Take note: Even if your moisturizer has SPF 30 or less, it's not enough to protect you from UV rays. Always opt for SPF 50.


A young woman admiring herself in a handheld mirror

Once you’ve done all these, take a minute to sit back and look at your skin. Appreciate all the work you've done to maintain healthy-looking skin. It takes dedication to stick to a consistent skincare routine (I know I get lazy sometimes, especially after a long day). I guess we just have to remind ourselves that good things don’t come easy!

So to conclude, the first step is toner, then essence, followed by serum and moisturizer. The last step is always the oils (nighttime) or SPF (daytime). Now that we’ve simplified the skincare process for you, we can’t wait to see you rock your glass skin!


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