When good skin care products are used correctly, they can make a big difference in the appearance of your skin. If you do not use the right products for your skin type in the correct order at the right time of day, you will do more harm than good for your skin.
You are never too young to start caring for your skin.
The world's best, most expensive products will not help if you do not follow these simple rules.
What is my skin type?
To reap the benefits of skincare products, you must use the right ones for your skin type. The wrong ones can have harmful effects on your skin.
For example, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, use oil-free products to prevent breakouts. Products that are not oil-free will clog your pores and lead to more acne breakouts. If you have dry skin, make sure your products are moisturizing. Patients with sensitive skin must avoid harsh chemicals like alcohol, dyes, and fragrances.
Here is an easy way to determine your skin type:
- Not oily or dry.
- No feeling of tightness or irritation.
- No redness.
- Able to tolerate all products.
- Feels greasy.
- Looks irritated, red, or tight.
- Not able to tolerate some products.
- Dry on the cheeks.
- Oily in the T zone (forehead, nose, chin).
Layering of products is essential
Once you know your skin type, you can select the correct products.
Next, it is vital to apply these products in the right order based on the product's consistency. You must apply them from thinnest to thickest, so they penetrate best, and you reap the full benefits. Otherwise, you are wasting your money. A thicker creamy moisturizer should never be applied before a thinner serum antioxidant.
Waiting in between products
You must wait at least five minutes between products to ensure each penetrates maximally. The thicker the product, the longer it takes to penetrate. Some can take up to 30 minutes. Once again, if it does not penetrate, it will not work optimally.
Skincare routine steps
There is no perfect amount of steps in a skincare routine.
It depends on how much time you have to spend on your skin each day. If it is too complicated, then you will not do it. You need to create a routine that is right for you. There are some bare minimum steps and some advanced ones. Start with the basics and introduce extra steps slowly.
In addition to topical products, you may also consider certain supplements for skin health.
What is the correct order to apply products in the morning?
Your morning products will differ from your evening products because you address different problems. The goal of your morning routine is protection.
Here is a sample of a minimal morning skincare routine:
After you master those steps, you can move on to a more advanced routine, like this one:
Cleanser. Cleansing is a vital step. You must remove the dirt, oil, bacteria, and toxins that accumulate during the day. Use clean fingertips to massage the cleanser into your skin. Never scrub your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water because hot water can damage your skin. Pat dry with a clean towel and never rub. Make sure the cleanser has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5, so it does not injure your skin's protective barrier.
- Dry and sensitive skin types. You can treat them similarly. Avoid harsh chemicals (alcohol), dyes, and fragrances. Select a creamy cleanser. Avoid foaming cleansers or bar soaps because they can strip your skin of much-needed moisture.
- Oily skin. Select one that is non-comedogenic, oil-free, and safe for acne.
- Toner. Today's toners can target many different skin concerns, such as moisturizing or anti-aging. They are not just for treating oily skin anymore. Just select one for your skin type and skin concern. Not everyone needs to use a toner. If you find it irritating, then stop using it. Always listen to your skin.
- Antioxidant serum. Everyone should use an antioxidant serum. Antioxidants protect the skin by scavenging free radicals produced by the sun and dispose of them before they can damage our collagen and DNA. Vitamin C and E are popular choices.
- Eye cream. These creams are essential to protect and treat the delicate skin around the eyes. Eye creams target the unique concerns of the eye area that moisturizers do not, such as dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles.
Moisturizer. Everyone must moisturize, not just people with dry skin. In the past, many believed that if they have oily skin, then they should not moisturize. That is not true. If you have oily skin and do not moisturize, your skin will produce extra oil.
- Oily skin. Select one that is a thin lotion. Make sure it is non-comedogenic, oil-free, and safe for acne.
- Dry skin. Use thicker, creamier ones to give your skin extra moisture and protect against dehydration.
Sunscreen. Everyone must wear sunscreen to protect themselves from the harsh ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted from the sun. It should be broad-spectrum to protect against UVA and UVB rays, both of which cause skin cancer. Make sure to apply it every morning and reapply every one to two hours you are outside, including driving. If you use a physical blocking sunscreen or mineral sunscreen, it works immediately after application. If you choose chemical sunscreen, it takes 30 minutes to begin working.
- Dry skin. Use a sunscreen that is moisturizing and cream-based.
- Sensitive skin. You might benefit from the physical or mineral sunscreens. Chemical ones may be too irritating.
- Oily skin. As with all products, use one that is non-comedogenic, oil-free, and safe for acne. Gel or thin lotion sunscreens will not leave your skin greasy.
- Makeup. Remember, if you have oily, acne-prone skin, select makeup that is oil-free, non-comedogenic, and safe for acne.
What is the correct order to apply products at night?
The goal of your nighttime routine is to repair and rejuvenate the skin. While sleeping, your body repairs itself from the damage of the day. This is the time when you can use thicker products, if needed.
Here is a sample of a minimal evening skincare routine:
Once you master the basics, you can upgrade to an advanced nighttime skincare routine:
- Double cleanser. Double cleansing helps to remove makeup and deep clean your skin. Never sleep with makeup on your face because it can clog your pores. The first cleansing step involves using an oil-based cleanser to remove the makeup. The next step uses a water-based cleanser to remove any remaining dirt, oil, toxins, or bacteria on the skin's surface.
- Toner. You can select one based on your skin's needs, such as hydration, anti-aging, or oil control.
- Exfoliator. Exfoliation is a necessary step to remove the dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to a dull complexion. It can be performed one to two times a week at most as more frequent use can damage your skin. There are chemical and physical exfoliators. Chemical exfoliators, such as glycolic acid, are best for novices. Physical exfoliators include beads and brushes. It is easier to damage your skin with a physical exfoliator.
- Serum. There are many different options. You may use one with antioxidants, one that removes brown spots, or a hydrating one. You can tailor this to whatever your skin wants or needs.
- Eye cream. It is best to select a thick, super hydrating eye cream for nighttime.
- Retinoids or acne treatment. Retinoids are essential for a good anti-aging skincare routine. They help reduce fine lines (by stimulating collagen production), exfoliate dead skin cells, and help fade brown spots. This is also the step to use acne creams or gels.
- Moisturizer/night cream. Since nighttime is the time to repair your skin, select a thick hydrating night cream. Some contain growth factors and peptides to help with anti-aging. The thicker it is, the better it will hydrate, protect from dehydration, and lock in all the other products you have layered on your skin, giving you maximal benefits. You can also consider using a collagen cream for the face that may potentially enhance collagen production, resulting in more youthful-looking skin.