You’ve found the products that work best for your skin, but when it comes to organizing your routine – forget it! With so many products available to help care for your skin, and pamper it as it deserves, it’s natural that at first you might get into a muddle about which to use first.
You might be tempted to just use your skin care products in any old order, but when it comes to beauty routines, following a step-by-step guide really does change results! Learning what comes first and last when you go through your routine will not only help you save time, but also allow you to get the most out of your care products. So let’s dive in and find out just what makes the perfect routine.
Which cosmetics need to be applied first?
As a general rule, you should be applying your makeup to clean, dry skin. Everyone has their own specific cleansing routine – many people cleanse twice a day, both morning and evening. A twice daily cleansing session helps to remove dirt and sweat in the morning, and makeup/sun protection residue and other dirt at night. Remember to use more gentle products that won’t irritate your skin, particularly in the morning when there’s no makeup that needs to be removed.
Texture is the best indication of which order to follow. Apply your lightest, most fluid products first as they are formulated to penetrate most deeply. Then apply denser or creamier products later. If you switch up this order, the denser formulas will prevent lighter products from penetrating your skin, which means they won’t be as effective. During the day, sun protection is your most important step. Never forget to apply sunscreen before heading out for the day.
When it comes to applying your beauty products, the ideal order is:
1. Cleanse to remove any impurities
Cleansing gets rid of any excess sebum secreted overnight and allows you to remove any remaining product that was applied before you went to bed. If you have more sensitive skin, you can use a gentle cleansing product like micellar water to cleanse, tone and moisturize your skin in one simple step, prepping it for the rest of your routine.
Read more: cleansing mistakes that can damage your skin
2. Antioxidant serum
Your skin is exposed to free radicals during the day, which can damage the cells in the body, and in turn contribute to skin aging. Applying an antioxidant serum can help to repair existing photoaging and protect your skin. Serums tend to be light products that contain highly effective ingredients, which means optimal benefits can be obtained by applying on clean, dry skin.
3. Eye cream
The skin around your eyes is thinner than the skin on your face, so it needs special care. Applying eye cream in the morning will help to decrease the ‘puffy’ appearance of the under-eye area often seen after a night’s rest, and keep it hydrated during the day.
Your skin may feel a little tight after cleansing. Use a moisturizer after applying serum and eye cream for a boost of hydration that will help skin to feel fresher for longer.
5. Sun protection
It’s vital to use a sunscreen with a high SPF for effective sun protection every day, as your face is exposed to the sun’s radiation 365 days a year. Sun exposure is the principal cause of premature skin aging, and of course increases the risk of sun damage and skin cancer.
The final touch to your routine is makeup – if you wear it. Following all of the previous steps will make it much easier to achieve even coverage with a long-lasting finish.
1. Cleanse your face to remove the day’s impurities and any makeup
It’s important to remove any impurities that have accumulated on your face during the day, even if you don’t wear makeup. This prepares your skin for the following steps, making your evening routine more effective.
2. Antioxidant serum
In the evening, take the opportunity to treat your skin and apply a more nourishing night serum like Isdinceutics Melatonik that helps promote repair from the damage accrued during the day. Gently massage it in to aid absorption.
3. Eye cream
Continuous application of a morning and night eye cream will help minimize the appearance of fine lines, puffiness and uneven skin tone.
Apply a nourishing and hydrating moisturizer that can help your skin recover from the stresses of the day. A luxurious moisturizer that focuses on hydration and skin rejuvenation benefits may be especially helpful.
What goes first, moisturizer or eye cream?
Cleansing is the first step, as you wouldn’t layer up your skin care just to wash it off again later. Use a micellar water like the ISDIN Micellar Solution that leaves skin clean, toned and moisturized in a single step. Then apply your other products once your skin is makeup free, and feels clean and fresh.
Ideally you should apply an eye cream as your second step both in the morning and at night, so the targeted ingredients get right to work. Consistent use of an eye treatment will help rejuvenate the eye area, leaving it looking youthful with plenty of elasticity. In the morning, target puffiness and bags with a cream like K-Ox Eyes, ISDIN’s vitamin k oxide eye cream. K-Ox Eyes’ combination of vitamin K oxide, Haloxyl and hyaluronic acid acts on tired-looking eyes, reducing the appearance of dark circles and returning brightness to your expression.
In the evening, switch your focus to restorative care, with a smooth, intensive eye cream that helps target fine lines and wrinkles and decongest the under-eye area after a long day. Vital Eyes, ISDIN’s overnight repairing eye cream with melatonin, works while you sleep to help combat oxidative stress caused by daily skin aggressors, while softening and firming the delicate under-eye area.
Read more: how to get rid of dark circles
Which should I apply first? Serum or moisturizer?
Generally speaking, serums are lighter and more fluid than moisturizers and should be applied first. Creams will act more on the surface while lighter textures will penetrate more deeply.
Can I apply makeup over my sun protection? What about sun protection on top of makeup?
It’s vital to apply a mineral sunscreen like Eryfotona Actinica, or a tinted mineral sunscreen such as Eryfotona Ageless on top of your moisturizer in the morning, ideally 365 days a year. Once you’ve applied your sunscreen, you can then go ahead with your regular makeup routine if you have one.
Flament et al. Effect of the sun on visible signs of aging in Caucasian skin. In Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigative Dermatology (2013); 6: 221-232.