If you’ve found a whole set of products that work best for your skin, you’re already ahead of the game. But what about when it comes to organizing your routine step by step? If you’re guessing your way through whether to apply eye creams or serums first, don’t worry; there’s a more effective way to achieve your skincare goals.
When it comes to beauty routines, following a step-by-step guide is the fastest route to winning results. So, instead of just using your skincare products in any order, we’ll explain how to layer skincare so you know what comes first and last in your beauty routine. This will not only help you save time, but you’ll get the most out of your products.
Let’s dive in and find out just what makes the perfect skincare routine order.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the correct skincare routine order?
- 2 The step-by-step order of a morning skincare routine
- 3 A complete nighttime routine step by step
What is the correct skincare routine order?
To plan for a perfect routine, it’s important to understand the ideal order of skincare products, and their texture is the best indication of which order to follow. Apply your lightest, most fluid products first as they are formulated to penetrate the most deeply. Then apply denser or creamier products later.
If you reverse this order, the denser formulas will prevent lighter products from penetrating your skin, rendering them less effective. So, make sure to always go from lightest to heaviest products to get the most out of your routine.
What goes first, moisturizer or eye contour cream?
Thankfully, the order of skincare routines in the morning and evening follow similar patterns. For example, the eye contour cream should go after the cleanser. This is so the targeted ingredients can get right to work! Consistent use of an eye treatment will help rejuvenate the eye area, giving you a rested look.
In the morning, target puffiness and bags with a cream like K-Ox Eyes, our vitamin k oxide eye cream. K-Ox Eyes’ combination of vitamin K oxide, Haloxyl and hyaluronic acid acts on tired-looking eyes. It helps to reduce the appearance of dark circles and increase skin brightness.
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, our overnight repairing eye cream with melatonin, works while you sleep to help combat oxidative stress caused by daily skin aggressors. Bonus: it also helps to soothe and smooth the delicate under-eye area.
And how about serum first, or moisturizer?
As mentioned, serums are typically lighter and more fluid than moisturizers and should be applied first. Heavier creams will act to help smooth, protect, and repair the skin’s surface, while lighter textures (like serums) will penetrate more deeply.
The step-by-step order of a morning skincare routine
1. Cleanse to remove any impurities
Start your morning routine by cleaning the excess sebum secreted by the skin throughout the night, as well as the remains of the products that you applied the night before. Opt for a gentle cleanser like a micellar water that cleanses, tones, and hydrates in one step. Now you’re ready and prepped for the next steps in your routine.
2. Eye contour cream
Wait a second, shouldn’t lighter serums come first? Although eye contour creams are thicker than serums, these moisturizers should come first. This helps eye-contour-specific ingredients penetrate more effectively, and to protect the sensitive eye area from powerful serum ingredients.
The skin around your eyes is thinner than the skin on your face, so it needs special care. Applying an eye contour cream in the morning can 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.
3. Antioxidant serum
Your skin is exposed to free radicals during the day, which can damage the cells in the skin, and contribute to the appearance of 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 to clean, dry skin.
Use a moisturizer after applying serum and eye cream for a boost of hydration that will help the skin to feel fresh throughout the whole day. This step is crucial to maintain optimal skin moisture all day long.
5. Sun protection
Without a doubt, this is the most important step in any facial care routine. It’s essential to use a high SPF sunscreen every day of the year to protect the skin from solar radiation. Sun exposure is the principal cause of premature skin aging, and of course, increases the risk of sun damage and skin cancer. And remember, always reapply sunscreen during the day as per the labeled directions for optimal benefits.
Try: A mineral sunscreen like Eryfotona Actinica, or a tinted mineral sunscreen such as Eryfotona Ageless on top of your moisturizer in the morning, 365 days a year. Once you’ve applied your sunscreen, you can then go ahead with your regular makeup routine if you have one.
The final touch to your routine is makeup – if you wear it, that is. If you have followed all the previous steps to a T, you’ll notice a more even application on the skin. Bonus points: you won’t have to touch it up as much throughout the day.
And what about makeup touch-ups?
After you reapply both your sunscreen and makeup, make sure to keep an on-the-go mineral brush in your bag for a natural finish and additional photoaging defense.
Try: Isdinceutics Mineral Brush
A complete nighttime routine step by step
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.
Just like drying aggressively or mistreating the eye area when cleansing can damage your skin, you should also select a cleanser suitable for your skin type. Nowadays, you can find oil cleansers that achieve a deep-cleansing effect while leaving your skin soft and smooth, such as Isdinceutics Essential Cleansing.
2. Eye contour cream
Your skin’s had a long day and could use an overnight detox. And that’s especially true for some of the thinnest skin on your body: around your eyes. Look out for a nighttime eye contour cream that helps to eliminate toxins and stimulate the skin’s natural antioxidant defenses for a refreshed look.
Overall, continuous application of a night eye contour cream will help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, if that’s one of your skin concerns.
3. Antioxidant serum
In the evening, take the opportunity to treat your skin and apply a more nourishing night serum like Isdinceutics Melatonik® that helps repair the damage accrued during the day. Gently massage it in to aid absorption.
Apply a nourishing and hydrating moisturizer that can help your skin recover from the stresses of the day. A luxurious night cream that focuses on hydration and skin rejuvenation benefits may be especially helpful.
Read more: Get an in-depth look at our dreamy nighttime routine step by step.
Knowing what order to apply skincare products will depend on the texture of such products; the rule of thumb is from lighter or more fluid to more dense and creamer textures. This is the best way to get the most out of your products and your skin.
Just like our skin changes throughout the years, it also changes throughout the day. Understanding this will also help you apply the right products during your morning vs evening skincare routine.
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.
Article written and reviewed by:
Amy is a content strategist who turned a part-time obsession with skincare into a full-time passion. Her experience as a creative storyteller includes a range of lifestyle and technology topics across Washington D.C. and Barcelona. What's in her travel bag? Eye contour cream and sunscreen, always.