The Right Way To Layer Your Skincare Products

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Slathering on all your favorite skincare products is a good thing–really, we encourage it. But in case you didn’t know, haphazardly packing it onto your face is not exactly the best approach. Here, we’re showing you the correct way to layer your skincare products. Trust us, once you know the order of things, your skin will thank you.

A Lesson In Layering

Photo: Courtesy of NARS

Glycolic Acid Clarifying Toner

$40

Peter Thomas Roth

#1: Toner

Before applying any cream or lotion, it’s important that your face is completely clean–otherwise your products just set the germs into your skin. After you’ve washed your face, apply a toner with a cotton ball to disinfect skin and remove excess oils.

HealGel Face

$65

HealGel

#2: Serum

Serum always comes first because it's the thinnest product and it penetrates deep into skin quickly. Formulas with peptides work wonders for wrinkles while salicylic acid keeps oily skin in check. You can also apply more than 1 serum if there are multiple ones that work for your different skin concerns.

Replenishing Rich Moisturizer

$10

Simple

#3: Moisturizer

Sure, moisturizers give you a soft complexion but they're really made to seal serums into skin. Just make sure to let each product soak into skin before adding the next layer. It sounds time-consuming but if you work it into your daily routine, you won't even notice it. Throw on a serum, pour yourself some coffee, add a moisturizer, slip your shoes on, etc.

Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil

$90

Net-A-Porter

#4: Oil

Oils are essential for a healthy-looking glow–a few drops after your moisturizer makes skin look dewy and hydrated. Because oils can penetrate heavy face creams but not vice versa, it’s important that this step comes after moisturizer.

Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF45

$37

La Roche-Posay

#5: Sunscreen

Sunscreens sit on the surface of skin to create a barrier between you and the sun's harmful rays. Never apply sunscreen first as this will make it impossible for your skin to soak up your other products. Instead, slather it on top of all your other products and reapply as needed.