We’re huge proponents of a maximalist skincare regimen, but just because a routine is loaded with multiple products doesn’t mean it’s working to its fullest potential. To get the most out of your complexion savers, you have to apply them correctly. We’ve tapped Charlotte Cho—aesthetician and founder of online Korean beauty destination Soko Glam—to help you understand the fundamental rules of skincare and reverse the blunders you may have unknowingly become accustomed to. Here, a lesson on how to achieve your best face ever.
You’re Applying Products In The Wrong Order
"The general rule of thumb is to apply products according to consistency, from thin to thick (or liquid to oils). If you apply thick to thin, you risk the product not penetrating the skin. I recommend applying the following products in order: toner, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, oil—then always last is sunscreen. In the evening, you can add more serum and treatment products such as sheet masks."
You’re Tugging At Your Skin
"All products should be tapped into the skin. Gentle massage is fine as well, using circular motions. The point is to minimize excess tugging or pulling. Always pat dry with a towel. Less movement of the skin equals fewer wrinkles long term."
You’re Not Paying Attention To How Your Skin Reacts
"Redness and irritation are signals that your skin is not reacting well to a formula and you should discontinue use. Skin doesn't 'get used to' products—irritation is your body telling you that it doesn't like something. Everyone has a different skin type and condition, not to mention sensitivity, so just because a product worked for a friend doesn't mean it will work for you."
You’re Not Using Enough SPF
"When it comes to sunscreen, apply generously! Many people don't realize that the SPF promised on the product is only effective if you use the right amount and reapply consistently. For face and neck, use about a teaspoon for each application. Don't forget your décolletage and hands—these areas get a lot of sun exposure but are often neglected."
You’re Not Double Cleansing
"Cleansing is the most important step in a skincare routine. Makeup, pollution and excess sebum sit on the surface of your skin and settle into your pores, which not only causes acne but also accelerates premature aging due to free radicals. Once you cleanse skin thoroughly, it'll be clearer, softer and healthier. That's why Korean women do the double cleanse (oil cleanse then foam cleanse) or even triple cleanse (cleansing tissues, oil cleanse, foam cleanse), because it's that important!"
You’re Relying Too Much On Cleansing Devices
"Battery-powered cleansing devices can be a great way to exfoliate, but there is such a thing as overdoing it. It truly depends on your skin type. Fragile, thin skin will be sensitized by the high friction and intensity of cleansing devices and can experience redness, irritation or even breakouts. That's why I recommend products like Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze pads, which allow you to cleanse and exfoliate using the pressure of your own fingertips. They're infused with lactic and glycolic acids, which help clean deep within your pores."