With so many different types of products on the market our drawers are full with moisturizers, exfoliants, cleansers, serums, etc. It can be overwhelming to know what products are right for you and how to use them. You could have the most amazing routine that you diligently stick to every morning and night, but if you aren’t applying your products in the right order you may not be receiving the full benefits of each product.


First things first — you need to remove anything that is on your face, make-up, sunscreen, etc. Using a make-up removing product or something as simple as coconut oil and wash cloth will remove anything from your skin and allow your other products to be fully absorbed. This step is not necessary in the morning, but should be done every night. 


Once everything is removed from your skin it’s time to actually clean your skin. This is most likely where you’ll start routine every morning. Picking out the right cleanser is just as important as when to use it. It’s best to use a sulfate-free cleanser. Sulfate tends to irritate skin, disrupt PH levels, clog pores and cause breakouts, and weaken your skin barrier. If you have dry skin it’s beneficial to find a cream based cleanser that will help lock in moisture. Exfoliating cleansers should be avoided, especially for daily use, the constant abrasiveness could cause irritation.


Exfoliating is a great process to have in your routine to remove any dead cells that can disrupt the absorption of your other products. Your skin type will determine the frequency you include this step into your routine. Some prefer to do a mild exfoliation with alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids on a daily basis, where some would rather do a more. aggressive exfoliant on a weekly basis. Lactic acid is a  great exfoliant ingredient because it’s gentle and hydrating, but if you want something tenacious to combat more resilient skin glycolic acid is an ingredient you may want to look for in your products. If you aren’t someone who exfoliates everyday a good product to use in place of the exfoliation step is a toner. Toners help restore your skin’s pH levels which help prep the skin for the rest of your treatment products .


Products used to help treat problematic issues/areas of the skin should go on clean bare skin. This gives them the best chance for success because they can penetrate the skin deeper when there isn’t a lot of dead cell build-up or other products. These types of products include acne spot treatments, antioxidant serums, retinols/retinoids, etc. It should be noted that these types of active products work better when used one at a time. Layering multiple actives can cause irritation and can possibly reduce the effectiveness when they’re combined.

Young and beautiful woman is washing her face with lotion and cotton pads


Hydrating serums or mists should be applied to skin before thicker creams and oils. These types of products have different benefits for different skin types. If you have normal to oily skin a lightweight humectants may provide the moisture you need. If you have dry or dehydrated skin (there is a difference), then a hydrating product such as a serum or mist is essential for your skin. If you’re using both a mist and a serum to really boost your skin’s hydration, it’s best to use the mist under the serum as it’s a thinner product.


Moisturizers are key products to help lock in as much hydration as possible. Like all other products, the right product is dependent on your skin type. If you have oily skin you will benefit better from a lotion, whereas if your skin is on the dry side you may need a cream. Thicker formulas help lock in moisture and help provide a protective layer. Thinner formulas help prevent clogged pores and acne. If you are acne prone, even if it is related to lack of hydration, it can benefit you to avoid creams, a cream that is too thick can trigger breakouts. If you have skin that is naturally hydrated then you may be able to get away with just using a serum for hydration. Moisturizing is one of the most important steps. If you’re only wanting a three step routine make sure moisturizing is one of them.


Some people believe eye creams are just more expensive moisturizers. But that isn’t necessarily true; while some of the ingredients are the same as, there are additional ingredients used in eye creams to help prevent aging, puffiness, and dark circles. The skin around the eyes is different than the rest of the face, so eye creams are formulated specifically for the delicacy of it. Eye cream is usually pretty thick so it should be applied pretty late in your routine stages.


If you have dryer skin and use a thicker face oil, apply it after moisturizer. Applying your face oil after you’ve applied your moisturizer will make it act as a barrier and lock in all the hydration. This should be the very last step of your routine, if you add anything on top of your face oil the product won’t absorb as effectively.

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Whether you’re a person that just cleanses and moisturizes or someone who has a whole 10 step regimen – knowing the correct order to apply your products will help you reap all the benefits your products are supposed to be providing. 

If you feel confused about the order you should be applying your products, a general rule of thumb is to apply your products in order of thinnest to thickest. Anything lighter and solvent will penetrate bare skin easier, while thicker products like creams and oils should be saved for last so they can lock everything in.

If you’ve ever had an idea for a skin care product, or you want to see changes in the skin care market and establish your own brand of products, call Dynamic Blending. As a full service contract manufacturer, we can help bring your product idea to life and propel you and your product forward to success.


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