A. In What Order Do I Apply My Skin Care Products?
We asked skin care professionals the question we ask each time we buy a new skin product or add a step to our routine: In what order should I apply my skin products, and does it matter? It turns out yes!
1. Sequence is important, here’s why
According to Dr. Heather Rogers, a dermatologist and certified dermatological surgeon, she uses her skin care products in the correct order to ensure that her skin receives all the benefits of each product.
“The order of application is extremely important,” says Dr. Rogers. “The function of the skin is to keep things out, but many of the skin products we use contain ingredients that we want to use. Only a small amount of these essential ingredients can penetrate the skin, even when perfectly formulated and perfectly applied. If you do not use the products in the correct order, you will not get the best results from your skin care routine. ”
2. How to layer your skin products: a step-by-step guide
So, which product comes down to what, you ask? A simple rule of thumb is to apply your products from the thinnest to the thickest consistency or from the liquid to the cream. “Think thin to thick in general, but you also want to use the products with the ingredients that are most important to penetrate the skin (like antioxidants in serums) and finish with the products you should put on your skin (like emollients and wetting agents in moisturizers), ”says Dr. Rogers.
3. Your daily regimen
According to Dr. Rogers’ morning routine is about protecting the sun, environmental pollution and the climate. So leave your exfoliating and treatment products, such as retinol, overnight.
In the morning, start by splashing your face with warm water or, if necessary, wash it off with a mild facial cleanser designed for your skin type.
Most people avoid toner, as most of them are still considered aggressive and irritating to the skin. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Although it does not physically “shrink” the pores, the new generation of toners can serve several purposes, such as a delivery system for antioxidants, vitamin B derivatives and even clay acids. In addition, each type of toner is intended for a different skin problem. Therefore, it is important to use the correct type for your skin problem.
However, if you’ve lived without toner all your life and your skin looks healthy, according to Dr. Rogers you don’t need to use one. “Toners are designed to restore the skin’s pH after it has become very basic due to aggressive soaps,” explains Dr. Rogers. “Facial cleansers are now much more balanced than toners are not a necessary step for me.” However, if you have a toner that you like to use, it never hurts to hold it.
c. Antioxidant serum
Serums are highly concentrated and nutrient-rich treatments that target specific problems. Therefore, it is best to keep them as close to the skin as possible. There are several serums on the market today, but during the day, Dr. Rogers antioxidant serums that offer a range of benefits – from reducing the skin’s inflammatory response to neutralizing damage from ultraviolet rays and environmental pollutants.
d. Eye cream
According to Dr. Para Annie Chiu, a certified dermatologist, it is important to apply eye cream at least every night – if not twice a day – from the age of 20. “It is about maintaining the health and thickness of the skin of the eyelids. Improving the quality of the skin in this area from the beginning ensures that the skin of the eyelid does not lose its sagging and smooth appearance later.”
For best results, consistency is essential. “Regular use of eye cream over time maintains the elasticity of the eyelid skin and can improve or prevent some fine lines or loss of collagen. Remember: nothing is magical. The results are not achieved overnight, ”adds Dr. Chiu added. “You can further protect the delicate skin around your eyes by choosing an SPF eye cream or using sunscreen every day.” Dr. Chiu also advises people to wear sunglasses outdoors to protect themselves from damage from ultraviolet light and wrinkles that can pass through the corners of the eyes because of the strain.
e. Spot treatment
According to Dr. Diane De Fiori, dermatologist at the Rosacea Treatment Clinic, prescription drugs and special acne treatments should be applied as close to the skin as possible to maximize their benefits.
As the special acne treatments have different active ingredients, check the product packaging or contact your dermatologist for the best use. According to esthetician and acne expert Ashley Wiley, benzoyl peroxide, a common part in the treatment of acne blemishes, works for one to three hours. “Any cream that comes in contact with it before it ends is likely to prevent the active ingredient from working properly.” Remember that special acne treatments can dry out your skin. Therefore, you should only use them where you need them.
Yes, everyone needs a moisturizer, even if you have oily skin. “Although your body has its own natural lubrication system, made from glands that secrete oil (or sebum) to provide a protective layer against infections and adverse external conditions, most of us need it after the chaos of the sun, climate and aggression. they spread additional moisture on our skin “, explains Dr. Sandra Kopp, a certified dermatologist.
Most experts recommend that the best time to apply a moisturizer is while your skin is still moist. The sooner you apply the serum and treatment, the sooner you can absorb the necessary moisture with the moisturizer.
If you are using a special acne treatment, you can skip these areas by applying the moisturizer to ensure that the ingredients do not interfere with the active ingredients in the treatment.
The sunscreen should be the final step in your daily skin care routine when using any physical or mineral sunscreen that physically blocks ultraviolet rays. This step becomes difficult when you are using a chemical sunscreen.
Dr. Rogers explains: “Chemical sunscreens must be absorbed by the skin to be effective. Post-moisturizing application delays and prevents this. However, if you apply the chemical sunscreen before the moisturizer, it will not work as well because the skin is coated with chemical sunscreen. ”
To get around this, Dr. Rogers must use a physical sunscreen with zinc and apply it after the moisturizer. “Zinc is safe, effective and offers the widest protection against UVA and UVB rays.”
If you like using chemical sunscreens, look for a formula that offers moisturizing benefits so you can meet your daily hydration needs while protecting your skin.
4. Your night regime
Since your skin heals naturally at night, your nighttime routine should be about treating your skin and giving it what it needs, says Dr. Rogers. “If your skin looks dull, exfoliate it. When irritated, moisturize and protect. “Here’s the best order of skincare products to make sure you’re getting the most out of them:
a. (Double) cleanser
To remove dirt, grime, oil and makeup of the day, some experts recommend removing makeup with a special makeup remover first, before washing your face with a mild cleanser. Better yet, try a dual cleanse, where you first use a cleansing oil to dissolve your makeup and then wash your face again with the regular cleanser.
“The first step is to remove the makeup. This is the stage where you would normally use a cleansing oil ”, explains Kathleen Funk, a cosmetic acupuncturist and herbalist. “The second step is to use a facial soap to remove all the excess sebum, dirt and makeup that you loosened in the first step. This will keep your skin fresh and perfectly prepared to absorb your skin regime. ”
TIP: If you are using a physical scrub, as a scrub for the face, use it in place of the detergent after removing makeup.
b. Toners, essences and boosters
If you are using toner, apply it as you would in the morning.
At night, some people also like to layer different types of skin care intensifiers that they consider to be mist, essences, beauty tonic or moisturizing serums (hyaluronic acid). These are infused with various active ingredients, but for the most part their purpose is to moisturize and nourish the skin.
Because they are light, almost watery formulas, apply them as a tonic after washing your face. “If you use both, you apply the toner and then the essence,” says Dr. Rogers. “Toner is more about cleaning and the essence is more about applying a treatment.” The same rules apply when using multiple boosters: from the thinnest to the thickest.
b. Eye cream
In addition to treating crow’s feet and dark circles, eye creams can also protect the sensitive eye area from other skin products.
“In general, you want to apply eye cream before treatments to protect the area around the eyes from effective ingredients that can cause irritation,” said Dr. Rogers.
c. Treatments, serums and peels
Like the rest of the body, the skin repairs, restores and regenerates most of its work while we sleep. For this reason, most targeted skin care treatments target prescription drugs (tretinoin creams, acne and rosacea), retinol creams, exfoliating treatments (peeling pads and masks) and anti-aging serums (containing peptides, growth and other biologically active ingredients added). – are best used at night. Instead of applying all of your treatment serums and creams, Dr. Rogers suggests choosing your night treatment based on your skin’s current needs.
“Many steps only increase the risk of irritation and decrease the likelihood of the desired result,” says Dr. Rogers. “Choose your night treatment based on your skin’s needs that night, not what you have in your medicine cabinet. Some nights, all she can do is wash, moisturize and go to bed. There is always tomorrow to give your skin more love. ”
Here are other considerations:
- Choose between prescription drugs (for acne or rosacea) or exfoliating (like AHA / BHA pillows, exfoliating or detoxifying masks). “Using both on the same night significantly increases the risk of skin irritation,” warns Dr. Rogers.
- Also, do not use retinol creams (over-the-counter or over-the-counter) the same night you rub.
- Exfoliating treatments: use sparingly, one to three times a week.
d. Moisturizer or night cream
Some people use the same moisturizer day and night. However, moisturizers or night creams are usually thicker and heavier and can be absorbed over several hours.
“Moisturizers, especially the heavier ones that are used at night, create a protective layer on the skin to prevent water from evaporating while you sleep,” says Dr. Rogers. “Maintaining high levels of water on the skin is the key to healing and maintaining healthy skin. If you are using the right moisturizer, this should be your final step, as nothing will go through it. “If your skin is dry, you can add an oil to your face before applying the night cream.
5. Timing Matters, Too
Regardless of the order of application, some experts consider it important to consider the time that your skin takes to absorb the products. However, as most of us are in a hurry to get somewhere (or go to the bag), Dr. Rogers says that this is not always possible. Your advice? Keep your skin care routine simple.
“Many products say that you have to wait between five and 30 minutes before taking the next step to ensure proper absorption. But who has time for this? If it gets too complicated, it simply won’t, ”says Dr. Rogers. “If you have a lot of steps, take a short break (one minute) so that each product has time to react with the skin. For example, at night, after washing my face and using my serum or night treatment, I just end my day and go to bed. I keep my moisturizer on the nightstand and apply it before bed to give these specialized treatments, typically expensive, more time to penetrate the skin before sealing them with my cream. ”
B. How to Find the Best Skincare Routine, According to a Dermatologist
You want to start a skin care routine, but you have a few questions: How many products do you need to use? Which ones are suitable for your skin? In what order should you use these products? And what do these products really do?
Dr. Ashley Magovern, a certified dermatologist, owner and founder of Manhattan Dermatology, says that three simple steps must be followed to get the maximum benefit from regular skin care: clean, treat and moisturize. You are probably already familiar with cleansing and moisturizing, but what does “treating” your skin mean? According to Dr. Magovern it means using serums or creams full of superheroes for the skin, like vitamin C, retinol, alpha-hydroxy acid and more. “I think it is really important to add an intermediate step between the cleansing and moisturizing components,” says Dr. Magovern. “It can make a big difference over time and in terms of your skin’s health and just in terms of how your skin looks and ages.”
Next, Dr. Create a basic step-by-step skin care routine that you can use as a model for your own treatment regimen. Product recommendations have been tested by GH Beauty Lab, dermatologists’ favorites and best-selling online choices. Of course, each person’s skin is different. Therefore, adjust them according to your age and skin type.
1. Your daycare routine
Cleansing is the first step towards a good skin care routine. The type of detergent you use is more important than you think – gentle face washes are the way to go, especially if you plan on using more active ingredients later. “Many people clean a lot, either very often, or with a detergent that is too strong that really destroys the skin barrier,” warns Dr. Magovern.
Toner is an optional step, but if you have a toner that you like, be sure to use it. Dr. Magovern says that toner can be a great way to balance the skin’s pH levels. If you have acne-prone skin, look for a toner with ingredients like salicylic acid to help relieve rashes. If you have dry or sensitive skin, choose a moisturizing tonic for soothing.
c. Vitamin C in serum
When it comes to serums, Dr. Magovern should use a vitamin C serum during the day. “I think everyone should use vitamin C, no matter how old you are, even when you’re 20,” says Dr. Magovern. “It helps to undo many of the damage we have suffered from the sun and pollution.” When using a vitamin C serum, look for a serum that contains a stable form of vitamin C so that the molecule can actually penetrate the skin.
d. Eye cream
Eye creams fall into the “snack” category. Apply eye cream with the ring finger (the weakest finger) so as not to accidentally damage the eye area.
After treating your skin, it’s time to hydrate. The moisturizer keeps the skin hydrated and strengthens the skin barrier. For daytime use, choose a lighter moisturizer that is quickly absorbed and does not smudge under makeup.
f. Sun protection
This is the most important step in your skin care routine. “If you are not using sunscreen, you may well not be doing any of these other steps,” says Dr. Magovern. “The sun is the main reason why people’s skin ages prematurely.” Attention: protecting your skin from the sun is important even when you spend your days indoors, as ultraviolet rays can still enter through windows.
2. Your nighttime skin care routine
You should change your skin care routine at night – and not just because you don’t need a sun protection factor while you sleep! According to Dr. Magovern it is the perfect time to make sure that your skin is receiving as much nutrients and active ingredients as possible while your skin regenerates and repairs itself while you sleep, in your nighttime routine. You will still follow the basic steps – cleaning, treating and moisturizing – but at night the routine seems a little different.
Dr. Magovern still recommends using a mild detergent. However, at night you can use a detergent that can remove your makeup, such as B. an oil-based facial soap. If you want to take it a step further, you can even try a “double clean” using a water-based facial wash after an oil cleaner to remove any remaining dirt and oil from the pores.
If you want to use toner, apply it as you would in the morning. This is done before you start using serums and treatments.
c. Serums and treatments
Dr. Magovern is a big fan of using alpha hydroxy acid to lighten the skin by removing dead skin cells. It helps to build collagen and improves shine. If you want to include retinol in your skin care regimen, Dr. Magovern to use it during your evening ritual. Retinol is a form of vitamin A that helps to reduce visible wrinkles, light spots and pore size.
“Anyone can use retinol,” says Magovern. You can start using retinol as early as age 20, but this becomes especially important as you get older. “At 40 and 50, retinol should definitely come into play, if it hasn’t already.”
d. Eye cream
Dr. Magovern likes to encourage his patients to exercise the skin around their eyes to deal with more active ingredients (like retinol) and reap its benefits. “You don’t have to use much, but if you start training your skin to tolerate more active products around your eyes, you will see more changes,” she says. You can apply some serum or treatment around the eye area and then use your favorite eye cream.
e. Treatment of acne blemishes
If you have a pimple that you would like to go away sooner or later, this is a good time to apply acne treatments. Rather than focusing on pimples when they appear, Magovern recommends that you stick to your skin care routine as a preventative measure. “If you just treat the area, you will have acne next door if your skin is clogged. You have rashes because oil builds up on your skin. Therefore, you need to keep your pores clean all over your face.”
Moisture is very important at night, as it forms a barrier that retains the active ingredients and moisture. That way, when you wake up, your skin will be shiny and fleshy – and ready to start the day.
g. Facial oil
Facial oils are a great way to maintain moisture while you sleep. “Many people think that if they like acne or oily skin, their skin is bursting with oil, but that is not true,” says Magovern. “Many of them can really help to moisturize and soften the skin.” Especially when you use ingredients like retinol and alpha-hydroxy acids, facial oils are a great way to add extra moisture.