The Ultimate Guide to Perfectly Applying Your Skincare

Are you layering like a pro? The order that you apply skincare makes a real and significant difference to your skin. If you’re not following that order, it could be compromising the overall efficacy of your routine. And why buy the most effective products if you’re not going to use them in the most effective manner? 

Here’s the correct order to apply your skincare products:

Step 1: Makeup Remover

If you wear makeup, sunscreen or any silicone-based products, an evening double cleanse is a must. (You can skip this step in the mornings.) 

Start with a makeup-removing cleanser, which could be an oil, balm, milk or micellar water. Personally, I like coconut oil and a soft cloth.

One Love Organics – Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover

One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover effortlessly lifts away makeup and dirt while working to maintain skin’s natural moisture barrier and pH balance. This clean oil was designed with dry, dehydrated skin in mind yet concentrated enough for all skin types. The facial cleansing oil is ultra-effective when used alone or as the perfect first step in any double cleansing routine.

Beauty Counter Cleansing Balm

This multi-tasking balm is brimming with uses and benefits. It’s a nourishing daily cleanser, a melting makeup-removing balm, and a deeply replenishing overnight mask. It also hydrates with nutrient-rich raspberry and cranberry seed oils and promotes a brighter complexion with radiance-boosting vitamin C.

Step 2: Cleanser

Once your makeup is off, it’s time to actually clean your skin. You can start here in the mornings. In the evenings, this step will also ensure that you haven’t left any makeup remover residue on your skin (where it could lead to irritations or breakouts).

I always recommend choosing a sulfate-free cleanser to avoid disrupting your skin’s pH and weakening its barrier.

Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser

Infuse your skin with a multivitamin cleansing oil that gently removes makeup and buildup without sacrificing your skin’s natural softness and suppleness. Best for uneven or dry skin.

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

Everything a cleanser should be.

What it is: A gentle-yet-effective creamy gel face wash for all skin types

Why it’s special:

  • A pH-balanced daily cleanser with five skin conditioners that won’t leave your skin irritated or feeling tight
  • The same gentle cleansing agents found in contact lens solution make it safe for eyes
  • Use it on dry skin to remove dirt and makeup, or on wet skin for a refresh

Good to know: hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, safe for the eye area, ophthalmologist tested, appropriate for all skin types, soap free, paraben free, sulfate free, cruelty free, non-comedogenic, vegan

Step 3: Exfoliator or Toner

Whamisa Organic Flowers Original Toner

Whamisa Organic Flowers Original Toner is enriched with all natural ingredients that are supercharged with their signature fermentation process for maximum efficacy. Formulated with natural chrysanthemum and rice extracts, cucumber and broccoli extracts to help to soothe and prepare your skin for moisturizers, and aloe extract which replaces water for lasting hydration. 

Botanical Republic Invigorate Refreshing Toner

This feather-light hydration booster infuses skin with a weightless blend of refreshing humectants. Each delicate dose delivers pure natural moisture for an invigorating feel and a hydrated appearance.

Step 4: Treatment Products

  • Retinoids: Avoid using with vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide and acids. If you must use with acids, apply the thinnest active first, and wait 30 minutes in between.
  • Acids: Avoid using with benzoyl peroxide and retinoids. If you must use with retinoids, apply the thinnest active first, and wait 30 minutes in between.
  • Vitamin C: Avoid using with retinoids and niacinamide. 
  • Benzoyl peroxide: Avoid using with retinoids, acids and vitamin C.
  • Niacinamide: Avoid using with vitamin C.

Step 5: Hydrating Mist or Serum

I think everyone can benefit from incorporating hydrating mists and serums into their routine. If you’re normal to oily, their lightweight humectants may provide all the moisture you need, especially if you’re applying emollient sunscreens or makeup next. They’re also essential for those with dry or dehydrated skin, as a first layer underneath heavier creams and oils.

Dr. Barbara Sturm HYDRATING FACE MIST

Made with a mix of high- and low-weighted hyaluronic acid molecules to drench skin with moisture at several different levels, this ultrafine face mist gives skin an instant boost. Vitamin E and prickly pear, purslane, broccoli, lemon, and aloe vera extracts work to hydrate, refresh, plump, and soothe skin.

Mad Hippie Hydrating Nutrient Mist

A harmoniously hydrating blend of antioxidants that work to minimize the appearance of photo-damage. Mad Hippie’s Hydrating Nutrient Mist is perfect for the face, arms, chest, and neck! Eighteen actives with hesperidin and sodium PCA. Hesperidin a plant flavonoid that has been shown to help reduce the appearance of skin discoloration and photo-damage. Sodium PCA is a naturally occurring humectantthat helps bind moisture to the skin.

Step 6: Chemical Sunscreen

Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 60 Soft Sheer Sunscreen Lotion


Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 60 Soft Sheer Sunscreen Lotion (formerly Capital Soleil SPF 60 Face and Body) is a multi-layer sunscreen with various UVA/UVB protecting ingredients along with free radical neutralizing antioxidants. Vitamin E and grape polyphenols help slow the effects of aging while smoothing your skin. The lightweight texture soaks instantly into the skin for waterproof protection.

This super lightweight, ultra-moisturizing formula provides high-performance protection from UVA, UVB, and IRA rays and defends skin from photoaging and dehydration. Plus, it’s made with natural extracts of citrus, basil, and bois de rose, so you’ll leave that typical sunscreen smell behind.

Step 7: Moisturizer and Eye Cream

Juice Beauty NUTRIENT MOISTURIZER

Hydrate + refresh complexion with this greaseless, absorbent honey moisturizer from brand we love, Mario Badescu. Suitable for all skin types with botanical ingredients high in antioxidants like peanut oil, orange + honey extracts for a nourishing, reparative blend that hydrates thoroughly for silky soft + smooth skin. Apply after cleansing + toning daily. Cruelty-free.

Mario Badescu Honey Moisturizer

Hydrate + refresh complexion with this greaseless, absorbent honey moisturizer from brand we love, Mario Badescu. Suitable for all skin types with botanical ingredients high in antioxidants like peanut oil, orange + honey extracts for a nourishing, reparative blend that hydrates thoroughly for silky soft + smooth skin. Apply after cleansing + toning daily. Cruelty-free.

Step 8: Face Oil

True Botanicals RENEW Pure Radiance Oil

This face oil is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increase hydration levels

Tata Harper – Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil

The Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil targets visible signs of aging to let your youthful glow return with confidence. Made to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this weightless, multi-tasking oil also nourishes skin while helping control breakouts.

Step 9: Mineral Sunscreen

There are only a handful of mineral sunscreens that actually contain enough zinc oxide for adequate UVA protection. In a nutshell, you want at least 15 percent zinc oxide; avoid titanium-only formulas because they only protect against UVB.

SUPERGOOP! Everyday Sunscreen For Face & Body Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA ++++

DERMA E Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free Face Sunscreen

  • FORTIFIED WITH VITAMIN C AND GREEN TEA: Nutrients that add layer of UV protection, help skin recover after sun exposure and fight and reduce the signs of aging for vibrant, younger-looking skin
  • CHEMICAL-FREE: Nanoparticle-free Zinc Oxide provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection without irritating skin or clogging pores
  • OIL-FREE SUNSCREEN: Lightweight, non-greasy facial formula, ideal for daily use on all skin types and wears well under makeup

When in doubt, the general rule is to apply your products in order of thinnest to thickest. Anything light and liquidy will have an easier time penetrating bare skin, while thicker creams and oils should be saved for the end, to lock everything in.

Let me know if this works for you!

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