Your Skincare Routine Order Explained 
Your Skincare Routine Order Explained 

Your Skincare Routine Order Explained 

8 minutes read

A skincare routine is one of those things we all think we know – but in reality, not so much. Steps are often so confusing – you use products inefficiently, which can irritate or null and void the formulas. 

You don’t have to be a chemist to decipher what active ingredients work best or a skin scientist to understand which textures to layer first for better product absorption.   

All you need to do is have patience and read this story from start to finish and you’ll be a skincare routine master.  

Here’s the correct order to apply your skincare products daily. 

Woman doing her skincare

Address your specific skin concerns and know your skin type

It is essential to point out that there is no such thing as a single correct skincare routine.  

A skincare product that miraculously works for your sister or best friend will not automatically do the same for you; we are all different.  

Your surrounding environment, age, hormones, diet, and lifestyle, amongst many other factors, play an important role in the state of your skin, and that has to be addressed correctly through the right products.    

Yet, the first step is to identify your skin type. Here’s a detailed guide on How To Know Your Skin Type: Test Your Skin To Find Out. 

You can make an informed decision on which facial cleanser, toner, serum, creams, and the like will work best for your skin type and needs.   

Need help? Book an online consultation to receive product advice and recommendations on putting together a personalised routine.    

Why is it important to correctly layer your skincare routine?   

Finding the right products that work for you is only half the battle; the way you layer them makes the other half, and it’s equally important. We understand the struggle of following specific steps, but we guarantee you that it’s all worth it – both for your skin and your wallet. 

You wouldn’t want to be putting an expensive serum on an unexfoliated face layered on top of dead skin, right? Or washing your face without applying a toner to rebalance your skin microbiome and pH level?  

There’s so much to learn, but once you get the steps and follow them religiously, you’ll be a pro in no time.  

Skincare Routine:

Experts say your morning beauty regimen should focus on prevention and protection for the day, while your nighttime skincare routine should focus on cleansing and repairing. 

Morning skincare routine in order: Cleanser, Toner, Eye Care, Serum, Moisturiser, Face Oil, SPF  

Evening skincare routine in order: Cleanser, Toner, Eye Care, Serum, Target Spot Treatments, Moisturiser, Face Oil  

Step 1: Cleanse (A.M. and P.M)

1. Eye Cleanse (Eye-make-up remover)   

Before you slather and layer on skincare products, make sure your face is spotless – grime and oil-free so the ingredients you layer will have better absorption. Start with make-up removers.  

Regardless if you wear eye-make-up or not, Jason Roberts, Clarins Commercial Training Manager, says having an eye-make-up remover is a good addition to your cleansing routine.

Using one designed for the eyes assures you that it is ophthalmologist tested and gently formulated for the contours of the eyes.     

“I am a firm believer of an eye cleanse even if you don’t wear eye make-up. Clarins eye make-up removers contain an ingredient called cornflower that strengthens the eye contours.”  

If you use waterproof eye make-up, try the Instant Eye Make-Up Remover. People with sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, on the other hand, would benefit from the refreshing and non-irritating formula of Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover.  

These two are enriched with cornflower, along with rose water and aloe vera, which have moisturising, and soothing properties perfect for the delicate eye area, plus it is part-lash care. Win-win! You can also sweep it over your lips too.  

After the eye cleanse, reach for your preferred face make-up remover.

2. Face Cleanse  (face make-up remover)    

A double cleanse is super beneficial – as the first removes make-up and the like, the second clean ensures you remove impurities and clear out the pores.  

Beauty Daily recommends Cleansing Micellar Water. It dissolves all make-up and pollution particles without stripping your skin. 

In addition, it effectively removes gunky residue, including foundation, surface SPF, pollutant particles and face powder – drawing them away from the skin’s surface and preventing breakouts. 

Next up – the gentle cleansers:  

Wipe off:  

Total Cleansing Oil, Micellar Water or Velvet Cleansing Milk are all perfect cleansing products in their own right. Choosing how you’d want to cleanse your face depends on your preference.  

You can wipe it off with reusable cotton pads. These can also be rinsed off by running water. Continue with a toner.    

Rinse off:  

If you are more of a foaming cleanser fan, opt for sulphate-free or SLS free gentle facial cleansers.  

Clarins foaming cleansers are gentle and formulated to balance the skin’s natural microbiota – the normal bacteria levels in healthy skin—even after rinsing. It also has moringa extract that helps detoxify skin by eliminating pollution.   

Step 2: Toner    

Finish cleansing by applying a toning lotion. Toners are used to remove any last traces of impurities, but they are also designed to specifically restore your skin’s pH balance.  

Read next: Everything You Need To Know About Your Skin’s pH Level   

It doesn’t end there. Some toning lotions are even formulated to keep your skin microbiome (bacteria in your skin) happy and healthy. Steer clear from alcohol-based toners that will irritate or sting your face.   

Ingredients look for ingredients like the marine prebiotic and flower polyphenols. Both are proven to rebalance the skin microbiome.  

These two are found in Clarins toning lotions. The toning lotions are also tailored to your specific skin type, ensuring you’re getting the nourishment your skin needs.   

So don’t listen when they say you don’t need a toner – you do. It just depends on what to use, so pick wisely.  

Read next: Everything You Need To Know About Skin Microbiome  

Step 3: Eye Care

After applying a toning lotion, continue with an eye product: either an eye serum or an eye cream.   

Roberts suggests applying eye care before face serum or cream. 

“It will act as a protective barrier around the eye area and protect it from anything else you put over. It is the best skincare order as it is a reminder you’ve done the eyes.” 

Step 4:  Hydration (Serum)

The rule of thumb for skincare is to apply the lightest product first and the heaviest last since thinner products can’t penetrate through thicker ones. This is because serums penetrate deeper into the skin as they are made of tiny molecules.  

Serums are concentrated nutrients, hydrators, and antioxidants, which are beneficial for your skin’s health.  

Face serum

So layering something like Double Serum before your moisturiser is a good idea. Clarins Double Serum is a cult-fave for a reason. It is perfect for day and night as it is formulated with 21 plant extracts including antioxidant powerhouse turmeric that will protect your skin from signs of ageing. It has ingredients to protect, prevent, replenish and repair the skin.  

Step 5: Moisturisation

After applying hydrating products such as serum, move on to moisturising. Thick creams lock in water and replenish your skin’s protective barrier. Post serum, use a day moisturiser. Take this time to add in your face treatment oils. Don’t take face oils literally; they are easily absorbed and won’t leave the slimy, iky feel. Instead, they rebalance skin’s moisture levels and prevent moisture loss and fine lines from forming.  

Beauty Daily suggests adding a few drops of facial oils into your moisturisers, or masks to give an extra boost of skincare benefits to address a number of  issues, may it be hydration, protection, soothing, etc. 

Read next: The Best Essential Oils for Good Skin   

Step 7: SPF (A.M.)    

All skincare experts and dermatologists pledge their allegiance to one thing: SPF. Slathering yourself is the best thing you can do to protect your skin from all the harsh environmental stressors, sun and pollution being the two biggest threats.  

SPF is always the last step of your morning skincare routine.  

Sun protection should be a non-negotiable part of your daily skincare routine. Experts recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day.    

The best all-rounder is UV+[5P]. This sunscreen protects you from the sun and other forms of pollution.    

Read next: 8 Common Culprits Of Skin Damage 

Repeat the same cleansing steps as AM for a nighttime routine, but lose the SPF. Experts say you should apply your spot treatments (for pimples, acne scars, or dark spots) at night because that’s when the body is working hardest to repair itself.  

Make sure to tap your spot treatment on before your night moisturiser so it can penetrate your skin and leave a few moments to sink in.   

Essential skincare routine add-ons

Once or twice a week

Make sure to exfoliate once or twice a week. Exfoliation increases skincare product absorption by 70%. It is an essential part of your routine, so dead skin cells are out of the way, meaning everything else you apply will be absorbed by your skin.  

Weekly mask

Pamper yourself a couple of times a week with a mask. It’s a good idea to make sure you apply a mask after double-cleansing and exfoliation.  

Robert’s top tip: Post-mask, make sure to blot your skin dry after rinsing with water or sweep over a toner to balance out your skin’s pH. This will also prepare your skin for the next treatments and improve product penetration of your serums and moisturisers.

Want glowing skin that shines from within? Experts reveal proven ways to unlock your inner glow. Read next Adopt A Holistic Approach If You Want Healthier Skin In 2022 

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