When it comes to the most effect beauty routine, knowing what products your skin needs is important. But does the order we use them matter? “The key to skincare success is to understand what ingredients work together and which order they should be applied,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group. Here’s how you should apply your skin-care products from beginning to end.
Step 1: Water-Based Products
Toners and essence products like the Diorsnow Global Transparency Essence ($145) should be applied to clean skin first, using a sponge or beauty pad for the best application. Because these products have such a thin consistency, they absorb into skin quickly so you can move to the next skin-care step.
Step 2: Serums
Since they’re the closest things to water, serums go on next (or on clean skin if you don’t use toners). Products like Drunk Elephant’s new T.L.C Framboos Glycolic Night Serum ($90) fit this category.
Step 3: Gels
A mix of oil and water, moisturizing gels should be the third step in your skin-care routine. Think acne clearing gels, exfoliating gels and even firming eye gels like the Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream ($40).
Step 4: Creams and Lotions
Last but not least are lotions and creams, which have the thickest consisitency and therefore need the most time to absorb into skin. If ointments are part of your beauty regimen, Nazarian advises to put them on dead last. “Ointment has the most oil (80 percent) and should go on last to avoid blocking other skincare ingredients from penetrating.”