The Active Edit

The Correct Order You Should Be Applying Your Skincare

written by: Kristen - Beauty Editorpublished on 7 Sep, 2023

The Correct Order You Should Be Applying Your Skincare

When it comes to the best order to apply your skincare, the general rule of thumb is to start with the lightest product and finish with the heaviest. Layering water-based products under oil-based products in your routine can help each product penetrate the skin most effectively, ensuring best results possible from each step. Products such as face oils and sunscreen should actually be the final steps in your routine as these product types provide protection and help lock moisture into the skin. There will always be some overlap between your two daily routines however, walking through each one step-by-step is certain to make any confusion a thing of the past.

Morning Skincare Routine

When choosing a morning cleanser, reaching for something that is gentle and soothing is ideal. This is to ensure that you prepare your skin for the treatment products ahead. The asap Gentle Cleansing Gel is a great example of this as it works to thoroughly cleanse the skin while also removing any dead skin cells and residual skincare from the night before, so you can start with a clean slate.

After cleansing, using a toner helps to hydrate and refresh the skin, as well as working to balance your skin’s natural pH and refine your pores. Perfect for those concerned with premature ageing, the Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist can be spritzed all over your face and neck for ultimate free-radical and moisture protection.

When applying serums & treatments in the morning, focus on using those that will brighten your complexion like The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% to combat morning puffiness and dark circles, or the SkinCeuticals Serum 10 AOX protective antioxidant. It’s good to note that you can patchwork your serums to treat different zones of your face, like a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum for your cheeks with a nicainamide & vitamin B serum for more sensitive areas. Your face will feel instantly revitalised.

A fantastic eye cream for daytime wear is the Cosmedix Opti Crystal as it contains subtle luminosity to camouflage any late-night-before under-eye darkness in addition to potent antioxidants to fend off the first signs of ageing. The inclusion of firming peptides further enhances the efficacy of this eye product.

Treating pesky spots or breakouts during the day is simple thanks to the invisible finish of the Murad Rapid Relief Spot Treatment. This treatment rapidly calms redness and the size of the spot without any peeling or flaking, making this blemish-buster super easy to pop on under your makeup.

Reach for something to bring dull skin to life, choose a moisturising day cream like the Alpha-H High Tide Water Cream which expertly adds weightless hydration for bouncy and plump skin, for a more refreshed and rested skin appearance.

To stop external skin ageing in its tracks, we all know SPF is a no-brainer. Perfect for all skin types, including sensitive skin, the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid SPF50+ offers high-level UVA & UVB sun protection. As the final step in your daily skincare routine, this lightweight formula sits seamlessly under makeup and makes you ready to face the day!

Night Skincare Routine

After a long day, it is important to start your nighttime skincare routine with a double cleanse. This should involve an oil cleanser such as the Medik8 Lipid-Balance Cleansing Oil or a balm cleanser like the Hydropeptide Makeup Melt to remove any makeup, SPF or pollution that is on your skin. Furthermore, a micellar water like Mesoestetic Micellar Biphasic makes light work of removing daily debris. Following this, a cleanser such as the Skinstitut Gentle Cleanser ensures your second cleansing step actually purifies your pores effectively, making subsequent product application more effective.

Something like the Inika Organic Phytofuse Renew Exfoliator can be used 1-3 times a week to exfoliate and brighten your skin. However, some people find their skin benefits from an ultra-gentle daily exfoliation like the soothing Dermalogica Daily Milkfoliant. If this is the case, be sure to choose a product that is gentle or enzyme-based and won’t be abrasive on your skin. 

Incorporating a device like the Omnilux Contour Face can help you see incredible wrinkle reduction and a more balanced skin tone within 8 weeks. This TGA approved product works to plump the skin and target problem areas from the dermis up without any downtime. Moreover, this professional-grade treatment can be used on cleansed and exfoliated skin to achieve a radiant glow overnight.

Comfort Zone Essential Toner is perfect to finish cleansing and balancing the skin. Formulated without any alcohol, this hydrating toner helps moisturise and soothe the skin, preparing it for subsequent product application. Using an effective toner at night can add essential moisture to your complexion for enhanced glow.

After toner, it is time to use a serum… or two! Working overnight to target age spots and uneven skin tone, Aspect Pigment Punch + works wonders to reveal visible skin clarity. If using retinol is part of your routine, use this sparingly every other day to build up your skin’s tolerance. The La Roche-Posay Redermic Retinol B3 Serum contains gradual release retinol, ideal for those concerned with signs of ageing. It's important to note that retinol is not recommended if you are pregnant. The perfect way to increase the effectiveness of all these gorgeous serums is by using some beauty tools such as the Mukti Bian Stone Gua Sha and the Vanessa Megan Beauty Vibe Micro Vibration Wand. These facial tools have everything you need to turn your night time regime into a luxury experience and improve the absorption of serums into your skin.

Working to fill, smooth and reduce the appearance of fine lines, eye creams like the Thalgo Silicium Lifting & Firming Eye Cream deliver impressive results while you sleep so you wake up looking refreshed and well rested - even if you’re not!

Unlike an invisible daytime treatment, a spot treatment like the Dermalogica Deep Breakout Liquid Patch can work hard to tackle under the skin blemishes and congestion by soothing the skin and clearing future breakouts. The breathable skin-mimicking film protects the blemish whilst it heals so you can wake clear and confident.

Moisturisers work by conditioning the skin and locking in moisture. Therefore, it is important that this step follows on from your nighttime skincare. A product like the Pelactiv Nightly Rejuvenator ties in beautifully with your skin’s natural nighttime regeneration process as it gently renews and soothes to restore your skin whilst you enjoy your beauty sleep.

Facial oils like KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil are able to easily penetrate moisturisers and other treatment products to work their magic on your skin. If your skin type is on the oilier side, simply switch out your nightly moisturiser for a face oil alone. Doing this a couple of times a week, you will be able to find a happy balance. Finishing up your routine with a lightweight, antioxidant-rich oil such as the Endota Spa Rosehip Oil can help treat any scarring or dehydration across your complexion.

When trying to establish the order of your morning and evening skincare routine, be sure to keep it simple and avoid layering too many active products. These include skincare containing retinol & vitamin A, vitamin C or benzoyl peroxide, as this may cause an undesirable reaction on your skin. Sometimes we need to race out the door or are desperate to get to bed at the end of a long day. Our tip is to make sure to wait at least 30 seconds between each step to allow the product to properly sink into the skin for best results.

Simply throw a good nourishing, purifying or radiance-boosting mask into the mix each week and your complexion will be glowing before you know it! Or if you’re like me, keep it simple by introducing an overnight mask like the skin-quenching O Cosmedics Hydra Plus Sleep-In Mask a couple of times a week. By adopting these simple skincare steps your complexion will thank you day and night. Lastly, by double checking how you layer your products, this will ensure that your skin’s needs are being addressed.