This Is The Real Order You Should Be Applying Your Skincare

No more mixing up moisturiser and toner!
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Be honest: when it comes to your skincare routine, are you just guessing the order?

Most of us are guilty of slapping on toners and cleansers however we want, but it turns out there’s actually a correct order we should all be following.

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We spoke with skincare expert Vicki Engsall, co-founder of The Jojoba Company, who explained why it’s so important to follow the right order when it comes to skincare.

She spilled the details on what order works best, where you may be going wrong in your routine, and what really happens if you follow the wrong order.

And don’t worry – you don’t need 10,000 steps in your skincare routine to get natural glowy skin.

You might have been applying your skincare in the wrong order this whole time. (Credit: Pexels)

Does the order you apply your skincare really matter?

Yes, it’s actually very important for you to apply your skincare in the correct order.

“You need to apply your products from thinnest more watery consistencies like serums to thicker like thick moisturisers,” Vicki explains.

“The reason for this is that moisturisers and oils often act as occlusives, meaning they lock everything into the skin and also stop other things from going in. If you were to put a moisturiser or an oil on before a serum, then you will not be getting the best effects of the serum as it may not be able to penetrate through the more occlusive or emollient layers that were applied before it.”

Basically, if you put the wrong products on first, everything else you put on after will be pretty much useless. In fact, you’re pretty much just wasting your nice serums and toners if you put them on in the wrong order.

Vicki adds: “You want the active ingredients to be able to easily penetrate into the skin, so put them on first!”

If you don’t pay attention to your skincare order, you might just be wasting product. (Credit: Pexels)

What order should you apply skincare at night vs in the morning?

The basic order you should apply your skincare at night is: cleanser, toner, serums, oils, eye creams, then night creams.

“At night, start by cleansing. After cleaning, give your skin a spritz of a toning mist,” Vicki says. “This will give the skin hydration and help to reduce the pore size and dampen the skin ready to receive the next few layers (products absorb 10 times better on damp skin than on dry skin).

“Next, apply your water based serum followed by your facial oil, eye cream and then your night cream.

Vicki adds that the order in which you apply products should stay the same at night and in the day, but the products you apply could vary. For example, you can add an SPF into your morning routine that you wouldn’t use at night, and you might skip products containing acids in the day, as they make your skin more sensitive to sun damage. 

“Day creams should be all about protecting the skin throughout the day with antioxidants and sunscreens whereas night creams are all about regenerating and renewing the skin overnight.”

Your morning routine will look a lot like your evening routine. (Credit: Pexels)

Do you need to wait a set amount of time between steps, or can you slap them all on in one go?

You should definitely take your time when applying your skincare according to Vicki.

“It is always best to wait at least 60 seconds between the application of layers. This allows the product to penetrate the skin properly and prevent pilling.”

What will happen if you apply your skincare in the wrong order?

Okay, technically you won’t ruin your skin or see any crazy reactions if you apply your products in the wrong order. But you also won’t get the full effects from your skincare routine if you’re not paying attention to the order.

Vicki explains that you “may find you are not getting the best benefit from those great products that you have invested in. You will still get some benefit, but perhaps not the maximum benefit you could as if you used them in the correct order.”

Don’t be scared to add an oil to your routine! (Credit: Pexels)

Do you really need a million steps in your skincare, or can you get away with just a few key products?

When it comes to how many steps you include in your skincare routine, Vicki says it’s really up to you and what you want to get out of your skincare.

“You don’t need a million steps in your skincare. It really depends on your skin goals and the best way to achieve them,” she explains. 

At an absolute minimum, you should be cleansing your skin every single day, even if you didn’t wear makeup or sunscreen. Cleansing removes any dirt, oils, etc. from your skin and will help prevent breakouts and blemishes. It’s important to cleanse at the start of your skincare routine too, because putting products on skin that isn’t 100 per cent clean will never be as effective.

“No matter what products you use, if you are not putting them on clean skin, then you are not going to get the best benefit as they won’t be able to penetrate through the dirt, grime, sunscreen etc from the day,” Vicki says.

“A facial oil is also an essential. Facial oils offer nutrients and amazing hydration and balance to the skin. They don’t evaporate like water based products and work with your skin’s oils to nurture the skin,” she adds.

And yes, this step is important even for those of us with oily complexions, so don’t be scared to add one to your evening routine. Vicki says that if you’re nervous about oils, you can use a wax ester like jojoba instead. Because it’s not an oil, it won’t clog your pores but it will balance out your complexion and nourish/moisturise your skin.

Vicki goes on to say: “The last essential step is a moisturiser. This is an important step as it locks in all of the goodies underneath and provides a moisture barrier for the skin throughout the day and night, helping to prevent moisture loss and protect the skin. It also makes sure your make up sits well on your skin.”

If you’re running short on time or want to cut a few steps from your routine, Vicki says you can ditch your serum (it won’t hurt for a night or two), eye cream and toning mist. For those who want to keep it simple, just stick to the three-step regime of cleanse, oil and moisturise to keep your skin clear and glowing.

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