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In What Order Should I Apply Skincare Products? – Confused?

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This has to be the most confusing things when it comes to skincare! Right so I have all these products, when am I supposed to use them! How often, and in what order should I apply skincare products! Do you put moisturiser or serum on first? How do I start a skincare routine! ahhhh!

Don’t panic there is an answer to all these questions and I’m here to help, stay with me as we get to the bottom of your skincare wows.

I’m going to put together an easy to follow list of the order you should be doing things in. If you don’t already have a skincare routine and don’t know where to start, this should help, if you already have all the products but no idea how to use them, after reading this, you will.


1) Cleanse

This might sound obvious but your lovely products aren’t going to work their magic for you if you don’t apply them to clean skin so this is always the first step in your skincare regime.

Every morning and evening without fail! No going to bed with your makeup on from now on ladies, this will only lead to zits and premature aging so is an absolute no no!

Choose a cleanser which suits your skin type. If you have dry sensitive skin a cleansing cream wash or milk is better for you whereas oily or acne prone skin types will benefit from a cleanser containing active ingredients such as salicylic acid.

Don’t be tempted to skip this stage and just use soap and water, soap will strip your skin of essential oils leaving it dry, irritated and unhealthy.

2) Tone

This no longer means stripping your skin to within an inch of its life with an alcohol based astringent but I advise to use a chemical exfoliate like an AHA like a glycolic acid or for oily skin a BHA like salicylic acid.

These chemical exfoliates will reduce pore size, reduce black heads and remove dead surface skin cells to allow your products to be absorbed in your skin more effectively.

This is also an extra little step in cleansing your skin, you will always see remnants of missed makeup on the cotton pad at this stage.

3) Eye creams

The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on your body so the creams that go here need to be thinner to penetrate through.

If you apply your other creams first they may go on the delicate skin around your eye and stop your eye creams from getting through. If you have a retinol eye cream and a moisturising eye cream, apply the retinol first.

==>Read more about eye products here<==


4) Retinol

This is nighttime only. If you have a retinol specific for eyes apply that first then your retinol to your face which will have a higher concentration you don’t want to get the stronger stuff on the skin around your eyes.

Retinol can cause irritation when you first start to use it so go slowly at first until your skin adjust, once a week to begin with and slowly build up to every night.

It has the furthest to go in the skin so this is why it needs to go on now, it works by encouraging new cell turnover and collagen production.

If your skin is extra sensitive it can go on after you moisturise until your skin adapts.

==>Read more about the best Retinol products here<==

5) Serums

These are much lighter in texture than a cream so go on next and include things like your Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. Your retinol does technically count as a serum but it will be lighter in texture than these.

There’s no hard or fast rule as to when you should apply them but Vitamin C protects against free radicals produced by the sun and pollution so you definitely want to apply this in the morning, theses free radicals do stay within the cells so it may also be good to apply it again in the evening so it can carry on protecting your skin whilst you sleep.WHAT-ORDER-TO-APPLY-SERUMS

Hyaluronic acid is a skin hydrator and draws in moisture from its surrounding tissues, you can apply this morning and evening to boost hydration plumping out lines and wrinkles.

6) Targeted serums

These are serums that are used to target a specific condition, you should apply this next.

It’s a good idea to leave a good few minutes in between each serum to allow each product to fully soak in before you apply the next.

7) Moisturise

Don’t forget this step even if you don’t have dry skin you still need to moisturise!

A lot of you with acne may think that moisturising will make your acne worse, wrong!

If you try to dry acne skin out the sebum or oil in your skin will over compensate by producing more to try to correct the problem so its about choosing the right moisturiser for your skin type.

Look for one containing salicylic acid or specifically for oily skin.

8) Skin oils

On their own skin oils don’t really do all that much but by putting one on top of your skin care it seals everything thing in increasing its effectiveness, this is why it’s important to put your skin oil over your moisturiser.

Your moisturiser will not penetrate oil but the oil will penetrate your moisturiser.

9) Sunscreen

Do not think this is just for sunny days at the beach! this is by far the most important product in your skincare regime and should be applied last, every morning without fail and reapplied throughout the day.

No the SPF in your makeup is not good enough, for full broad spectrum coverage to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB you will not get this from your make up.

==>read more about the benefits of sunscreen and aging here<==


A good SPF will be your best anti aging tool if you apply it daily with a factor over 30.

So there you have it! I hope this has made things a little clearer for you. I actually have all my products lined up in my bathroom in the order I’m going to use them, this helps first thing in the morning when your half asleep, you just need to remember not to put your retinol on in the morning.

You can always put a blue sticker on it to remind you it’s pm only!

If you’re just starting with a skincare routine and feeling overwhelmed, don’t feel like you need all of the above products.

You can slowly introduce items.

Start with a cleanser, toner, moisturiser and SPF.

In a month or so add a retinol at night but build it in slowly.

Next month you could add a Vitamin C serum for an amazing glow and antioxidant protection.

If you need more targeted serums for your skin types look in to adding others but Vitamin C is a great all rounder targeting many skin concerns.

==>For more about the benefits of Vitamin C click here<==

If you need any more help just give me a shout or leave me a comment below.