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How To Layer Your Skincare Products

Simply put, everyone’s skin type is different. It really comes down to finding the products that work best for you and in unison with your skin. When it comes to applying products, there is a certain process that is optimal for layering them. 

Facial Cleanser or Wash

In terms of facial cleansers and washes it’s important (especially if you have breakout-prone skin) to have a distinct morning and night cleanser. This isn’t necessarily the case for everyone but using different washes in a morning and nighttime routine can be beneficial. A lot of skincare brands and companies have cleansers that are designated for either the morning or night. Your morning cleanser should be gentle on the skin, potentially foaming and fitting to your particular skin type. Nighttime cleansers shouldn’t be harsh but potentially exfoliating and should contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, which is effective in treating acne. As a side note, a good rule of thumb is to only exfoliate your skin about one to two times a week; frequent exfoliation can be harsh and drying on the skin. 

My recommendations: La Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser & PanOxyl


Toner or Facial Mist
Brand / Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash

Using a facial toner is often a step many people skip as it’s widely believed that toners can be irritating and harsh on the skin. However, it’s all about finding the right one for you. Effective facial toners have components like antioxidants, vitamins A & B, toning acids and can assist in restoring skins’ pH levels. Using a facial mist is an optional step but is one that can really upgrade your routine! Mists can be hydrating, mattifying, and protective against pollutants.  

My recommendations: The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution & Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist


skincare product in front of leaves outside
Emily Nelissen

Facial serums, like moisturizers, act as a shield for your face. They are typically pretty dense with antioxidants, nutrients and can contain protective components that defend against environmental pollutants. Serums can also improve aging skin, help with premature signs of aging skin by defending against ultraviolet rays, which can be responsible for long-term skin damage if left untreated. 

My recommendations: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% & Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting & Refining Serum


Eye Cream or Balm 

Having a go-to eye cream or balm is vital, especially as we age and it should be applied at least once per day. Eye creams and balms can aid in increasing skin’s elasticity and collagen levels around the undereye area if used consistently over time. 

My recommendations: Tula Rose Glow & Get it Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm and Dr. Brandt DNA Triple Peptide Eye Cream


Spot Treatment and Facial Masks & Peels 

Spot treatments aren’t for everyone but for those with acne and blemish-prone skin, they are more than likely all too familiar. Using these treatments can be tricky when considering which is best for your skin. Spot treatments can be extremely drying to the face so it is important to remember to only apply them on acne spots, blemishes, and pimples. At night, face masks or facial peels can be included in this step while keeping in mind that they should seldomly be applied, a facial mask or peel is best about once a week. 

My recommendations: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution & Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay



Using a moisturizer is probably the most crucial and common step within a skincare routine. A moisturizer should ideally contain sunscreen to the degree of at least having SPF 30. It’s also an option to use a regular moisturizer and to apply sunscreen as a final layer. Many moisturizers happen to contain sunscreen anyway which can help in simplifying your skincare routine overall. A night cream can be substituted for moisturizer in your evening routine as well! 

My recommendations: CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Face Lotion with Sunscreen, Sun Bum Mineral SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Face Lotion & Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion


Show your skin even more love by layering your products the right way!

Major: Psychology / Minor: Human Development & Family Studies Aspiring therapist and eventual clinical psychologist Quick facts: I'm originally from Colorado and am a fitness enthusiast, ecofeminist, I love the arts and enjoy cooking.
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