When it comes to building a skin care routine it can be confusing to know when, how, and in what order you should apply different products. What does your skin need and what should you do to really get the maximum benefit each product provides?
An easy approach can be to first think about product texture and absorption. Products that are meant to be washed off, or to purify the skin can be applied first, for instance your cleanser and toner. These help to prep the skin and clarify pores to accommodate other products.
Products that are lighter weight and absorb quickly into the skin can then be applied to your clarified skin. Assess product texture and apply from thinnest to thickest.
Thinner products, like serums, are made of smaller molecules and will more deeply absorb into lower layers of the skin. These are meant to provide a deep level of hydration. Thicker products like moisturizers and night creams can be applied toward the end of your routine, as these take a little longer to absorb and are focused on protecting the outer layers of the skin barrier.
Morning, Night, or Whenever?
Typically most people create morning skin care routines and evening skin care routines. In the morning you're preparing your skin for the day ahead, and you may be spending time outdoors or in the sunshine.
After cleansing and toning, if you need additional moisture you'll apply a serum, and if you want to combat under-eye puffiness or fine lines, you might add an eye cream or fine line cream, before your daily moisturizer. Finishing your regimen with a sunscreen is also a good idea, especially during summer months.
In the evening, after cleansing and toning, apply any lighter weight non-oil-based treatment products before finishing with your night cream. A night cream is generally a thicker consistency and releases hydration over a longer period of time.
Some products, like hand and body lotions can be used throughout the day, whenever you need additional moisturization and want to alleviate skin dryness.
Here's a handy suggested order:
Fine Lines Cream
Night Cream (Night)
Your skin may experience changing needs over time, as well as seasonal needs, so stay attune to what your skin is telling you.