Serum or moisturizer first? Learn to layer skincare correctly

Skincare is necessary. However, not knowing how to layer your skincare products in the right order may make your routine go in vain too!
layer skincare
Following a right layering routine for skincare is crucial! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Shifa Khan Published: 17 Feb 2022, 14:42 pm IST
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We have heard it all about how important it is to follow a nighttime skincare regime to age gracefully and to wake up with a Kardashian glow. But do you wonder each night if a moisturizer goes first on your face or a serum? Although it may seem like ‘whatever works’, layering each product in its correct order is as important as eating the right food at the right time. Well, fret not, because we are here to decode the right way to layer skincare products.

The thumb rule is to apply the lightest product first and heaviest in the end. To get the most out of your skincare routine, you need to follow the perfect order of layering your products.

Dr Nivedita Dadu, a renowned dermatologist, spoke to HealthShots about why you need to follow a skincare routine along with the correct order to apply products.

Here’s how to layer skincare products to benefit your skin:

1. Cleanser

Removing makeup residue, excess oil and impurities comes first. Cleanse your skin squeaky clean before slathering on any other products. Before applying your skincare products, always remove the makeup and cleanse your face with a cleanser according to your skin type. Clean skin that is completely free of oil and grime is essential for ingredients to absorb properly.

Using a cleanser remains the foremost step in your skincare routine. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Toner

Next comes toning. Use a non-alcoholic and mild toner to help tighten your skin for a poreless appearance. Toners are essentially just priming the face for ingredients to be better absorbed later on. “The ‘good’ toners include either soothing or moisturizing ingredients to soothe dry skin or chemical exfoliants to cure acne and pimples. Use a toner that contains BHA (beta hydroxy acid, such as salicylic acid) or AHA (alpha hydroxy acid, such as glycolic acid or lactic acid), both of which work to unclog pores, limit breakouts, and remove blackheads over time,” says Dr Dadu.

3. Serums

Serums are an essential part of our skincare routine as they are just shots of extremely concentrated nutrients, hydrators and antioxidants that seep into our skin. They are an absolute nutrient-rich thirst quencher for our skin. Dr Dadu defines serums as concentrated doses of nutrients, hydrators, and antioxidants that immediately improve the health of the skin after application.

4. Eye cream

Opt for a hydrating eye cream that can help eliminate the risk of dry skin around your eyes that eventually result in crow feet and wrinkles. A caffeine rich formula with a rollerball applicator works well for those with water retention problems and under eye bags. “Eye creams are lighter and thinner than face moisturizers, use them first before applying creams and oils. Since your under-eye region is the most delicate area, be sure to dab the under eye cream gently,” explains the expert.

dark circles removal creams
Using an ye cream can reduce the puffiness and wrinkles around your eyes. Images courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Spot treatment

Spot treatment varies from zit clearing solutions to dark spot correctors. But since they only target the problem areas, these are supposed to be applied before any other heavy products.

6. Moisturizer

Regardless of what products you use or skip, no skincare routine is complete without using a moisturizer. It not only plays an important role in hydrating your skin but also helps trap in all the products underneath it to show you better results. This step is bound to give you a glowing skin. “Moisturizer is an essential step to the skincare routine. Whether your skin is really oily, prone to breakouts, it’s the only thing that’ll maintain the skin barrier.” adds Dr Dadu.

7. Retinol

Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives which are touted as a holy grail of anti-aging products because they cater to all major skin problems like fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, blackheads and dark spots, inflammation, pore size and appearance of blemishes too. Pressing a dime-sized amount onto the skin can work anti-ageing wonders.

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Dr Dadu confirms, “Retinol sinks into your skin to speed up cell turnover, causing the body to churn out fresher, smoother, less wrinkled skin over time. Retinoids trigger collagen production and cellular exfoliation and brighten skin.”

Stress and skin
Erase those forehead wrinkles by using a retinol in your PM routine. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

8. Facial oil

Oils are the heaviest products and can seep in through other products but nothing we apply over oil can get absorbed easily. Hence, they come in as a finishing step in our beauty regime. Facial oils like Jojoba and Rosehip are known to soothe skin and decrease acne production. Oils are also known to seal all the ingredients and moisture you’ve just applied to your skin.

It doesn’t matter if you do a basic CTM routine or a 10-step skincare routine, taking a little care of your skin by knowing how to layer skincare can make it happy. Skip whatever isn’t for you and stick to eating healthier and sleeping well!

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About the Author

An aesthete and a skincare junkie, Shifa spends most of her time cooking delish food while wearing a sheet mask. At HealthShots, she creates high-octane content that can leave you all a little intrigued! ...Read More

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