Layering Skincare Products How To Get The Right Order

Serums, face oils, toners …

With so many skincare products on the market, it can be hard to know exactly when to use them in your routine. You’re not alone if you’ve only remembered about your serum after moisturizing, but applying your products in a laissez-faire manner may be doing you more harm than good.

Below we’re sharing the step-by-step process of effectively layering skincare products so you can make the most of each ingredient.

Why Correctly Layering Skincare Products Matters

Some ingredients are more effective when applied in a certain order, so having a specific routine is the best way to maximize effectiveness. Choosing the wrong order may negate the benefits of your products, which defeats the purpose of having a skincare routine.

A good rule to follow is applying products from lightest to heaviest. Typically heavier products can block out lighter products by preventing the absorption of their active ingredients, so pay attention to your formulas: oil can penetrate through water, but water can’t penetrate through oil.

Now that you get why it matters, here are the exact steps you should follow to create an effective routine.

Step 1 - Cleanser

Cleanser isn’t a skincare product that you can layer, but you’ll need to start with a clean slate before you get into anything else. The goal is to get your pores squeaky clean and ready to absorb the goodness from your products. If not, they’ll be blocked by dirt and oil, and may end up clogging your pores instead of helping you glow.

Pro tip: Leave your skin slightly damp. Research shows that wet skin absorbs products better than dry skin. 

Step 2 - Toner and/or Essence

Once your skin is ready, you can finish the cleansing process with a toner and/or essence. Toners are great for tightening pores, restoring the skin’s pH levels, and evening out the skin tone, while essence can target specific skin concerns.

Step 3 - Serum

Next up is serum. These highly concentrated formulas are more potent than toners and essences. They also tend to have a lighter consistency than moisturizers, which is why they make sense as a middle step. You’ll want to make sure your skin can really absorb the active ingredients to reap the serum’s benefits.

If you’re applying more than one serum at a time to target different skin issues, follow the lightest to heaviest rule (ie. water-based before oil-based).

Step 4 - Eye Cream

Eye creams technically fall under the moisturizer umbrella, but they contain more concentrated ingredients to cater to the delicate skin of the under-eye area. It’s not a big deal if you apply it as a final step, but many dermatologists recommend dabbing it on pre-moisturizer.

Step 5 - Moisturizer & SPF

Save the heaviest for last! Your moisturizer will lock in all the targeted ingredients of your lighter products while nourishing your skin barrier. SPF should go on last, since it’s your final protective layer.

Reminder: Don’t worry about SPF at night. You only need it when the sun’s rays are out during the day.

Step 6 - Face Oil

Face oils are somewhat of an outlier. They’re lighter than moisturizers, but their purpose is more for external protection rather than hydration. They help to support the skin barrier while providing an extra dose of nourishment, which is why they tend to work best over moisturizers.

We hope this guide has given you more clarity when it comes to your skincare routine. Remember, when in doubt go from lightest to heaviest!

Experience the magic of Koji White on Amazon! 🌟

Shop our vegan, cruelty-free skincare line now and discover glowing, healthy skin! 💚

Back to blog

Featured collection