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Are you the type of person who applies various skin care products on a whim, working in no particular order? Well, if you are, it’s time to stop what you’re doing and listen up—because there’s actually an order you should be following when layering skin care products, from facial cleanser to serum to face moisturizer to eye cream, as part of your skin care routine. If you’ve always wanted to know whether your face moisturizer should go on before or after your facial serum, you’re in luck. Without further ado, we give you the ultimate guide on layering skin care products.
At its essence, layering your skin care products is (thankfully!) pretty simple. You’ll just need to remember one rule: Thicker follows thinner. That means you should start by applying skin care products that have the thinnest consistencies and work your way up to ones that are heavier. Of course, since this is a comprehensive guide to layering skin care products, we’re not stopping here. We’re going beyond the basics and giving you a step-by-step breakdown of how to layer every skin care product in your skin care routine.
Step 1: Cleanser. While you may not technically be layering on a facial cleanser since you’re washing it off, it should be the first step in any skin care routine. Reach for a clay-to-mousse facial cleanser, picking the option that best suits your skin: The L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Cleanser, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refine Cleanser, and L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Purify & Mattify Cleanser are formulated to transform from clay to mouse and remove impurities from the surface of your skin without over-drying it. (For help choosing the right facial cleanser, check out our article, How to Find the Right Clay Cleanser for Your Skin Type.)
Step 2: Toner. Swiping your skin with a toner may not seem like an essential skin care step to everyone, but cleansing isn’t always one and done. Even after washing your face, there can still be residual dirt and grime sitting on the surface of your skin. Use the L’Oréal Paris HydraFresh Toner to help remove remaining impurities, sweep away dull, tired skin and protect against moisture loss. This alcohol-free toner is formulated with beta hydroxy acid and pro-vitamin B5.
Step 3: Serum. One of the most popular questions when it comes to layering is whether you should start with serum or moisturizer. As long as you consider the aforementioned rule (thicker follows thinner), the answer is an easy one. Apply the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Triple Power™ Concentrated Serum to your face, neck and jawline, smoothing until thoroughly absorbed. This lightweight serum helps to make your complexion brighter and reduce the appearance of wrinkles with continued use over time. Yes, please!
Pro-tip: If your skin is still slightly damp from cleansing or toning, no worries. The water on your skin can actually lend a helping hand with locking in moisture. Go ahead and apply your serum without drying off.
Step 4: Facial oil. Ever since facial oils skyrocketed in popularity and essentially took over the skin care scene, there’s been a hot debate over when you should apply one. You’ve probably heard all the arguments, but it’s hard to know for sure which side has it right. That’s why we’re settling this topic once and for all. You’ll want to apply facial oil underneath your moisturizer. If you have mature skin, opt for a lighter oil, like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Facial Oil Light, which is formulated for mature skin. Apply 4-5 drops onto the palm of your hand and use your finger to dab the facial oil onto your face and neck. Press the facial oil in using the surface of your hands.
Step 5: Moisturizer. That’s right, it’s time for moisturizer. Whether you have a preference for lightweight lotions for thick creams, this is when you’ll want to spread your moisturizer of choice onto your skin. Whether you have dry skin or oily skin, we suggest sticking with a moisturizer formulated for your skin type. The L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care line contains three moisturizers, all containing hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water, that suit varying hydration needs. The L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Dry Skin improves the look of radiance, the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Extra Dry Skin provides comfort, and the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Oily Skin reduces the appearance of excess shine.
Step 6: Eye cream. Don’t forget about your eyes. The delicate skin surrounding your eyes deserves attention, too. Go ahead and grab your favorite eye cream or treatment (let us suggest the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Triple Power™ Eye Treatment) and ever so gently apply around your eyes, massaging until absorbed.
Step 7: Broad-spectrum sunscreen. When we’re talking about your daytime skin care routine, sunscreen should always be your final step. Follow the Food & Drug Administration’s guidelines and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF value of at least 15 daily as directed. Make sure to reapply at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating—but your work shouldn’t end there. You should also limit your amount of time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are peak hours), seek shade, and cover up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Now that we’ve answered your questions on how to layer skin care products, learn The Best Moisturizing Routine for Your 20s, 30s, and 40s.