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Are you the type of person who applies various skin care products on a whim, working in no particular order? If you are, it might be time to re-think your skin care routine. That’s because there’s actually an order in which you should be layering all of your skin care products, from facial cleanser to serum to face moisturizer to eye cream. If you’ve always wanted to know whether your moisturizer should go on before or after your serum, read on. Here, we give you the ultimate guide to layering your skin care products.
At its essence, layering your skin care products is 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.
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 the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Purify & Mattify Cleanser are all formulated to transform from a clay to a mouse consistency 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.)
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.
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—serum should go first. Apply the L'Oréal Paris Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum onto clean skin on 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!
Editor's 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 fully drying off.
That’s right, after serum, it’s time for moisturizer. Whether you have a preference for lightweight lotions or 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.
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 Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey Eye Gel) and ever so gently apply around your eyes, massaging until absorbed.
Your next step will depend entirely on the time of day! When we’re talking about your daytime skin care routine, sunscreen should always be your final step—even during the winter months. Follow the Food & Drug Administration’s guidelines and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF value of at least 15 daily, as directed. If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, 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 AM and 2 PM, which are the sun’s peak hours), seek shade, and cover up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Of course, you don’t need to layer on an SPF before heading to bed. Instead, apply a nourishing night cream and wake up with refreshed, revitalized skin. Just as with choosing a moisturizer, pick a night cream that suits your skin type and concerns. The L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey Night Balm is a great nighttime moisturizer for hydrating very dry skin. On the other hand, if your primary skin concerns are anti-aging issues such as fine lines and wrinkles, reach for the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Night Cream instead. It’s formulated to help stimulate skin cell renewal while you sleep, so you’ll wake up to more youthful-looking skin. To use, apply your night cream of choice as the final layer of your nightly skin care routine all over your face, neck, and chest. Then hit the hay for some literal beauty sleep!
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.