From acid toners and hydrating mists to serums and oils, it can be incredibly overwhelming and confusing to work out the best order to apply your skincare for maximum benefits. You’ve got two serums – which goes first? And when on earth do you apply your SPF?
Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is to judge it by texture – the thinnest consistencies go on first and the thickest last – but it can chop and change slightly. To give you a helping hand, we’ve devised a guide on what your routine should look like, and what order to apply each product in…
Morning: cleanse, acid toner, hydrating spray, eye cream, serum, face cream, SPF
Your morning routine is all about prepping your skin for the day ahead. Start with a gel or milk-based cleanser like Aveda Botanical Kinetics Purifying Gel Cleanser, £18, then wake up your skin via a sweep of acid toner. You can chop and change which you use depending on your skin type, but Pixi Glow Tonic, £18, is great for boosting radiance while La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Lotion, £11, is perfect if you’re prone to blemishes. Give your complexion a quick spritz of hydration by using a mist like Caudalie Beauty Elixir, £14, and then gently tap a nourishing eye cream like Oolution Eye Love, €30, around the orbital bone of your eyes.
Serum should be targeted to treat your skin type/needs, so whether you need a boost in radiance via Darphin Lumiere Essentielle Illuminating Oil Serum, £55, want to soothe and calm with Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Face Lotion, £50, or pump some hydration in with The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid, £6, this is the product to do it with. Your moisturiser, which follows next, quite simply needs to do what it says on the tin – add moisture – so opt for something like Bioderma Hydrabio Light Moisturising Gel-Cream, £14.50. Then, whatever time of year, finish up with a face-specific SPF, a favourite of ours being La Roche-Posay Anthelios AC Anti-Shine Matte Fluid SPF 30, £16.
Evening: double cleanse, a mask once a week, acid toner, eye cream, serum, oil or night treatment
Start by cleansing with a balm like Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm, £38, then follow on by cleansing a second time using a milk or gel formula. The first cleanse using a balm will break up makeup and remove dirt, while your second cleanse is a great time to treat your skin, for example Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel, £10.49 is ideal if you suffer from blemishes, while Clarins Cleansing Milk, £20 is perfect for those with dry or sensitive skin.
Next up, turn to an acid toner. It’s great to alternate between a few as this will get your skin working harder, but it’s also important to choose the right acid for your skin. Anything containing salicylic is great for blemish-prone skin, while something containing glycolic like Vichy Idealia Peeling Night, £30, will resurface and boost collagen production. Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion, £56, is also a must-have for all and they even have a variant for those with sensitive skin. When it comes to eye cream, lightly tap it around your orbital bone and follow on with a serum aimed at your skin type, then slather on a decent layer of night oil or cream.
Once a week, your evening cleanse should be followed by a face mask to help decongest or target your skins needs – we’re particularly loving Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask, £52.