Applying Your Products in the most Effective Order

A commonly asked question is: How do I apply my products?

While the layering technique is not set in stone, there are some very good reasons why it helps to apply products in a certain order for maximum efficacy.  The rule of thumb is generally light followed by heavy.

In the case of a serum if you were to apply it after a rich hydrating moisturiser there would be a barrier to entry into the skin as the serum with all its active ingredients would not be able to penetrate and be absorbed, staying on top of the moisturiser.

Modern life with its frenetic pace doesn’t allow for the indulgence of fussing over a complicated skincare regimen. These days it is all about efficiency and efficacy and we offer you this simple guide to help you master the art of layering your products in the best way possible:

1# Cleasing

2# Toning

3# Serum

4# Eye Cream

5# Moisturer

6# Sunscreen



Morning & Night

Cleansing your skin is the first step in your daily skincare regimen. Night cleansing is the most important cleanse of the day. The skin is our only protector, acting as a filter to keep out all environmental and other pollutants during the day. We need to be meticulous about cleansing the day’s dirt off the skin before it starts a restorative process at night. Products with active rejuvenating ingredients will also penetrate better when there is no detritus on the surface of the skin.

The trend these days is to pre-cleanse with the no rinse Micellar water which has the power to cut through most make-up including mascara. This can be followed by a wash-off cleanser formulated for your skin type. New cleansers on the market use a dissolving oil which is popular with some people and not others. Cleansing is all about being gentle and kind to the skin no matter what your skin type.

  • Dry / Sensitive Skin: Cream cleanser
  • Normal / Combination: Foaming gel
  • Oily / Acne Prone: Mild Exfoliating wash



Morning & Night

Toning follows cleansing and while a fair number of people think this is an unnecessary step, adding to the cost of their skin products, toning actually plays a vital part in helping to remove residual cleanser and in some cases if a harsh cleanser is used, correcting the pH balance of the skin.

  • Dry / Sensitive Skin: Soothing toner
  • Normal / Combination: Moisturing Balancing toner
  • Oily / Acne Prone: Exfoliating/Clarifying toner



Day Serum & Night Serum

Serums should always be applied under a moisturiser. They are usually formulated in a clear liquid but can be other colours depending on the ingredients. They contain powerful active ingredients to protect the skin and target specific concerns.

Day serums should contain an antioxidant for protection against UV and other forms of radiation as well as against environmental pollutants. Antioxidants are gaining popularity for the added photoprotection benefits they give the skin when used together with a sunscreen. Night serums should contain Collagen boosting ingredients and Peptides as these are beneficial to your skin as you sleep.

  • Dry / Sensitive Skin: All serums except acne serums but add in a hyaluronic acid serum for extra moisture
  • Normal / Combinations Skins: All serums except for acne serums
  • Oily / Acne Prone: Salicylic or Decongesting serums



Morning & Night

When to apply an eye cream is a personal choice – some people apply it before a moisturiser and others prefer to do so afterwards. It is important to take special care of the eye area – the muscles around the eye area work intensely during the day as we express ourselves and it is important to keep the skin in this area hydrated. At night as we sleep an eye cream with the right active ingredients not only moisturisers but helps to repair, softening lines around the eyes. Always massage an eye cream gently as the delicate skin in this area is very prone to stretching in this area.

  • Dry / Sensitive Skin: Ultra rich eye cream
  • Normal / Combination: Serum or light hydrating eye cream
  • Oily / Acne Prone: Oil-free serum



Moisturisers should be applied over a serum if you are using one, as when the formulation is richer it is more occlusive which will prevent a lighter formulation like a serum from penetrating the skin. Moisturisers play an important role helping to keep skin hydrated and the skin barrier function healthy. A compromised, weak barrier function is the cause of many sensitivities in the skin.

  • Dry / Sensitive Skin: Rich, hydrating moisturiser
  • Normal / Combinations Skins: Light moisturiser or lotion
  • Dry / Acne Prone: Light moisturising lotion
  • Oily / Acne Prone: Light oil-free gel or lotion



The last but most important step in your daily routine is to apply sunscreen. This should be applied after your moisturiser and allowed to absorb before applying your make-up – if you do not allow it to absorb your make-up may not remain on the skin and it causes what is termed pilling or ‘frumelling’ – where you make-up rolls or flakes off the skin. Always apply a chemical sunscreen at least half an hour before sun exposure but with a physical sunscreen you do not need to wait.

  • Dry / Sensitive Skins: Hydrating physical sunscreen
  • Normal / Combinations Skins: Light oil-gel or lotion physical or chemical sunscreen
  • Oily / Acne Prone: Oil-free gel or lotion physical or chemical sunscreen



Targeted or Corrective treatments such as retinols are usually applied at night and can either replace your night moisturiser or be applied before before the moisturiser – they can be used daily or weekly.

Posted in NEWS / How to on August 18th, 2016.

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