So you’ve finally found the your favorite skin care products – best cleanser, an effective serum, the most plumping moisturizer—not to mention an eye cream, a lightweight sunscreen, a miracle potion that actually zaps zits—and anything else you might want to put on your face. But how in the world are you supposed to apply all that stuff? Does the order matter? What about the method of application? Yes, there are rules, and yes, they matter.
As a general rule, you go thinnest to thickest. You will want to begin with toner—if you use it—which should be the first thing you reach for post-cleansing. It goes on like water and will leave your skin damp so what you put on top after will seal in the hydration from the toner. Serum, which can range in texture from liquid to gel, comes next, followed by the moisturizer of your choice.
Once your skin’s moisturized, you’ll probably have another step. Depending on the time of day, sunscreen and eye cream are up next. Be careful not to get the eye cream on your lashes as this can end up in yours eyes and leave you puffy!
As for sunscreen, an alarming amount of women depend on their tinted moisturizer, BB Cream, or even foundation for sun protection. But you’re applying minimal amounts of those (usually low-SPF) products. So look for a moisturizer with built-in sunscreen. If you’re making your own tinted moisturizer by mixing foundation with your favorite moisturizer, stop. Sunscreen is tested in its final form, not when it is mixed with other products. If you alter this with you may not know what you are getting and you can’t be 100% confident that it’ going to protect you. If you’re treating a pimple try rubbing a wet Q-tip on the spot to remove the products you’ve already applied and then applying treatment as your last step.
So how should you actually apply products? First, you could rub everything into your skin, which stimulates blood flow to the skin. Another option is patting and pressing the products into the skin, starting from the center of the face and moving out toward the jaw.
Think of it like a recipe for your face: you don’t have to follow all the rules, but everything turns out a bit better if you do.