How To Layer Skin Care

When it comes to skincare, it is hard to know where to start. With hundreds of opinions and thousands of products, it can get overwhelming. Knowing which moisturiser to use, what cleanser suits your skin or what serum is going to give you that fresh-looking glow. 

We understand. Which is why we are giving you a step-by-step explanation of how to layer skin care. We often get asked which order is best to apply to skin care products. It is an essential part of your skincare routine. 

There is no point in spending loads on amazing skincare if you don't understand how to best use it. We like to think it is an art form. Get the skincare layers right, and you won't look back! 

Not everyone likes a long 10-step skincare regime, day and night. However, whether you use two products or ten, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to layer skin care.

So whether you are a beginner or a lifetime pro, follow along to learn more. If you do have any further questions, get in touch with one of our skincare experts! 

What Do You Need To Consider When Layering Your Skin Care?

While it might seem tedious, the order in which you layer your skincare does really matter. You wouldn't put your conditioner on before your shampoo, so why would you moisturise before cleansing?

To simplify it, always apply lightest to heaviest. For example, if you placed a serum over a moisturiser, then it would basically be pointless. This is because the thinner product can’t penetrate through the heavier product. So make sure you aren't wasting your products. 

The main goal when applying skincare layers is to nourish, hydrate and target any troubled areas. It is not about creating perfection. It is about tailoring your skincare routine to suit you and your skin. So be patient and give it time. There is no instant fix. 

If we had to advise you on three steps you must do when learning how to layer skin care, are:

  • Cleansing- basically just washing your face.
  • Toning- it helps to balance your skin
  • Moisturising- this helps to soften and hydrate the skin

If you are going to take anything away from this guide, these three steps are essential for a good skincare regime. They are the basics and the fundamentals. Be consistent with these three steps, and you will see the world of difference in your skin. 

The Correct Skin Care Layer Routine 

So yes, cleansing, toning, and moisturising are the building blocks of your skincare routine. But what else could be beneficial for your sin? First, let's look at the order in which you should be applying your products. 

 Step 1 - Cleansing 

First and foremost, you need to clean the skin. You can't start your skincare without a blank canvas. This applies to both day and night. 

Cleansing will wash away all of the dirt from the day and makeup. This will leave your skin fresh and clean, ready for applying the rest of your skincare products. In addition, it helps to avoid clogged pores and acne. 

Our top tip would always be to cleanse twice! You would be surprised how much dirt can build up on our skin throughout the day, especially when wearing makeup. Cleansing twice ensures there is no excess makeup left on your skin. 

If you are unsure what cleanser will suit your skin, do get in touch with one of our experts who can advise you. 

Step 2 - Exfoliate

Now, we would not advise exfoliating every day as it can be harsh on the skin. However, 2-3 times a week, exfoliating your skin helps to promote healthy skin. 

Exfoliating comes after cleansing as you don't want to be rubbing the first from the day into your skin. 

Exfoliating essentially removes dead skin cells and leaves your skin texture even and smooth. Unfortunately, we can easily get a build-up of makeup products over the week that can cause the skin to feel uneven. Exfoliation will help to rebalance the skin's texture and remove any unwanted excess.

For the morning, keep it light, as you don't want to disrupt the skin's natural barrier. At night you can opt for a harsher exfoliator which will give you a deeper cleanse. 

Step 3- Toning

Toner is often a step that gets missed. People assume that toners are harsh and irritate the face. This is far from the truth. Toners help remove dead skin cells and boost hydration.  

Each toner has a different purpose. Finding the right toner for you that suits your skin type is important when layering skin care. 

Toning comes after exfoliating when layering skin care because it can penetrate the skin with a shot of nutrients. It also allows an excellent base for your moisturiser to be able to penetrate the skin. 

Step 4- Serums 

A common mistake when learning how to layer skin care is applying moisturiser before serums. No! Serums before moisturiser. 

If we think back to our top tip, apply skin care in order of thickness. So the thickest last. Naturally, serums are thinner than moisturisers, so they come first. However, some serums are thicker than others, so make sure you apply the same rule to the order of your serums. 

Serums help deliver ingredients to the skin. Think of them as protectors as they are packed with all sorts of antioxidants and environmental fighting ingredients. Serums are filled with active ingredients and vitamins that help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Our favourites a vitamin C, Retinol and hyaluronic acid. These three together help to boost collagen production and increase hyaluronic acid aiding with hydration in the skin. Layering this skincare together before moisturising will allow it to penetrate closer to the skin.

Make sure you check the products beforehand on how often you should use them and what time of day is best for them to use. Some products are most effective at night. For example, Retinol is better at night as it soaks into your skin and does not react well with sunlight. We would always advise a night time retinol for this reason alone. 

Step 5- Moisturiser

Now everyone's favourite part. Moisturising. 

One of the thickest parts of skin care layering is moisturiser. This is why it is one of the final steps of your skincare routine. 

However, before face moisturiser comes eye cream. If you use eye cream, apply it before your face moisturiser because it is slightly thinner. Eye cream is essential for maintaining the health of the eyelid skin and improving elasticity in the under-eye area. 

If you do use a face oil, again apply this before your moisturise. They are lightweight and help to combat dryness.  

Even if you have oily skin, moisturiser is key for locking in all of the moisture you have just applied previously. The best time to apply your moisturiser is when the skin is still damp. So layer your skincare straight after to lock in as much moisture as possible.  

There is a difference between night and day cream. Night cream will be thicker, so perfect for soaking in overnight. A day cream is great for a lightweight base underneath makeup. Ensure you don't use night cream during the day when layering skin care, as it can be too heavy on the skin. 

Step 6- Sunscreen 

Final and arguably the most important step. Sunscreen

Sun damage on your skin is one of the most significant factors contributing to fine lines and wrinkles. As much as we all love a nice tan, sitting in direct sunlight will damage your skin in the long run. 

A good sunscreen is a crucial essential to any skincare regime. As sunscreen is thick, it comes last when laying skin care. This helps lock in all the moisture and adds a layer of protection against UV rays. 

Even on days when it is cloudy, please wear sunscreen. UV rays come through the clouds, so make sure you stay consistent with applying it! We recommend at least an SPF 30.

Benefits Of Using The Correct Skin Care Layers

There are so many benefits to using the correct skin care layers. But by far, the most important one is getting the benefits from your skin care. 

If you are layering your skincare in the correct order and staying consistent, then the skincare will work its magic. However, if you don't layer it correctly, then all the incredible benefits of skin care won't be utilised. 

For example, a simple mistake is applying serums after moisturiser. This will hinder the serums from showing their full potential because the thick layer of moisturiser will block them. Knowing these little tips when learning how to layer skin care will help you see the most benefits. 

Additionally, you will save a lot of time and money. You won't be wasting your luxurious skincare and utilise it effectively. 


We hope this has helped you understand how to layer skin care in the future.

It is not uncommon for people to get it wrong and, in turn, not see all the benefits of the products they have. Ensuring you follow these key steps will help you to see the world of difference.

You don't need to use several products every time you are layering your skin care. You can stick to a simple cleanse, tone and moisturise just as long as you stay consistent. 

If you have any questions about anything we have mentioned in this blog, contact one of our skincare experts. 

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