One of our most asked questions (IRL) is how to apply different skincare products, and which are designated for AM/PM. At this point, we definitely consider ourselves skincare junkies. We know what works for our skin but we love trying new products and there’s always room for improvement. Our skin is nowhere near perfect but it is leaps & bounds better than it used to be! We fried it in tanning beds for years (I know, it still hurts) and we have the fine lines to prove it.
For this post, we’re going to focus on the order in which we apply our skincare. This order is essential to ensure all the products and ingredients work as they should. And of course everyone’s skin is different so you can skip steps that don’t pertain to you, and if you have an order that works better for you, then stick with that!
One thing we wanted to mention is that you should always check your skincare products for comedogenicity. You can use this website to do so. If you see a 3 or higher in the “Acne” or “Irritant” column that means the product has the potential to clog pores and cause acne. It’s also good to be aware of what ingredients you’re putting on your skin!
We’re also going to include shoppable sliders so that you can shop some of our favorite products in each category. This is going to be a long on so let’s get to it!
1 | Cleanser– We prefer any cleansers that claim to be hydrating because many cleansers that suds up strip your skin and dry it out in the long run. We’ll actually skip cleansing in the AM and go straight to toner a few times a week to keep the natural oils in our face.
2 | Toner– Use an alcohol-free toner on a cotton pad to make sure your pores are completely cleaned out.
3 | Serums– this step is optional but we recommend using a vitamin c serum during the day. It helps brighten and even out the skin over time. We also use hyaluronic acid in the morning so our skin stays hydrated throughout the day.
4 | Eye Cream– many people only use eye cream at night, which is fine, but we like using caffeine-infused eye cream in the AM to help wake up our under eyes and de-puff things.
5 | Moisturizer– go with something more lightweight for daytime if you’re going to layer with makeup. You don’t want to add too many layers, pre-foundation.
6 | SPF– we gravitate towards moisturizers that contain an SPF to cut out this step but if your moisturizer doesn’t have sunscreen you can always mix it in or apply it directly on top. P.S. You should always use an SPF of 30 or higher.
7 | Facial Oil (optional)– We like to use 1-3 drops of facial oil as a primer for our foundation, for extra hydration. Our favorite is Rose Hip Seed Oil because it soaks into the skin fairly quickly and has brightening properties. Pat the oil into the skin and allow it to absorb completely before starting your foundation.
1 | Cleansing Oil/Balm– Use a cleansing oil (or cleansing balm) to take your makeup off. It doesn’t tug on the skin like face wipes do and oil adds extra hydration. Put the oil directly into your palm and rub on your face to remove your makeup. Rinse with warm water and move onto step #2!
2 | Cleanser– Next use a face wash to completely clean your skin. Again, we like to use hydrating cleansers so they don’t strip the natural oils on our skin.
3 | Toner– Use an alcohol-free toner on a cotton pad to make sure your pores are completely cleaned out.
4 | Exfoliator (optional)– twice a week use an exfoliator. This can be a physical or chemical exfoliant but you want to make sure you remove all your dead skin so that you’re keeping the new skin healthy and hydrated.
5 | Essence– An essence is used to rehydrate and plump the skin. This step is optional but we have very dry skin so we include and essence in our nighttime routine.
6 | Spot Treatment (optional)– If you have blemishes spot treat those now. We actually primarily use the Mario Badescu spot treatment which has to be applied after all other skincare, but you can use salicylic acid here as well.
7 | Serums– We use Vitamin C during the day and anti-aging serums at night. We also use hyaluronic at night if our skin looks extra parched.
8 | Eye Cream– next apply your eye cream. At night use a thicker eye cream so it really treats the under eyes. The skin under your eyes is the thinnest on your face so please stay away from anything that’s scented or contains harsh ingredients.
9 | Night Cream– Again, you want a more intense night cream so it soaks into your skin while you’re sleeping. Reach for anything that claims to be hydrating and restoring.
10 | Facial Oils– For added benefits use a face oil as the last step in your routine. Most of the time we mix 1-3 drops of oil into our night cream, but you can also pat it on top as the last step. Our favorite oils to use at night are squalane (we always mix this into our moisturizer since it’s very lightweight), hyaluronic acid, and rose hip seed oil.