Today you are going to see the exact skincare routine order that I am using right now to help calm my sensitive skin, and it is also recommended by dermatologists.
Most people use as many as ten skin products per day on their face, as part of their morning and evening cleansing routine or as they prepare their face for the application of a mask or makeup. However, you can buy the best or most expensive face products in the world and they will not be effective if you are applying them in the wrong sequence. For instance, there is no sense in applying your moisturizer first and then your toner, as the toner will just simply strip the oils in the moisturizer off of your face. It is also a bad idea to apply your sunscreen before you apply any moisturizers or facial oil, as the creams and oils will reduce or stop the effectiveness of the SPF product.
As a rule of thumb, you want to apply the products with water (the thinnest consistency) first and then follow up with creams and oiler products. That is because water-based products will not absorb into the skin that already is covered with a thin layer of oil. It is important to read the ingredients on your labels to make sure you are using the thinner water-based products first, followed by the oil-based ones and vice-versa.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you apply your skin products in a sequence that will help you absorb the maximum benefits from each product that you use. Remember to wait a couple of minutes after completing each step to ensure that the toner is sinking into your skin. It is important to wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once at night and the routine may not differ that much, except the creams that you use at night might be a bit heavier than the ones you use in the morning.
Step One: Double Cleanse Your Face
First of all start off with double skin cleansing, first with an oil-based cleanser followed by a gel or foam water-based cleanser. You might be wondering why you are using an oil-based cleanser at all but the reasoning is that you can use oil to clean oil off your face. Oil-based cleansers are excellent for taking off makeup, sweat and also any sebum that has been overproduced by your oil glands.
It is just fine to use your hands to wash your face, but using a clean washcloth is also recommended. Just make sure you are not using the same washcloth more than two days in a row, or you could simply be spreading bacteria on your face. Many people who like to use washcloths keep at least a week’s worth on hand and also make sure they are using a thinner rougher cotton one. Fibrous soft cloths tend to harbor more bacteria than thinner ones. The same goes for towels.
Using a white washcloth is also recommended as it can give you an indication of whether or not all of the make-up or cleanser has been removed from your face. Do not use a rough nylon scrubber meant for use on your body on your face as it can lightly break or scratch the skin and cause breakouts. Above all do not use anyone’s else’s washcloth as that can also spread infection and cause your face to break out.
It is also important to avoid using cleansers that contain detergents or alcohol as these can cause your skin to redden or become irritated. Also, choose an oil cleanser and water-based cleansers that are right for your skin type, whether that be dry, aging or acne-prone and never ever rub a bar of soap directly onto your skin.
Step Two: Apply Toners
Many people skip the toner part of their cleansing ritual, mainly because it is an extra step that adds time to their morning ritual, but also because there is a myth going around that most toners are harsh and can dry out your skin. Most toners do not dry out dry skin further. Furthermore, there is an appropriate toner for every skin type on the market nowadays, that has been developed to restore the skin’s PH. If you are worried about drying out your skin with a toner, then avoid using one that is alcohol-based, however, be aware that the alcohol-based toners are much more effective at clarifying your pores and shrinking them than water-based ones.
The original goal associated with using a toner was to help “shrink your pores” after cleansing to help them be less visible. Nowadays, toners still accomplish that job but they also act as delivery systems for added clarifiers, skin-balancers, and nutrients.
Toners are best applied with a cotton pad or ball. If you find your skin feels dry from using it in the morning, then try skipping using a toner in the morning and only use it once at night.
Step 3: Apply Skin Care Boosters
Most skin care products are light, water-based products that are usually offered as a mist form, a spray, a water that can be splashed lightly on the face or as a serum that can be applied with a dropper, These products often contain healing botanicals such as lavender or rose water, which help soothe and calm the skin. They also often contain deeply hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid that help to plump up and nourish the skin. Many antioxidant preparations also contain vitamins that are known to be good for the dermis such as vitamins A, C, and E.
If you are using more than one skin care booster, follow the rule of using the lightest, thinnest product first. The heaviest skin care booster will most likely be the serum, which will still be quite light and almost feathery in feel. Just remember to apply these products AFTER you use a toner, so that they can be absorbed into the skin.
Step 4: Apply Eye Creams
Generally, you do not apply regular boosters and creams in the eye area, as they are not well absorbed and can even make problems such as sagging and dark circles even worse. Eye creams and boosters such as eye serums and gels should be dabbed gently beneath and above the eyes with your fingers, avoiding the sensitive corners of the eyes and the eyelid rims. If your eyes are stinging, itchy or feel red when you use one of these products then you are applying it too close to the actual eye. Serums, gels and creams used for under the eye tend to be a lot lighter than creams, lotions and oils used for the face and they also tend to be thinner in consistency. Try to use products specifically designed to hydrate and nourish the eye area and avoid the temptation to save money by using your face cream in that area.
Step 4: Apply Treatment Serums
Serums are the “fixers of skin” in the cosmetic world. Most cosmetic lines offer both day serums and night serums. The lighter, vitamin-enriched offerings, some with SPF added, are for daywear and the heavier serums that contain retinol, anti-aging ingredients, detoxifiers, peptides, growth factors, and biologically active ingredients are usually intended to be applied at night.
After you have applied your boosters simply use your fingers or a small cosmetic spatula to apply the serum all over your face and neck, avoiding the sensitive under-eye area. Use a serum specifically developed for the eye area to treat dark circles and wrinkles.
Step 5: Apply Moisturizer
Some people use the same moisturizer for both day and night. However, like serums, most cosmetic lines offer a lighter day cream and a thicker and heavier night cream. The night creams are usually laden with ingredients meant to be absorbed over a period of several hours. It is not a good idea to use your special night cream during the day, as it is harder to apply your make-up over it. Night moisturizers tend to be greasier and contain more oil, to prevent water from evaporating from the skin while you sleep. This helps your skin to look plumper at night.
Therapeutic or medicated creams are also better applied at night as they can cause ruddiness or peeling that may be aggravating by wearing make-up over it.
Step 6: Add a Hydrating Face Oil and Mist With Hydrosol
This step can be done both day and night, but it really helps you look healthy if you do it during the day. Most hydrating facial oils help smooth the skin and prime it for make-up and some are so calming to the skin that you do not even need to wear foundation. Top this up with a spritz of hydrosol and your skin will look flawless and dewy all day. Hydrosols can also be applied over makeup to give your skin a fresh look.
Remember that If you’re not sure what product should, start with your most lightweight products first and then end with the lightest, with the exception of liquid toner.
Skin Maintenance: About Sunscreen
Whether or not you should you apply sunscreen as part of your morning routine depends on whether or not you are already wearing a moisturizer or foundation make-up that already as an SPF (Sun Protection Factor Rating.) Nowadays many daytime moisturizers and foundations, including powder foundations tend to have inbuilt broad-spectrum protection.
If you do not wear make-up, then you should apply sunscreen as your last step before you apply your make-up as part of your morning ritual, ideally, one that is marked as broad-spectrum (meaning that it protects you from both UVA and UVB rays) and ideally offering at least a 30 SPF.
Skin Maintenance: About Exfoliation
The goal of exfoliation is to increase circulation so that the skin can repair and renew itself. Exfoliation can also help brighten up the complexion, make it look a bit pinker and plumper. Exfoliation is beneficial for all skin types but it is should definitely be part of the nightly routine of anyone who is aging. You can exfoliate during your morning cleanse, but if you do it at night you have more of a chance of removing old makeup. It is also recommended that you exfoliate at night because exfoliation can cause the skin to redden, flake or break out temporarily. It can also be irritating to apply make-up to your
There is a bit of a debate about how often you should exfoliate your skin. It used to be that dermatologists recommended doing this about once a week, but that was during a time when exfoliators were grainer, contained large seeds or plastic beads and were more abrasive and would literally scratch or damage skin cells a bit to force them to renew.
The newer abrasive exfoliators, also called mechanical exfoliators, are made of natural tinier grains, usually, a substance like volcanic ash, sugar, sand or salt and some people can tolerate exfoliating their face twice a day. It all depends on your skin type and how much rough rubbing it take without becoming irritated or itchy. Many people get away with exfoliating their skin three times a week, which stimulates the circulation to the dermis, helping flush the face with new blood cells and take toxic waste away. When you use an abrasive exfoliator the face also looks younger and plumper because it is literally a bit swollen.
Nowadays there are chemical-based exfoliators that work by dissolving the debris and oil between skin cells and help old skin flake off. Chemical cosmetic exfoliators use AHAs such as lactic, glycolic or citric acid to clarify the skin. There is no better way to get rid of dead skin flakes, dirt, oily blackhead plugs and hairs blocked by hard sebum. Exfoliation can also brighten your complexion, help get rid of fine wrinkles and allow other skin products that you use to penetrate the dermis even further.
Don’t overdo it when you are exfoliating, as that can end up removing healthy skin cells and expose your skin to bacteria, which makes breakouts more likely. If you scrub too hard or too often it can cause a condition called PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.) If you have exfoliated and note that your skin has broken out as a result, then give exfoliation of your skin a rest from any more friction until it has completely healed.
Skin Maintenance: About Face Masks
How often you apply a face mask has a lot to do with your skin type and the type of mask that is used. Some are meant to hydrate and plump up the face and can be used more often. Others strip the skin of dead skin cells and should be used left often. The standard advice is to do apply a face mask once a week, but hydrating cream or gel masks can be applied once a day if necessary.
Here is a break down of the different types of masks that are available to you and what they are for.
Cream masks are generally used for normal to dry skin and do not harden like a shell on the skin. These masks contain hyaluronic acid and attract water to the skin, binding moisture to skin cells and plumping it up to make it look younger. Cream masks sometimes also contain algae extracts to help tighten and firm the dermis.
Cream masks are easy to apply and very easy to remove, with simply a rinse of warm water.
Gel masks were developed for use on very sensitive skin that is prone to breakouts or very dry. Gel masks are infused with collagen and antioxidants that help heal and hydrate the skin at the same time.
Gel masks are usually transparent and easily applied with the fingers. As they contain little oil they are easily rinsed off the face with a bit of water.
Clay masks are ideal for people with normal to oily skin. Clay, especially green and blue clays, are natural detoxifiers that also restore and hydrate the skin. These are thick masks that close off the skin pore and cause the skin to firm and tighten itself. Rubbing the clay over your skin’s surface can also help exfoliate your skin. Clay masks often contain sulfur, which helps to treat inflamed skin and soothe ruddiness.
Clay masks are generally messier to apply and are best removed by scrubbing your face with a warm washcloth.
Sheet masks are made of hydrogel and like a real face mask, slip over the skin. Mostly they contain firming and plumping agents that help a person to look younger. When you apply this mask, push it firmly against your skin, so that the healing agents are absorbed by your dermis.
To remove the mask simply peel it off. You do not have to wash your face afterward as you want your skin cells to savor the nutrients it has absorbed.
Don’t Overdo It!
Finally, it is important to remember that you really only need to wash your face twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. Washing it more often than that could strip your skin’s naturally protective oil barrier and throw off its inherent PH balance causing breakouts, ruddiness, and itchiness. If you do notice that your face is inflamed or broken out after any type of cleanse mask or exfoliation, then stop doing that treatment for a couple of days to give your skin a chance to heal.