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What order you should follow for your skincare routine?

What order you should follow for your skincare routine

Just when you’d figured out when to cleanse, tone and moisturise, there’s a whole load of other skincare steps to incorporate into your beauty routine. Whether it includes three or 13 steps though, it’s important to get the order right. If you’re not sure whether your serum comes before your moisturiser or when to layer on your SPF, here’s your handy step-by-step guide of what goes on when and why.


Why does it matter?

You’re unique and so is your skin. Its needs differ depending on your age, the time of year and even the time of day. While it would be great to have one miracle cream that protects your skin from environmental aggressors, cleanses it, hydrates it and even slows down the formation of wrinkles, we hate to break it to you, it doesn’t exist.

You can, however, get the same effect with a good skincare routine based on the right ingredients for your skin type. Applying it in the right order can be the difference in it being effective or not.


Cleanser & Toner

Your nourishing serums and moisturisers need a clean surface to work on, so your cleanser is still your first step in your skincare routine order, whether it’s the morning or evening. Depending on your skin type and whether you wear makeup, you may prefer to double cleanse in the evening or to use a foaming formula for a more thorough clean though.

Step two in your daily skincare routine is another old favourite – your toner. This also helps to remove surface debris from your skin and prepare it for the nourishing creams to come. As well as catching any oil or dirt your cleanser didn’t and helping to reduce the appearance of pores, toners also help to balance your skin’s pH levels, returning it to its normal, naturally acidic levels.



If incorporating a serum is new territory for you, a handy way to remember what order to layer your skincare is that the thinnest goes on first. As serums are potent formulas designed with specific skincare concerns in mind and can penetrate your skin’s surface layers, they offer a targeted treatment and do much of the work of your routine.

It’s no surprise that vitamin C was the most searched for skincare ingredient of 2020, applying a vitamin C serum in the morning can not only brighten your complexion but protect your skin from external factors including pollution. To brighten dark circles and tired-looking eyes, apply a vitamin-C enriched eye serum under the eyes, too. Hydrating serums rich in ingredients like hyaluronic acid can also give dehydrated or dry skin an extra boost of moisture while fortifying the skin barrier.



Following your serum with a good moisturiser will help to lock in all the benefits of their active ingredients. To compensate for your skin’s daily moisture loss (it can be around 500ml each day), choose moisturisers with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

Lighter formulas in the morning can help you stay hydrated without feeling greasy, while nourishing heavier night creams work in tandem with your body’s natural overnight recovery process.


Facial Oil

If your skin is naturally dry or feeling a little dehydrated, finish your evening routine with a nourishing facial oil. As oils are occlusive and can’t be penetrated, they’ll need to go on last, after your moisturisers and serums. As well as supplementing your skin’s natural overnight repair mode to help you wake looking rested and refreshed, they can also help to soothe sensitive and stressed-feeling skin.

As well as supplementing your skin’s natural overnight repair mode to help you wake looking rested and refreshed, they can also help to soothe sensitive and stressed-feeling skin.

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