How to layer your skincare products

If you're inundated with social media posts telling you about the latest beauty product you NEED.. let me stop you right there. Here's your ultimate guide to skincare layering, including which products are actually necessary and which are optional.

Xoxo, a cosmetic chemist and sustainability nerd


Which skincare products do I actually need?

When it comes to skin hygiene (I like that term because it really is about maintaining skin health!), you only need three products: cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF. Even there, you can cut down further. I have dry skin, so I simply rinse with water in the morning - no cleanser. You might have a moisturizer with SPF in it - that's two products in one!


Okay but I like skincare, even if it's not necessary.

No problem! A lot of us will have favorite serums, mists, facial oils, masks, etc. These products can absolutely provide benefits to the skin! They just aren't strictly necessary. So you can be selective about which ones you want to add.


In what order do I apply my skincare products?

Here's your simple 4 step guide:

1. Cleanser. This could be a simple rinse with water in the morning, but I recommend a gentle cleanser at night. A double cleanse is also encompassed in this step - with the oilier cleanser coming first, and the water-based cleanser coming second.

2. Water-based products. Again, this is OPTIONAL! But if you have a water-based product like a serum, mist, toner, or essence, it will come after cleansing. Don't know if it's water-based? Water-based formulas are typically clear, have water or a natural extract as the first ingredient, and feel lightweight on the skin, like Power Serum.

3. Moisturizer and SPF. This may be just one product for you, if you have an SPF in a lotion format. If you're dry like me, you might want to apply a separate moisturizer before your SPF. And to state the obvious, no SPF needed at night.

4. Oil-based products. Definitely optional, but if you're interested in locking in extra moisture, finishing your routine with an oil-based product like a facial oil or balm will do just that! Skin slugging, anyone? For the most part, I keep this as a part of my nighttime routine only. During the day, I'll follow my SPF with makeup.


There you have it! Let us know if you have any questions or want to know more about layering our products.

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