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How to Layer Your Skincare Correctly for Your Morning and Night Routine
When it comes to your skincare routine, order matters. When you have multiple steps to your regimen, it’s important to layer your products properly to maximize effectiveness and help deliver the results you want. The last thing you want is to reduce a serum’s efficacy by applying it in the incorrect sequence.
Follow this guide to make the most of your anti-aging skincare regimen and ensure you’re ordering your products properly in your morning and nighttime routines.
What is the Correct Order to Apply Skin Care?
Morning Skincare Routine
Throughout the day, your skin is exposed to UV rays, blue lights, pollution, dirt, grime, and more. Your morning routine should refresh your skin while helping to protect it from the day ahead.
Step 1: Cleanse
Washing your face and neck first thing in the morning with a daily facial cleanser can clear away oil and grime that accumulates while you sleep. This step also helps prepare your skin to absorb the beneficial ingredients in your skincare regimen. Use a cleanser that will remove pollutants without stripping your skin. Our sulfate-free and self-foaming Gentle Cleanser helps to remove impurities while calming the skin.
Step 2: Serums
Next, you want to apply formulations that deliver targeted benefits to help improve the look and feel of your skin. Here’s where your anti-aging serums come into play. Remember to address your full face as well as delicate (and often neglected) areas like your eyes, neck, and chest.
We recommend powerful products that have multiple benefits in a single bottle. Consistency in skincare is key, and the fewer steps you need to achieve great results, the more likely you’ll be to stick to a regimen.
Restorative Skin Complex with TriHex Technology® helps improve all visible signs of aging. Apply one pump to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, even out your skin tone, and improve texture. The proprietary TriHex Technology® works with the skin to clear out damaged elastin and collagen while supporting the skin's natural ability to produce new, healthy elastin and collagen.For the eye area, Restorative Eye Treatment with TriHex Technology® helps decrease the appearance of fine lines, crow’s feet, and wrinkles, while helping to reduce the look of puffiness and dark circles. Dab one pump around your eye areas and gently pat into the skin. For the neck and chest, Restorative Neck Complex with TriHex Technology® helps smoothness, tighten, and evens out skin tone. Apply one pump in upward strokes.
Step 3: Moisturizer
All skin types need a good moisturizer to help lock in the skin’s moisture and prevent water loss throughout the day. Because moisturizers tend to be thicker, they need to be applied last to seal in your other products and maximize their effectiveness. Look for moisturizers with added benefits like our Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer with TriHex Technology®, which supports the production of new elastin and collagen. Apply one pump to the face and gently massage into the skin.
Step 4: Sunscreen
Arguably the most important product in our arsenal, sunscreen should be used every single day to protect your skin from sun damage, such as the aging effects of UV radiation. Look for sunscreens with an SPF 30 or higher like HydraTint ProMineral Broad Spectrum SPF 36 Sunscreen. This all-mineral sunscreen is lightweight, grease-free, reef-friendly, and can be used in place of makeup (or as a primer) thanks to a tint that works for most skin types.
Bonus Step: Body Care
Nighttime Skincare Routine
The order of your nighttime skincare routine will be similar to your morning regimen with a few exceptions: You won’t have to worry about UV radiation while you sleep, so there’s no need for sunscreen. Plus, it’s best to incorporate retinol products in the evening only as they break down in the presence of UV light. Here’s what your night skincare routine should look like:
Step 1: Cleanser
After a day of facing natural air pollutants, microscopic dirt and grime, and makeup, your skin needs a good cleanse. Don’t forget to use a cleanser that won’t strip your face and neck of its natural oils, like our Gentle Cleanser.
Step 2: Serums
You’re cleansed, toned, and prepped—now it’s time to restore nutrients before you hit the hay. In the evening, just repeat your morning restoration routine: For your face, use our Restorative Skin Complex; for the delicate skin around your eyes, dab one pump A of our Restorative Eye Treatment, and for your neck and chest area, apply one pump of Restorative Neck Complex in upward strokes.
Step 3: Retinol
Retinol helps reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, but it’s only effective when used in the evening as the active ingredient isn’t stable in the presence of UV light. Some retinol products can be a bit drying and you may experience skin purging (which isn’t a bad thing) due to increased cellular turnover. Use retinol products (just a pea-sized amount) two or three times a week to start. To help combat the potentially drying effects, look for easily tolerated, hydrating formulas. Our Renewal Retinol (available in two different strengths) is packed with hydration and can help smooth away wrinkles, improve skin texture and uneven skin tone.
Step 4: Moisturizer
Finish off your evening routine with a moisturizing night cream to help hydrate and repair the look of skin as you sleep. You’ll only need one pump of our Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer to give your skin hydration and a healthy dose of peptides.
Bonus Step: Body Care
Right after an evening shower or before you tuck into bed, applyTransFORM Body Treatment to any part of the skin. This formula will help tighten and smooth skin as you sleep.
Don’t forget—skincare is self-care. The time and attention you give to your regimen is the time and attention that’s just for you. So be kind to your skin (and yourself) with a daily skincare routine, morning and night.
- Ganceviciene, Ruta, et al. “Skin Anti-Aging Strategies.” Dermato-Endocrinology, Landes Bioscience, 1 July 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583892/
- Sundelin, Tina, et al. “Cues of Fatigue: Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Facial Appearance.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Sept. 2013, academic.oup.com/sleep/article/36/9/1355/2453883
- Ye, Rose, et al. “Photostability of commercial tretinoin products differs dramatically.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 1 March 2009. DOI: doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2008.11.375
Article Reviewed by Wendy Johnson
Vice President, Marketing
Wendy Johnson brings to Alastin Skincare over 22 years of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and aesthetics industry experience in various sales, training, marketing and thought leader development roles.
After spending 10 years in gastroenterology at Tap Pharmaceuticals and Prometheus Laboratories, with sales and marketing oversight for in-line and pre-launch products, Mrs. Johnson transitioned to an aesthetic career at SkinMedica in 2004. While there, she was responsible for marketing one of the top 2 branded prescription hydroquinones, launching a leading branded low potency steroid, and oversight of the acne franchise line extensions.
In 2010, Wendy joined Merz North America where she developed and managed the Physician Relations department in support of injectable, topical and device business units under Medical Affairs, before transitioning into managing a Regional Aesthetics Marketing team.
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