The Correct Order to Apply Your Skincare

Product Sent for Review Sponsored Post Affiliate Link

The Correct Order to Apply Your Skincare

We all spend a lot of money on our skincare, and unfortunately if you're not using it correctly, you aren't getting your money's worth! Applying your skincare in the correct order can really affect how well it works. So, taking a few minutes to learn what order to apply in will make a big difference. I've written about this topic before, both here on 15 Minute Beauty and over on Babble. Run and check out those posts!

The Correct Order to Apply Your Skincare

I thought it would be useful to go through what I'm currently using so you can see a real life example. So, here's a peek at what I'm using at night currently.

1. First, I start by removing my eye makeup. I have a lot of eye makeup removers that I like (check out my favorite eye makeup removers), but really the key seems to be a remover with oil in it and splurging on fancy cotton rounds. I use the Swisspers Exfoliating Cotton Rounds, their texture really helps remove stubborn eyeliner and waterproof mascara.

Try These:
Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil from Target or
Swisspers Exfoliating Cotton Rounds at or Walgreens

Usually removing eye makeup leaves a rim of mascara and eye liner around my face. It's great, I look like a raccoon! So, I wash the rest of my face next. I have a few cleansers that I like, and I usually use just my fingers to rub it around on my face before scrubbing a bit and rinsing off with a washcloth. I have a Clarisonic Mia3 that I use a few times a week. My face can't seem to take using it every night, so I play it by ear but it is usually about 2-3x/week.

To Try:
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser from Amazon or Target
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser from Kiehl's or Nordstrom
Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash at Sephora or Birchbox
Clarisonic Mia3 from Clarisonic or Nordstrom

2. Prescription meds are next. You want them closest to your skin to ensure that they absorb fully. Personally, I'm on Clindamycin for my Rosacea, so I spread about a pea sized amount of the gel all over my face.

3. Thin liquids are next, and water based go before oil based. For me this means that my serum comes next. I've been using Clarisonic Brightening Activator Serum, which helps to even out my skin tone and fade hyperpigmentation. If I'm dry, I'll add a few drops of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery over the serum. About twice a week I'll also add in a retinoid lotion, I like RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream.

My Picks:
Clarisonic Brightening Activator Serum from Nordstrom or Clarisonic or Sephora
Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution is a good alternative to the Clarisonic, get it at Kiehl's or Nordstrom
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery at Kiehl's or Nordstrom
RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream from Amazon or Target

Finally, thicker creams and balms, again start with thinner and move to thicker, applying water based before oil based. I apply my eye cream next, and follow it up with an all over night cream.

My Current Favorites:
iS Clinical Youth Eye Complex from DermStore or SkinStore
Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream from Kiehl's or Nordstrom

Product Sent for Review Sponsored Post Affiliate Link


  1. I never knew that about prescriptions. Thanks for the tip! I was using Differin and applied them in place of my serum! My skin seems to look better when I use my Clarisonic nightly, which seems weird, since I've seen multiple blogs say not to use it daily.

  2. Have you ever tried the Clarisonic cashmere cleanse brush head? It has long, soft bristles and even with my rosacea I can use it twice a day. I really like it!

  3. Sammi- The timing of your Clarisonic really depends on your skin. A lot of derms say not to use it every night simply because no matter which brush head you use, it does exfoliate your skin. And it can be too much for a lot of people's skin. If it is ok for your skin, then do it!

    I haven't tried the Cashmere brush head, but I will! I didn't know about that one!

  4. This was helpful. I never thought much about the order they go on except for beneath foundation. I've even mixed them together to make it an all in one step. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea now that I've seen this post. I don't need any medication though - just sunscreen. I usually put that on after my moisturizer but before primer, foundation, and powder. I wonder which order I should be doing it in though? Last summer I simply used Supergoop! which was a tinted BB cream with sunscreen so I only did one step and I will probably go back to that since I don't like heavy coverage in the summer and want to look like I have no make up on. Really this was a great post and very informative! Thanks!

  5. Really, the main point is to make sure you're applying items in an order that they'll all be absorbed. A light water based serum can't absorb through a thick, oily cream. Meds go first because you really need them to not have a barrier to absorption, but sunscreen can be a bit tricky. It really depends upon what kind of sunscreen you're using. If it is a chemical sunscreen (not zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) then it should go as soon as possible, you want it to be absorbed and not have other layers in between. Physical sunscreens don't need that, so it doesn't matter quite as much. The summer really is a perfect time for a BB Cream, 1 step with sunscreen included!

  6. Thank you for listing it in order and giving explicit directions. It is very easy to follow. Thanks again.


I love comments! Please ask away, provide info on how you liked something, etc. Note that spam, comments with random links (which I count as spam), anything not in english (again, spam) and comments that are completely unrelated to anything will all be deleted.

Never miss a post
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...