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Applying Skincare Products to Get the Results You Want

Did you know there is a right way to apply skin care products to ensure you get the best results? A lot of people don’t realize that the application process itself can be as important as the products you choose to use. Doing things the right way isn’t difficult, so let’s talk about how you can make the most of your investment of time and money to achieve healthy, great-looking skin.

Everything in Its Proper Order

First, it’s important to note that when you apply certain products also makes a difference. So you should have both daytime and nighttime skin care routines. Generally speaking, daytime products aim to protect the skin while nighttime products aim to repair and nourish the skin.

The details of your daily schedule will determine the steps you should follow. For example, products that contain ingredients such as retinols, retin A, alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids can be sun-sensitive, so these are always applied at night, never during the day.

Product consistencies vary from thin and watery (easily absorbed) to richer and more occlusive (taking longer to absorb and remaining more superficial). Thinner and watery consistency products should be applied first, then richer emollients. You may not use all of the products listed below (or you may use some of them only intermittently), but here is the proper order to apply them:

In the Morning

  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Antioxidant serum
  • Eye cream
  • Spot treatment (for acne, for example)
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen

At Nighttime

  • Makeup removal
  • Cleanser
  • Exfoliation/peels
  • Masques
  • Toners/boosters
  • Eye cream
  • Moisturizer

More Is Not Necessarily Better

It is possible to apply too much product, and too many products as well. For example, Dr. Hernandez warns patients to be careful when applying multiple brightening or skin bleaching creams. These products may contain similar ingredients such as vitamin C, which is a common ingredient in skin brightening creams. Too much vitamin C can cause skin irritation and sensitivity. In addition, someone with very oily skin will not benefit from applying too many products, as this may contribute to clogging the pores depending on the consistency of the products.

Timing Matters, Too

Some product labels recommend that you wait a few minutes after applying the product before applying another one. Do you really have to do this? You’re busy – getting ready for your day or getting ready for bed! The answer is yes, says Dr. Elizabeth Hernandez, because some silicone-based products require time to absorb into the skin prior to the application of other products. Giving the product the time it needs ensures your skin gets maximum benefit from the ingredients.

However, she notes you can save a step by combining moisturizers and sunscreens for a single application. You can also consider following your nighttime routine through toners or boosters, then waiting till just before bed to apply eye cream and moisturizer.

Come in for a Personal Consultation

As with everything related to skin care, what’s right for you is unique. Age, skin thickness, skin type, certain health conditions and lifestyle are all factors that determine which products would be suitable to achieve the results you desire. An in-depth skin evaluation from a professional can tell you things about your skin you can’t detect on your own. That’s the first step toward choosing the right products as well as the right application routine. 

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