How To Perfect Your Skincare Routine Order


How To Perfect Your Skincare Routine Order

A skincare routine order with more than a couple of steps can be daunting and cultivating it can be even worse. Knowing what to use and when to use it is a concern for so many of us, but we’re here to set the record straight. From AM to PM, there are changes that need to take place and a few golden rules to follow. Let’s get to it! 


Skincare routine


Getting The Order Right 

We’re definitely not saying you need to have an intricate routine, especially if you’re relatively new to creating a stellar line-up of products that work for you. Yet the general consensus is that whatever products you’re using, they should be applied in the following order:

AM – cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, spot treatments, moisturiser, facial oil, SPF 

PM – cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, spot treatments, moisturiser, retinol, facial oil

Not to scare you off or anything but if you’re going to have an eight-step skincare routine, this is the correct order for your products. A lot of people’s skin reacts better to fewer products but only you can make that call.  

If you want to introduce new products into your regime, do your research and make sure they’re right for you and the concerns you want to address. The rule of thumb for application is to go from thin to thick. If you’re ever in doubt, you can test your products on the back of your hand. You’ll be able to see quite quickly which products are thickest. Thinner products aren’t able to penetrate thicker ones, so if you don’t apply them in the right fashion, you might not be getting the most out of your carefully curated skincare shelf. 


The Importance of Cleansing

Cleansing is arguably the most important step in your entire routine. By cleansing your skin, you wash away makeup, pollution and general dirt and grime. It allows products to be absorbed more easily, making them more effective. 

In the evenings, double cleansing is best for your skin, especially if you’ve been wearing makeup and SPF all day long. Using an oil or balm cleanser first ensures that everything on your face can be broken down gently. This leaves you free to follow it up with a gel or cream-based cleanser to address any concerns you may have. You can use everything from gentle cleansers to ones formulated to keep acne at bay. When applying a face mask, it’s always best to do so on freshly cleansed skin. By cleansing your face, you create a blank canvas to really shine for the rest of your products.


What Even Is Toner Anyway?

A toner might not seem important but it does a lot more than you might think. The thinnest part of your skincare routine order is one that can pack a punch. Toners remove the very last traces of dirt from your skin and target individual concerns too. A common misconception about toner is that it can burn the skin. This mistaken belief has its roots in our teenage years as a lot of toners marketed to acne-prone teens contain a high concentration of alcohol. 

If a concentration of any ingredient is too high, it can do you more harm than good. Burning does not mean a product is working. Continued use of a product that clearly irritates your skin will quickly break down its natural barrier, paving the way for dryness and irritation.

If your skin is often red and needs a bit of TLC, rosewater toner is a good choice. It’s been used for centuries and it’s no surprise why! Rosewater’s anti-inflammatory properties mean that it calms down irritation whilst maintaining the skin’s natural pH balance

Glycolic acid is another popular ingredient. Any acid can be a bit intimidating at first but it’s easy to use once you know-how. As one of the most popular AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), glycolic acid is derived from cane sugar and is a gentle chemical exfoliant that can be used every day in low concentrations. If it harms your skin, take a few days and try again. Some irritation is pretty normal at first, especially if you’re quite new to active ingredients.


Why You Should Pay Attention To Your Products

Stick with us because this part might get a bit confusing. Spot treatments can be absolute lifesavers but they don’t always mix well with the rest of your routine. So let’s skip ahead a few steps to retinol for a moment. Retinol is essentially another name for vitamin A and is a brilliant multi-tasker. This product can fight acne, speed up cell turnover and even boost collagen production. Yet, when used in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide – a popular spot-fighting ingredient – it can make your skin worse. The same goes for AHAs and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids), meaning that you can have too much of a good thing! Choosing your active ingredients wisely based on your long-term skin goals should always be a priority.

Retinol shouldn’t be used every single night, so you might need to plan your routine accordingly. If you’re worried about ending up red-faced, keeping alternate products to hand can save you a lot of potential hassle. Maybe swap out your AHA toner for a rosewater one if you plan on bringing additional active ingredients into your routine. Whatever you do, make sure you do your research. If you are using retinol, stick to using it at night as your skin will be able to absorb it better. You also need to make sure you apply SPF in addition to retinol as the latter makes your skin sensitive to light.


Final Notes On Moisturisers, SPF And More

Switching your moisturiser as the season’s change can do wonders for your skin. It’s advisable to use a thinner moisturiser in summer as this will be more comfortable in warmer weather and won’t slide off if you start to sweat. Most of us don’t suffer from dry skin in the summer months but if you do, sticking to moisturisers that provide hydration without weighing your skin down is the best course of action.

Your final step in the morning should always be SPF, no matter what season we’re in. Protecting your skin against UVA and UVB rays with SPF is the most effective way of lowering your risk of contracting skin cancer. For more information on the benefits of SPF, check out one of our recent blog posts.




North West Aesthetics 

At North West Aesthetics, we aim to answer any questions our patients have in regard to skincare routine order. So whatever you might want to ask, feel free to get in touch. 

Visit our website, email or call us on 01942 909 003 today to find out how we can help you.