What’s the correct order of my skincare routine? Learn how to layer like a pro.News
Being one of the most asked beauty related questions, how to sequence your skincare products clearly isn’t that easy. We understand it can be difficult to grasp which products follow which - especially now you might feel the need to add an extra layer of moisture - so we’re here to guide you through. What products do you absolutely need, and in what sequence should they be applied? Eyes on the prize people, because once you establish a solid and consistent routine, you'll notice huge improvement in skin clarity. Feel free to thank us later.
The bare minimum
We all heard about these absolutely mindblowing ten- to I-don't-know-how many-step skincare regimens leading us straight to flawless glass skin. Don’t let that scare you off. We don’t all need a ten-step skincare routine. And we don’t all want a 10-step skincare routine. It all depends your skin needs, your personal habits and preferences, and of course the level of enjoyment you get from giving yourself a daily face treatment. Well, all of these things play a part in defining what works best for you. So what do we all need? If you’re just starting out or if you really wanna keep things simple, these are the absolute non-negotiables: cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. That’s it. Three products. The bare minimum. But if your skin is asking for some more TLC, you might wanna amp up your routine. In that case, adding a serum would be my absolute number one recommendation for just about anyone.
The light-to-heavy rule
The rule of thumb when applying skincare is to apply the thinnest texture first and the thickest last, since lighter products can’t penetrate the heavier ones. Makes sense, right? Also, water-based products go before oil-based products. Oil and water simply don’t mix, and oil can block water from penetrating your skin. You don’t want that to happen when applying your skincare gems. Hence, start with your most watery products, such as toners, serums (or essences). Heavier, more moisturizing ones - like lotions, creams and then oils - come next, followed by sunscreen.
Okay everyone, for the love of beauty gods, cleanse your face before anything else. It’s important to free your skin from makeup and dirt before slathering on your products. For ingredients to absorb properly, you need clean skin that’s totally free of oil and grime. PMs we suggest using a cleansing oil like our bestselling natural coconut cleansing oil, which dissolves all makeup without stripping your skin. Then follow up with a gentle, foaming cleanser like our staff favourite comforting calendula cleansing mousse or micellar water. Double cleansing ensures a thorough cleanse without leaving a layer of oil that might block your skincare from penetrating your skin. Skip the oil cleanser in the morning, if you feel your skin doesn’t need that extra step, and save it for your evening routine.
Exfoliant / Mask
Exfoliants remove dead surface cells and stimulate the regeneration of new healthy cells. We recommend exfoliating 1-3 times a week on clean skin.
There’s physical and chemical exfoliants. Physical exfoliants contain small particles - such as sugar, walnut shells, salt, or coffee grounds - to clear out dead skin cells that are clogging pores. Physical exfoliants we can't get enough of, are Grums’ Espresso Face Scrub & Mask and Baiobay’s Face & Lips Exfoliating Scrub. Chemical exfoliants use acids to do the job. Chemical exfoliants are formulated with Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), or a combination of these two. Both will exfoliate your skin surface, reduce fine lines & wrinkles, and optimize your skin's moisture level. AHAs are known to reduce sun damage, and BHAs have the added bonus of deep-cleaning your pores. Keep in mind that AHAs make skin more sun sensitive so are best to use before you go to sleep, and BHAs have some photoprotective properties (which makes them a good choice in the mornings). The Kakadu Youth Glow Vita Peel contains 10% AHA and 0,5% BHA, the perfect combo to leave your skin smooth, soft, and glowier.
A mask essentially provides a deep cleanse, picking up on the after effects of pollution and high sebum production. We recommend to put on a purifying mask like Haeckels' Refining Powder Mask or a hydrating mask like Madara's SOS Instant Moisture & Radiance Hydra Mask onto clean skin once a week, preferably on evenings you don't exfoliate.
Using a toner is totally optional, but it’s the best prep you can give to your skin before applying your moisturizer or any other skin treatment. It’s essentially priming your face for ingredients to be better absorbed later on. A toner in general helps clean out & close pores, removes all impurities that remained onto your skin even after cleansing, smooths skin and improves skin tone. You might remember toners as being harsh, alcohol-based astringents that stripped skin, but not here. There’s great options available today, filled with good acids and loads of hydrating ingredients. If it’s a part of your routine, you should use it on clean skin, just after cleansing. If you use a toning mist, just spray it on, or otherwise tap it over clean, dry skin, wait ‘till it dries before applying anything else, so you don’t stop the toner from working its magic.
You can never go wrong with this hyaluronic acid toner as it serves as a moisture magnet, keeping your skin hydrated.
We started this article with laying out the bare minimum: cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. We’re not abandoning this idea already. Don’t worry, we’re not that fickle. But if there’s one thing I can suggest to step things up a notch, that would be a serum. Essentially, serums are shots of extremely concentrated nutrients, hydrators, and antioxidants that really amp up your skin health as soon as you apply them. People often skip out on using them, but they’re honestly the heavy lifters of your skincare routine. There’s many options available but I personally swear by using Vitamin C serum like the Aromatica Kakadu Youth Glow Vita C Serum. Vitamin C targets hyperpigmentation and signs of aging and offers protection from sun damage and pollution. Sounds like a true skincare hero, right?
Eye treatments tend to be lighter and thinner than face moisturizers, so make sure to apply them before you slather on your creams and oils. The skin surrounding eyes is extremely delicate, and as such, it’s often one of the first areas to show fine lines and wrinkles. That’s why this area is deserving of some extra care, and an eye cream should hydrate the under-eye area and address signs of aging.
Using a moisturizer is simply a must. Mornings and evenings. No matter what. Really, there’s no excuse as there’s a formula for everyone. Whatever skin type, whether it’s oily skin, skin prone to break-outs or a hyper-sensitive one, we’ve got you covered. A moisturizer is the one thing that’ll keep your skin barrier healthy. A moisturizer will keep your skin hydrated and plump, it’ll help fend off wrinkles, and most importantly, it’ll keep your moisture barrier healthy and intact, as well as lock in all of the ingredients beneath it to make them even more effective.
Oils can easily penetrate moisturizers, serums, and treatments, but no products can penetrate an oil, which means they need to be applied last. And don’t think that oils are just for dry skin—certain oils, like rosehip and jojoba, can decrease excess oil in acne-prone skin, while for example marula oil can soothe sensitive, easily irritated skin.
We feel a lot a of love for the NOTO Deep Serum (yes we know: names can be confusing) which can replace your normal moisturizer or may be added for its extra hydration benefits. It combines 7(!) oils to ensure it will brighten and protect your skin. The serum oil is hydrating and has many anti-ageing properties. Best of all? It's great for all skin types, including sensitive, dry, acne-prone, oily, or combination skin.
Okay, yes, we said oils go last, but technically, sunscreen is the absolute last step in your morning routine. Why? You want oils to penetrate and treat your skin, but mineral sunscreen isn’t trying to penetrate anything, it’s just there to protect your face against harmful UV rays, and is actually supposed to be sitting on top of your skin. That’s why, sunscreen goes last. These are some of our favourites: Unsun's Tinted Mineral Face Sunscreen with SPF 30 for medium to dark skin, or Madara's Age Defying Face Sunscreen with SPF 30 for all skin tones thanks to its invisible nude teint.