DOES IT REALLY MATTER HOW YOU LAYER YOUR SKINCARE?
QUICK ANSWER: It absolutely does!
It doesn’t matter whether your skincare regime involves 10 steps or 4. The order in which you apply those products can make all the difference to your skin.
And yes, skincare is a science.
But don’t get put off by the many rules that are out there. It’s actually quite simple and logical once we break it down for you.
Here are a few basic things to keep in mind:
- Your skincare products will give you the best efficacy possible when applied in the right order. It’s not that they won’t work if you don’t follow the process- it’s just that you won’t get the most out of them. And that would be a shame, right?
- Always start with clean skin. That layer of grime that you were too lazy to take off will prevent your skincare products from reaching your skin cells.
- Another general rule of thumb is to start with the thinnest textures and then layering on to the heaviest. This ensures the best absorption.
- Give your skin some time between layers to absorb each product. This also prevents “pilling” - this happens when you are too quick to apply the next layer before your skin has had time to absorb the previous one.
- Some active ingredients don’t work well together. So keep that in mind while deciding on your layers
HOW TO LAYER YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS IN THE MORNING
Morning skincare regimes are typically smaller (fewer steps) and are focused on protection.
Our recommended routine below has 6 steps.
STEP 1: CLEANSER
This is always the first step in any skincare routine. You choice of cleanser will depend on your skin type and lifestyle.
Morning cleanses are typically lighter and less intense.
You can select micellar water, cleansing milk, cleansing lotion or a light weight gel cleanser for your morning cleanse.
Our pick would be Vya Naturals Vitamin C Face Wash - a gentle non foaming face wash that is paraben and sulphate free Contains antioxidant rich Vitamin C as an active ingredient.
STEP 2: TONER
Toners confuse people. This is the step some of us often skip.
There is also a misconception out there that toners are harsh. But that was in the bad old days of toners loaded with drying alcohols.
Today’s toners hydrate your skin, restore skin pH and prep it to better absorb the subsequent product that you plan to apply.
A floral toner like Vya Naturals Luxury Rose Water Toner - made of fresh steam distilled rose petals is ideal for all skin types. It is 100% alcohol free and does not contain artificial colour or artificial fragrance.
STEP 3: SERUM
Serums are nutrient-dense skincare products that work on specific concerns like acne, dehydration, fine lines, pigmentation etc.
The most popular serum for daytime use is a Vitamin C Serum simply because it is so multi functional and can offer so much for ALL skin types. Some of us also like to use a hydrating serum in the day time.
If you use more than one serum in the daytime look at their textures. If one is watery and the other is more viscous, then - as per rule number 3 above - the thinner more watery serum is applied first followed by the thicker one.
Our Vya Naturals Vitamin C Serum is a light-weight, water-based, non sticky serum which sits really well on the skin.
If you wish to then layer a hydrating serum over this one (after letting your Vitamin C Serum get fully absorbed, of course) we recommend the Vya Naturals Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This is slightly more viscous than the Vitamin C and should be applied as the second layer.
Not sure what is Hyaluronic Acid Serum? Here's our blog: "What is Hyaluronic Acid? (And Why You Should Ask?)"
STEP 4: EYE CREAM
Gently tap on a pea sized amount of eye cream using your ring finger (for least pressure).
The periorbital skin (the skin around your eyes) is the thinnest on your face so it is best to apply your eye cream before your moisturiser.
Vya Naturals Caffeine Eye Cream is a great addition to your skincare routine.
Also read our No-Nonsense Guide To Banishing Dark Circles & Puffiness
STEP 5: MOISTURISER
Never skip this step even if you have oily skin.
Moisturisers are applied after serums and eye creams. They sit on the surface of the skin and seal in the previous layers.
If you are looking for an easy to wear moisturiser, we recommend Vya Naturals Vitamin C Moisturiser for its beautifully light-weight formulation.
STEP 6: SUNSCREEN
We cannot stress enough on the importance and relevance of sunscreen.
It is something you need every day, all through the year. Simply put, sunscreen is a non-negotiable!
Look for a broad spectrum sunscreen that offers you a minimum of 30 SPF (protection against UVB rays) and PA +++ (protection against UVA rays).
Listen to our podcast below to know "Why you need to wear sunscreen everyday?"
HOW TO LAYER YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS IN THE EVENING
Evening skincare routines typically have more steps.
Your evening regime is all about restoring and regeneration.
This routine has 8 steps:
STEP 1: CLEANSING
Your evening cleanse needs to be a more thorough cleanse as compared to your morning routine.
You need to help your skin get rid of sunscreen, makeup, pollution, dust, sweat and other debris. A double cleanse (oil cleanse followed by water based cleanser) is a great way to truly clean up your skin.
Vya Naturals Vitamin C Face Wash is our recommended cleanser for your second cleanse.
If you tend to go heavy on the eye makeup, then you might need to do a gentle swipe over your eyelids and eyelashes with a makeup remover. However, in most cases, the double cleansing method removes all traces of eye makeup as well.
STEP 2: TONER
Same as the morning routine.
STEP 3: SPOT TREATMENT
If your skin is prone to breakouts and blemishes then your spot treatment step would come in at number three.
Your dermatologist will prescribe a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid based treatment for your skin.
STEP 4: SERUM
Evening serums help your skin recover from the stresses of the day.
If you layer serums, follow our guide from the morning routine and go from thinner to heavier in texture.
Another way to choose your serum would be to use water based serums in the daytime and heavier oil based serums for the evening.
STEP 5: SHEET MASK
If you are a sheet mask fan, now would be a good time to occasionally treat yourself to one.
Some dermatologists say that if your sheet mask is exceptionally well endowed with serums and antioxidants you could even skip step 4 should you wish to (although we would not recommend it)
STEP 6: EYE CREAM
Same as the morning routine.
STEP 7: MOISTURISER
Same as the morning routine.
STEP 8: FACIAL OIL
If your moisturiser does not feel heavy enough - or if you sleep in an air conditioned or heated room - pat in a few drops of pure, cold pressed oils into your skin.
Our favourites include sweet almond oil, argan oil, jojoba oil and rosehip oil.
BEFORE WE SAY GOODBYE
Let’s summarise this guideline on layering with a quick note on combining your active ingredients, especially where serums are concerned.
You see, layering is all well and good.
But certain ingredients do not work well together and this is something to be kept in mind when we layer.
If you use retinols in your evening skincare routine, do not combine it with vitamin C or with spot treatments for acne.
If you use liquid exfoliators (AHA or Alpha Hydroxy Acids or BHA or BetA Hydroxy Acids) then be careful to not use these together.
We hope this helps demystify your daily skincare routine and the layering process. Wishing you happy healthy skin days ahead!