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The Correct Order to Apply Skincare Products in 2021

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the correct order to apply skincare products
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The Correct Order To Apply Skincare Products in 2021

The correct order to apply skincare routine is a key to keep your skin healthy and glowing. The quality of your skin products matter and how you apply them on your skin. Wrong products for your skin and their order of application can be ineffective (if certain products aren’t able to penetrate your skin properly, you can’t get their full benefits) or what is worse, can irritate your skin – using products in the wrong order could cause new skin problems. 

For example, applying serums on top of oils could leave your skin dry and dehydrated, since not enough water is reaching your skin. This will leave you more vulnerable to premature ageing and breakouts. 

Using your skincare products in the proper order ensures that your skin receives the full benefits of each product. 

When it comes to the best ingredients, we want to get them on our skin surface. 

Only a very small amount of these key ingredients can penetrate the skin, even when perfectly formulated and perfectly applied. If you don’t apply products in the correct order, you will not see the best results from your skincare regimen.

The order to apply skincare products 

There are a few simple rules to remember to make your life easier and less confusing when it comes to daily skincare routine and the correct order to apply skin products. 

  • Thinnest to thickest – an easy rule to follow is to apply your products with the thinnest consistency to thickest, or from liquid to cream.
  • Antioxidants first – you also want to apply first the products with the ingredients that are most important to penetrate into the skin (like antioxidants in serums) and finish with the products that need to sit on top of the skin (like emollients and humectants in moisturisers).

Morning skincare routine vs evening skincare routine 

The aim of morning skincare routines is all about prevention and protection. Your face is going to be exposed to the outside environment, so necessary steps include moisturiser and sunscreen. When it comes to evening skin routine it is all about focusing on repairing the damage done during the day with thicker products at night.

This is also the time to use anything that makes skin sensitive to sunlight, including physical exfoliants and chemical peels.

The order to apply skincare in the morning

1. Cleanser

Cleansing your face in the morning (and evening too) is one of the most important steps. This is the most basic part of a correct skincare routine. Morning cleansing removes dirt, sweat, microbes and pollution from the surface of the skin, as well as creating a clean base to then apply further products.

2. Toner

If you enjoy using your best toner and it your skin has no problem with it, do so after cleanser. Toners that contain AHAs or BHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids) act as an exfoliating step in your routine (Nimue ConditionerNimue Conditioner Lite). These may help if you struggle with breakouts, clogged pores or slow skin cell turnover, depending on the particular acid.

3. Serum

Next in your routine comes the best face serums. In the morning, it’s a good idea to use a serum rich in antioxidants as it offers additional protection for the skin during the day. After cleansing, using an antioxidant serum can help with skin brightening, as well as helping against harmful molecules known as free radicals, which lead to premature skin ageing. 

4. Eye Cream

That sensitive area around your eyes requires special maintenance to keep it looking its best. Eye creams do just that. They’re formulated to target the delicate skin around the eyes and deliver moisture and just the right amount of specific ingredients to help and not hurt. Don’t forget to apply your eye cream in the morning. 

5. Moisturiser 

To lock the benefits of the serum and nourish your skin don’t forget to apply moisturiser. Moisturiser may be humectants, attracting water to the skin; emollients, providing a protective barrier to trap moisture; or occlusive, preventing water loss.

6. Suncream SPF 

Whenever you are staying at home or going out, sun protection is a must every single day – not just in the summer months. Suncream can help protect against skin cancer, as well as early onset of skin ageing, such as wrinkles or pigmentation (Nimue SPF50).

Environmental Shield SPF50 - Nimue spf50


The order to apply skincare in the evening

1. Makeup remover 

Start by removing make-up. 

2. Cleanser 

Double cleansing comes in to play in the evenings. Choose the best skin cleanser for your skin. Evening cleansing removes all impurities from the whole day, as well as creating a clean base to then apply further products.

3. Toner

Maintain the pH of the skin.

4. Night serum 

Apply hydrating serums first and treatment serums second. Let your serum work its magic when you sleep. 

5. Eye cream

Evening night cream can be different from morning eye cream, it may contain sun-sensitive ingredients like retinol. 

6. Moisturiser

Finish your nightly routine with your moisturiser for your skin type.


Does the order of skincare matter?

Generally, your skin will absorb at least some of each product you put on your face regardless of the order in which they were applied. So even if you apply a water-based product on top of an oil-based one, some will get through. But it would be more effective to apply the water-based ones first.

What goes first serum or moisturiser?

Serums go first. 

Can serum be used every day?

It’s recommended by Skin Experts to use a serum all over your face and neck twice daily, once in the morning and then again in the evening, before applying your moisturiser if you want to get the best results. 

Do I have to apply a moisturiser after serum? 

Some serums contain hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, you need to layer a moisturiser over the serum to seal it into the skin.


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