The order of skincare application matters! Layering products in the correct order ensures that your skin receives the full benefits of each product. Our skin functions as a protective barrier, keeping things out, but with skincare we want key ingredients to penetrate and improve our skin’s health.
In order to get the best results from your skincare regimen, Dr. Zenovia recommends following this general rule: After cleansing and toning, layer products in terms of consistency starting with your lightest formulations (serums) and working up to your heavier creams and sunscreen.
Correct Order of Application
Dr. Zenovia recommends that your daily skincare regimen consist of the following steps:
Step 1: Cleanse- Start by cleansing your skin with a gentle facial cleanser. If you have acne-prone skin, Dr. Zenovia’s 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cleanser is a great multitasking, soap-free facial wash that removes everyday impurities and excess sebum. For dry, sensitive skin types Dr. Zenovia’s Bakuchiol Hydrating Cleanser thoroughly removes environmental pollutants while soothing and hydrating the skin.
Step 2: Tone- A toner serves as a primer for your face so that ingredients can be better absorbed. The best toners are free of alcohol and other drying ingredients. For acne-prone skin, Dr. Zenovia’s 10% Glycolic Acne Control Peel Pads contain a powerful combination of Glycolic and Salicylic Acids to unclog the pores, exfoliate the skin, and treat acne. For dull, dry skin types, Dr. Zenovia’s Vitamin C Brightening Toner replenishes, hydrates, and conditions the skin, helping to improve the appearance of even tone and texture.
Step 3: Treat- After toner, apply a facial serum. Facial serums are designed to be highly concentrated formulations that deliver targeted active ingredients – whether it’s for dryness, aging, or acne. There are two types of serums: water-based and oil-based. Water-based serums absorb more quickly into the skin and are used as a delivery system for water-soluble ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid. Oil-based serums take a bit longer to absorb into the skin, making them ideal as a nighttime treatment.
Using a serum or not really depends on your skin’s specific needs. Many moisturizers deliver enough antioxidant benefits, for example, on their own. However, if you have brown spots, inflamed skin, or are experiencing accelerated aging, then you may find that serums with potent ingredients can help boost your regimen. Dr. Zenovia’s Hyaluronic Acid & Peptide Serum is an ultra-light moisturizing formula that provides intense hydration and nourishment featuring fractionated Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid is great for enhancing the skin’s natural moisture content. It also helps improve the skin’s barrier layer, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improving skin texture. It’s a must for plump, younger-looking skin! Dr. Zenovia recommends serums to all skin types. After applying your serum, layer your moisturizer on top to seal its ingredients in.
Step 4: Moisturize- All skin types require a moisturizer, even oily skin. The key is to choose the right moisturizer for your skin type. Those with dry skin will need something a bit heavier. Moisturizers that contain Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid are Dr. Zenovia’s top ingredients to look out for. Ceramides act as a barrier to help the skin retain optimal moisture levels and increase overall hydration for a softer texture and smoother skin. Dr. Zenovia’s Peptide + Ceramide Repairing Moisturizer helps protect the integrity of the skin’s dermal matrix, helping to strengthen the skin barrier and boost elasticity.
Oily skin types need an oil-free moisturizer that won’t cause breakouts. Dr. Zenovia’s Aloe Vera Blemish Soothing Moisturizer features skin-soothing squalene and medical-grade Aloe Vera to help balance hormonal acne, reduce the appearance of redness, and promote the look of even texture and tone for a supple, glowing, blemish-free complexion.
Step 5: Sunscreen- After applying a moisturizer, always follow up with an SPF in the daytime to minimize UV damage. Sunscreen is the most important step in your morning skincare regimen both in terms of anti-aging and cancer prevention. Dr. Zenovia’s Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30 doubles as both a moisturizer and sun protectant. Its advanced formulation provides transparent nano zinc-oxide broad-spectrum mineral protection.
Layering Active Skincare Ingredients
Certain active ingredients do not pair well together and should not be used in the same routine. For example, using Retinol and Vitamin C together can be too harsh for most skin types. Other ingredient combinations to avoid include Retinol + Salicylic Acid, AHAs/BHAs + Vitamin C, and Benzoyl Peroxide + Tretinoin.
The bottom line is that you don’t want to use two potent ingredients that can have the same effect on your skin at the same time. If you wish to use Retinol and Salicylic Acid, use a Salicylic Acid spot treatment in the morning and a Retinol at night.
Additional Application Tips
Dr. Zenovia recommends testing new skincare products on small patches to see how your skin reacts before applying to your whole face. She also warns that applying more skincare products than necessary can increase your risk of irritation, including redness and skin sensitivities.