As if having to choose between the thousands of skincare products on the market wasn’t confusing enough, trying to figure out the best skincare routine order for your face can be incredibly complicated, too. There are so many different types of products for so many different skin concerns from lightweight serums to exfoliating essences. Deciphering which works best for you, and in what order, can seem pretty daunting.
Thankfully, the basic tenets of a proper skincare routine order can be applied to almost everyone, no matter what skin type or concern you find yourself struggling with.
How to Build Your Skin Care Routine Order
To determine what order to do your skincare routine, it’s important to first figure out:
- What your skincare concerns actually are
- What types of products you might need to help with those concerns
Knowing what, exactly, your skincare concerns are is a vital step in understanding the proper skincare routine order for you. If you have fine lines and wrinkles that you’d like to treat, you might want to apply your vitamin C serum in the morning, and your retinol at night, so that they don’t cancel each other out.
Or, if you have oily skin, you might want to use a water-based moisturizer over a lightweight serum, rather than using a hydrating oil or thick, emollient moisturizer.
Get to Know Your Skin Concerns
How to know your skincare concerns easily and fast? The answer is right on your phone. As a leader among makeup and selfie apps, the free YouCam Makeup app just got the tool you'll need. The award-winning Skin Score tool, which uses a unique artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm for real-time skin analysis.
Skin Score is a popular free-to-use feature in YouCam Makeup app, provide instant AI skin diagnostic results and Skin Dairy tracking system.
Not only is it the fastest AI Skin Diagnostic solution available, but it also detects more skin health metrics than other comparable services, with highly accurate AI face mapping and skin health visualization.
Get Free Skin Diagnostics Instantly
Here’s how to get started:
- Download YouCam Makeup app and find the “Skin Score” feature.
- Fit your face into an oval shape so that the app can take a photo of your skin.
Make sure that you take the photo in good lighting, without any makeup on.
- After the app takes a photo of you, it will instantly detect and measure various skin concerns, including spots, wrinkles, texture, and dark circles.
- The analysis technology assigns a number (up to 100) to give you a skin score in each of those categories. The higher (closer to 100), the better the score. It will also show you what age your skin appears to be.
- After you get your scores, you can click on your “Skin Diary” to get personalized recommendations based on your favorite brands.
The Best Morning and Night Skincare Routine Order
The order in which you apply your skincare products will differ, depending on whether it’s day or night. The easiest way to remember your steps is to think of your morning skincare routine order as “protection,” and your nighttime skincare routine order as “rejuvenation.”
Morning Skincare Routine - Protection
Throughout the daytime, we are bombarded with environmental aggressors that cause damage to the outer layers of skin, whether that be from pollution, the sun, or any other factors that might cause aging on our faces. This is why developing skincare routine steps that help to protect and prevent further damage to the skin is so important.
Nighttime skincare routine - Rejuvenation
On the other hand, nighttime (or when we sleep) is the time when our skin cells start to regenerate, helping to replace the damaged or dead skin cells with new, fresh ones. We want to use products that can help further this process along, such as chemical exfoliants or retinol.
👀Read more: How to Get Rid of Textured Skin: 5 Easy Tips
Below, you’ll find the best order to do your skincare routine, both in the morning and at night.
Morning Skincare Routine Order
Depending on your skin type and concerns, use a foaming, oil-based, or creamy cleanser to wash off the product left on the skin from the night before.
Apply a hydrating (for dry skin) or astringent (for oily skin) toner to a cotton round and wipe the product across your face—or, if the product comes in mist form, just spritz the mist across your face. Let dry before applying your next step.
- Antioxidant serum
If you want to fight against the oxidative stress your skin goes through daily, an antioxidant serum is crucial. Apply 1 to 2 pumps of the serum into your hand, lightly rub your fingers together, and then pat the serum onto your face. Let dry completely before applying your next step.
- Spot treatment
This step will be very specific to your skin concerns—apply a caffeine-infused eye cream if you deal with dark circles or spot treat any pimples with a pimple paste. Let dry completely before applying your next step.
Depending on your skin type, you will want to moisturize your face to avoid dehydration and lock in the products you applied in previous steps. Let dry completely before applying your next step.
Always make sure that sunscreen is the last step in your skincare routine order, right before you apply your makeup. Your sunscreen will help protect your face from UV damage and will be less effective if applied underneath any of your other skincare steps.
Night Skincare Routine Order
- Remove Makeup
An important first step in your nighttime skincare routine order, removing makeup will help prep your skin for cleansing in the next step. To remove makeup, you can use micellar water on a cotton round, a cleansing balm, or an oil-based cleanser to help wash away hard-to-remove makeup from the skin.
Cleansing at night is crucial because, not only are you further washing any makeup away that might have been left in Step 1, but you’re also removing any dirt, grime, and oils that might have accumulated on your face throughout the day. Use a foaming, oil-based, or creamy cleanser to get your skin clean and prep your face for the next steps in your routine.
Adding a toner to your nighttime skincare routine order is a great way to ensure that you’ve fully removed all makeup, dirt, grime, and oils from your skin so that products in your next steps can more easily penetrate the skin and become more effective. Let dry completely before applying your next step.
- Spot treatment
Again, this step will be very specific to your skin concerns—apply a hydrating eye cream if you deal with puffy eyes or wrinkles, or spot treats any pimples with a pimple paste. Let dry completely before applying your next step.
- Serum & Retinol
Depending on your specific skin concerns, you will want to apply a serum or retinol to your skin after you spot treat. For example, if you have dry skin, consider applying a hyaluronic-acid based serum for a boost of hydration while you snooze. Or, if you’re concerned about fine lines and wrinkles, applying retinol will help further the skin cell renewal process overnight. Let dry completely before applying your next step.
Find Your Best Skincare Routine Now
The first step in building a proper skincare routine order is to figure out your skin concerns and which products are best suited for your skin type. Download the YouCam Makeup app for a full skin analysis, specific skincare tips, and personalized product recommendations, so that you can create a skincare routine order perfect for you—no confusion necessary.