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How Do I Layer My Skincare Effectively?

Posted by Shilpa Bhim on
How Do I Layer My Skincare Effectively?

Image Source: Pinterest

By Shilpa Bhim

Skincare is a powerful tool. Want to keep your skin hydrated and glowing? Use skincare. Need to keep your skin protected from the elements? Use skincare. Keen to reduce uneven skin tone and fine lines? Skincare is the answer!

But like the tools in a tool kit, you need to know how to use and layer your skincare effectively. Yep, there’s a method to applying and layering your skincare. Let’s be real, there’s no point in slathering a bunch of skincare products on your face if they’re not able to do their thing!

We’re breaking down exactly how to layer your skincare effectively. So you can make sure your skincare is working, and you're not wasting your skincare products!


Yes, you do. 

The basic rule of applying skincare is to start off with products that have the thinnest consistency through the thickest consistency.

Layering from thickest to thinnest consistency ensures your skincare products fully absorb into your skin. This also means the ingredients that are most critical for penetrating the skin, like actives and antioxidants in serums, can work their magic before being sealed in with a thicker product.

In addition to helping your skincare products do their thing effectively, layering your skincare in the correct order ensures you combine ingredients safely.


Let us break it down for you! Here’s the basic steps to follow when layering your skincare (we’ve covered every possible step, so you’re covered whether you do all or only a couple of these):

  1. Cleanse - don’t forget to double cleanse at night!
  2. Apply an essence or toner 
  3. Slather on your serums (1-2 drops or product is usually enough!) If you use more than one serum you’ll need to pay attention to the consistency of each. Remember, thinnest to thickest. Plus, remember to use anything that makes you UV sensitive like retinol and AHA based serums at night time only.
  4. Facial oil (a little goes a long way!)
  5. Use your facial roller or gua sha to really help your skincare absorb into your skin, and increase blood flow!
  6. Pat in your eye cream
  7. Moisturise or your overnight mask for night time - to really seal in all your products!
  8. SPF (for day time only of course!)


To really maximize the effectiveness of your products, wait a minute or two between each layer. 

This ensures your skincare will fully absorb into your skin, and will avoid a layer of pilling on your face. ICYMI, pilling is when little balls of product show up on your face. It happens when skincare products are layered on your face but don’t absorb into the skin. 

Pro tip: always check the label on your skincare products as some will have specific instructions for how much time the product needs to absorb into the skin. Plus, they’ll specify how much product to use to ensure your skincare is working effectively. Too much product doesn’t make it more effective!


When you’re layering your skincare, you’re also mixing different ingredients. There’s some ingredients that you’ll want to avoid mixing or layering together:

Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinol

These ingredients work to prevent breakouts. They can be used during the same day (benzoyl peroxide in the morning and retinol at night) but they should never be mixed and used at the same time. Skincare experts highlight that benzoyl peroxide can inactivate topical retinol product, meaning you won’t maximise its effectiveness.

AHAs or BHAs and Retinol

AHAs and BHAs are effective exfoliants for your skin. Combine these with the powerful, but somewhat drying, effects of retinol and you are likely to have some pretty irritated skin. 

Retinol and Vitamin C

On their own, these two skincare products are a godsend for your skin! Both are effective in combating the signs of ageing like fine lines and uneven skin tone and support increased collagen production. While some people can layer these two ingredients and experience their benefits, be mindful if you have sensitive skin. Being such powerful ingredients, retinol and vitamin c combined can lead to skin irritation.

Fun fact, there’s plenty of skincare products that you can layer and mix together:

  • Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol
  • Ferulic Acid and Vitamin C
  • Retinol and Glycerin
  • Vitamins C and/or E and Sunscreen

You’re all set to layer your skincare effectively! Happy layering!

Have any other questions about layering your skincare? Feel free to reach Instagram or email us - we love hearing from you.

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