Asian woman applying serum

There’s a rhyme and reason to skin care that many people disregard, leading to a less effective method, not to mention lots and lots of wasted products and time. Even if you’re tired, swamped, hungover, or running late, following the proper skincare order is essential to the success of your routine. Read on for more on the recommended sequence and the logic behind it.

Double Cleansing

is a relatively new addition to the standard skincare routine. While it is optional, it does deliver additional benefits. Specifically, it deep-cleans the pores without stripping the skin of natural oils. The process of using an oil-based cleanser like POND’S Cleansing Balm first effectively removes dirt and sebum from the skin. Then you wash off the oil with a water-based cleanser, so it doesn’t prevent subsequent water-based skincare products from penetrating the skin.

Thinnest to Thickest

Another skincare order rule of thumb is to apply products in order of consistency, starting with the thinnest products to the thickest. Apply the watery ones like first, then serum, then moisturizer. It lets the skin absorb products better without the heavier creams getting in the way of the thinner ones. 

POND’S Perfect Potion Essence is a brightening and hydrating toner, mask, and essence in one, so it’s a must-try if you want to simplify your routine. Meanwhile, if you want a dedicated serum, try POND’S Triple Glow Serum, which refines the appearance of pores with niacinamide. It also draws moisture to the skin using hyaluronic acid, making it the perfect step before applying moisturizer.

When to Apply Eye Cream

There’s much debate around whether to before or after moisturizer, but in general, the same rules apply. If your eye cream is on the lighter side — lighter than your moisturizer — apply it before. But if it’s richer than your moisturizer (for example, if you use a gel moisturizer like POND’S Aloe Vera Jelly Moisturizer), you should apply your eye cream after. Don’t forget to pat on the cream around the eyes, not just under, for best results.

Oils Go on Last

Some people love the luxurious feeling of face oils, which you can use to lubricate the skin for a facial massage or lock in skincare products. If you’re using it for the latter, definitely apply your face oil at the very end of your routine. It has a thinner consistency than most moisturizers. However, it functions as a moisture-seeling occlusive because it's oil. Unlike , oils cannot be humectants that draw moisture to the skin to hydrate, so it won’t make sense to apply it under a moisturizer.

Apply Sunscreen Last

. Some believe that some chemical sunscreens need to touch the skin. However, SPF generally should be the final step in your skincare routine because of its function. Sunscreen is like your skin’s — and skin care’s — armor against UVA and UVB rays. You don’t apply armor under your pants, do you? Putting on sunscreen last also helps your skincare products operate unimpeded, allowing them to be more effective than if your skin was exposed to the sun. 

Regularly following the proper skincare order doesn’t just help cement your daily routine into a habit, it also makes your products more effective. If you don’t want your efforts and hard-earned money to go to waste, study your products, read their labels, and understand how to best use them.