A Guide To The Best Skincare Routine Order

It seems like skincare is everywhere these days, from the glass skin trend to the vitamin C craze. But with all the new products we’re adding to our beauty routines to get the gorgeous, glowing skin we want, how do we know what order they should be applied in? 

Does The Order Matter?

To put it briefly, yes. 

You might have the most amazing skincare products in the whole wide world, but if you’re not applying them in the correct order, you could be wasting your time and your money, all without getting the results you truly want. When you don’t follow the right order to apply your skincare products, you can run into three issues:

1. They may not penetrate.

This is a problem if you’re putting thin, fluid, or water-based products on top of thick, creamy, or oily ones. The richer products tend to form a barrier on the skin that prevents anything else from getting through. 

2. They may be less effective.

    If certain products aren’t able to penetrate deep into your skin properly, you obviously can’t get their full benefits. Additionally, when certain active ingredients are meant to be applied away from each other, using them together can actually deactivate them or even create a new, unwanted chemical reaction that can be anything but pleasant. In either case, your skincare routine won’t be as effective as it should be.

    3. You could harm your skin. 

    Lastly, using skincare products out of order could even create new skin issues. For example, applying rich serums on top of oils could leave your skin dry and dehydrated since not enough water is penetrating your skin. Or, if you’re layering your oils, creams, and serums on top of your mineral sunscreen, you’ll be disturbing the coverage and diluting the protection. This will leave you much more vulnerable to the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can lead to premature aging—and who wants that!?

    Applying your skincare products in the right order allows all the good stuff from your products soak into your skin so that it can’t just rub off. Additionally, certain products—like toner—also help to prep your skin for the products you’re using later on, so it’s important to start with these products rather than ending with them. 

    So, what’s the best skincare routine order for flawless skin, you ask? We’ll tell you. 

    1. Wash Up

    The first step is to wash that beautiful face of yours. This also includes removing any residual makeup that may be stubbornly stuck to your skin. Use a great cleanser like the Green Goddess Makeup Melter Cleansing Balm from Milani that works instantly, transforming from balm to oil for effortless makeup removal without a greasy residue. If you’re double cleansing, start with an oil-based cleanser to remove your makeup and then move on to a water-based cleanser to really penetrate the skin. 

    2. Toner

    This step will help remove any excess dirt or makeup that you didn’t get off while washing your face, as well as prepping your skin to absorb the coming ingredients. Many people tend to forget this step, but whatever you do—don’t. 

    Toner can help to clear away dead skin cells, unclog pores, and aid in brightening and restoring your skin’s pH balance. It helps to make your skin feel refreshed as you prepare to put on products containing active ingredients and moisturizers.  

    3. Serums

    You might be itching to get straight to the moisturizer, but it’s important to put on any serums you may be using (retinoid, vitamin c, etc.) beforehand so that they have the chance to soak into the skin. 

    Serums are super-concentrated, nutrient-dense treatments that are aimed at cell repair and protection. They are especially effective at repairing sun-damaged skin and evening out skin tone. 

    4. Eye Cream

    Take care of that delicate undereye area with an eye cream. A good quality cream can help with circles, puffiness, and more—besides, the only bags we want are designer bags!

    Pro Tip: Take a small amount of eye cream on the tip of your finger and gently pat the product under your eye instead of swiping. This application technique allows the eye cream to absorb much better into the skin without being too harsh on the eyes. 

    5. Moisturizer

    Next comes moisturizer. This thicker layer will give you all the moisturized goodness that you need for your skin to feel plump, fresh, and gorgeous. You may want to use a lighter moisturizer during the day and a heavier one at night, especially if you struggle with dry skin.  

    6. Face Oil

    If you have a favorite face oil, now is the time to use it! Face oils work wonders for dry skin because they have occlusive properties that lock in the hydrating benefits of your other products, preventing the moisture from escaping—so anything you put on top won’t get through to your skin. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how face oils can also act as a barrier to protect your skin from the elements. 

    Look for a super hydrating serum like the Milani Prep + Brighten Face Oil. This luxurious facial oil features an indulgent custom blend of Vitamin C, sunflower, apricot kernel, sweet almond, and Crambe abyssinica oils, designed to tighten and hydrate your skin to leave it feeling balanced, bright, and rejuvenated. We also love the Green Goddess Glow Oil, which is infused with essential fatty acid-rich, organic cannabis Sativa seed oil to soothe stressed-out skin and bring out your inner goddess glow. 

    Pro Tip: Allow your face oil to penetrate better by patting it onto the skin rather than rubbing it. And don’t forget your neck!

    7. Sunscreen

    Please, please, please do not skip this step!

    Sunscreen is arguably the most important skincare product of all, and it needs to be worn every day, year-round. It is extremely necessary for protecting your skin and keeping it young and healthy-looking. Just make sure you let it dry properly before moving on to the next step. 

    8. Primer

    We’ve almost made it—now you just need to prime your skin for the fabulous makeup look that you’re going to apply! Primer is an important step because it will smooth and even out your complexion as well as help your makeup to stay put longer. Use a good quality primer like any of Milani’s Primers, which are vitamin-infused to instantly add radiant moisture to your skin, leaving you with the perfect fresh, glowing canvas. 

    Pro Tip: To really give your skin that dewy glow your after, use the Green Goddess Sleeping Mask + Primer before you hop into bed at night. This deliciously-smooth, skin-loving, whipped mask is infused with ultra-nourishing organic Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, and vegan squalane to take your skin to new levels of goddess-like glow. 

    Bonus Steps: Lip Care!

    Your lips need a little TLC so that they can look just as fab as the rest of you! Start with a gentle exfoliating scrub like this Rose Sugar Lip Scrub. This natural sugar crystal-based formula gently exfoliates and polishes dry and chapped lips for an ultra-smooth, soft pout. Next, prep your lips for your favorite lipstick with a moisturizing lip balm to lock in moisture all day long. 

    Pro Tip: If you struggle with dry lips or simply just wish your pout was softer, Milani’s Rose Butter Lip Mask can help. Formulated with rose oil, shea butter, cupuacu butter, and hyaluronic acid, this overnight lip mask will help to hydrate, condition, and repair your lips as you snooze for smoother, softer, petal-perfect lips. 

    Get Your Glow On With The Best Skincare Routine

    So, does it really matter what order you do your skincare routine in? 

    The answer is yes. 

    Applying your skincare products in the proper order ensures that your skin receives the full benefits of each product. You see, the skin’s job is to keep things out, but many of the skincare products we use have ingredients we want to get in. Only a very tiny amount of these key ingredients can penetrate the skin—even when perfectly formulated and perfectly applied. If you don’t apply your products in the correct order, you will not see the best results from your skincare regimen.

    At the end of the day, order matters, but do what works best for you. You know your skin the best and if you find it is the healthiest when you use one product before another, stick with it! And of course, be sure to stick with top-quality products to get the best results. We absolutely love Milani’s skincare line because it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and each product is infused with nourishing vitamins and minerals to leave your skin glowing from the inside out. 


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