Far from just a random assemblage of new finds, cult faves, and trusted go-tos, there is a system to skincare that curiously adds excitement to the essential, effective, and exacting science it is rooted in.
We’re not putting it past you that if at this point, you’ve amassed quite the arsenal of skincare staples that have completely taken over many random surfaces of your room. Yes, skincare is life, but so is order—and with a world slow cooking in chaos as we know it, a little tidying up is imperative. Now, getting physical is one thing, but in the intangible sense, a structure and system to applying skincare in the morning and evening exists, and it could very well spell the difference between an effective routine and a waste of time and products.
Let’s face it, while we work at finding our bearings in this reality we call our lives and for the selfless stewards of health who hold down the line of defense in inching towards the annihilation of the vicious virus that has completely dug its sharp, unforgiving claws deeper into our present in purgatory, we have taken to every form of distraction and dormant due diligence to stave off the worries—and fine lines—away.
It varies, really, but a common denominator from the general population is a hyper focused attention to skincare, especially since paranoia and fear have slowly manifested itself in potentially irreversible effects on the face. However, in an effort to keep things as soft and supple as it can be on the surface, did you know that could actually be doing yourself a disservice by going about your skincare routine with no definite order?
Mind The Steps
“The order of application is incredibly important,” begins Dr. Heather Rogers, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon in an interview with Dermstore Blog. “The skin’s job is to keep things out, but many of the skin care products we use have ingredients we want to get in. Only a very small amount of these key ingredients can penetrate the skin, even when perfectly formulated and perfectly applied. If you don’t apply products in the correct order, you will not see the best results from your skin care regimen.”
Simply put, minding a proper order in your day and night skincare routine guarantees that the products penetrate the skin deep effectively, also avoiding the potential harm of unwanted chemical reactions and potency deactivation and dilution. For example, layering serums after oils will leave skin dry, dull, and dehydrated, while slathering the aforementioned necessities, plus creams, on top of a sunscreen actually leaves you more susceptible to skin cancer and premature aging.
You see, you don’t slap and slather your selection of holy grails and cult-favorites as you please. As with anything efficient, an order is necessary to make sure everything works to its full potential—less confusion, maximum impact. The last thing you want is a pile of products weighing down on your skin, or worse, canceling out each other’s effects or worse, irritating your skin even more. After all, skincare is rooted in exacting science, so precision and purpose is key, naturally.
With the building blocks of skincare—cleanse, tone, and moisturize—well in place by now in our collective subconscious to set-up the foundation of the routine, it is time to get into the nitty-gritty, detailing other necessary and indulgent steps for healthy skin.
The Skincare Order
First of all, if you have any residual product on coming in from a long day (or alternatively, a night with layers slathered on) and cosmetics painted on your face, it is ideal you start with sloughing those impurities through cleansing. You might want to consider the Everyday Face Cleanser by Alder New York, a nourishing cleanser that is described by The Collective as “a relaxing bubble bath for your complexion.” This lightweight vegan and cruelty-free ingredients formulation effectively cleanses, smoothens, and refreshes skin. Oh, and best of all? The brand is queer and woman-owned.
It is also necessary to indulge in an exfoliating step once or twice a week to buff away impurities and dead skin cells to expedite the active process of regeneration. Gently resurfacing the skin to its natural state, as well as improving radiance and texture over time, the Refining Crème Polish by Laura Mercier is your next step. For the eco-conscious, as we all should be by now, the formulation is naturally sourced, with biodegradable micro-beads that will not in any way harm the environment once it washes down the drain.
Before moving on from the cleansing in the skincare order, with subsequent layers that follow a process from the lightest to the heaviest drape on the skin, you can treat your skin to a mask session once a week or as needed. In this concentrated step, you can choose from a lot of options available on the market, all loaded with different focuses such as essences, boosters, and treatments. Try the AHC Natural Essential Mask, with natural ingredients and aqua ceramide that brightens and hydrates, as well as calms and hydrates.
The Joy Of The Routine
After the standard 15 minutes of waiting, you can proceed to swiping serum on your skin. For this segment of the skincare order, it is best to go with dermatologist solutions, such as the latest anti-aging innovation of tried and tested brand Kiehl’s in the Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum. A powerful swirl in your skincare order, this precise, daily-strength concentrate of pure retinol, peptide, and ceramides is clinically tested to steadily encourage cell turnover and improve firmness, reduce wrinkles, and refine texture of skin. With this, the usually confusing and tricky application of retinol is gradually introduced to your routine in micro-doses that ultimately helps strengthen the skin barrier and increase skin tolerance sans the usual side effects of dryness, redness, and peeling.
When that has seeped in properly sans the ick and goop typically associated with this progression in the skincare order, you are now encouraged to move on to moisturizing. Here, it is best to complement the serum with the Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream, an emollient that visibly firms, lifts, and boosts the skin, all while infusing it with the necessary hydration for that healthy appearance.
Next, you can now focus on one of the signifiers of stress, the undereye with an eye cream. What you’ll need is a supercharged hydration boost that will nourish, repair, and brighten the most delicate area. Charged with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and niacinamide, the Happy Skin Hyaluronic + B3 Boost Brightening Eye Cream cools and calms the skin with its unique curved metal applicator, which glides the silky product that targets hyper-pigmentation, hydrates, and promotes collagen and elastin production for that visibly smooth finish.
Do Not Forget
A step that may seem unnecessary for some, we come face-to-face with the introduction of the face oil. Meet the Laura Mercier Nourishing Rose Oil, an upgrade and update from the original with Omega Gold Complex, Rose and Rosehip Seed Oils, and Skin Essentials Complex. The supremely nourishing staple revitalizes and rejuvenates the complexion, nourishing the cuticles and ends of the tresses in its eventual excess.
When that dries down, the final touch in the detailed skincare order is one that you should not miss by any means necessary—sunscreen. Yes, even if you are staying mostly indoors. Say hello to your clean SPF, the new Daydream Airy Sunscreen by blk Cosmetics. Patting on like a dream, the SPF 50 PA+++ charges a safe broad-spectrum kind of protection minus the grease and white cast. Made with good intentions and the potent zinc oxide, the pure and skin-loving addition to the skincare collection of blk is vegan, cruelty-free, and made from ethically sourced ingredients. It comes in sheer and tinted formulas, which works well if you want a bare base or a fresh and effortless face for the outdoors or the next virtual catch up.