Have you ever purchased products from a salon and been left feeling completely overwhelmed, and totally unsure on how to use them and in what order? This is where the beauty of layering comes in handy. Layering skincare products and knowing when to apply them is crucial in achieving healthy, glowing skin.

What is skincare layering?

Skincare layering is the process of applying products in a specific sequence to get maximum benefit from the active ingredients, as well as having it work in synergy with the other products applied afterwards.

The correct order of skincare products

Here’s a guide to help you identify the correct order in which to layer your skincare products:

  1. Cleanser: a cleanser is used to clean the face of makeup or dirt. Its second purpose is to prepare the skin for absorption of other active ingredients later in the routine.
  2. Toner: a toner is used to remove any leftover makeup or oil that a cleanser may not have been able to remove entirely. It also balances the skins pH level so that it works optimally.
  3. Serum: serums are concentrated ingredients that often contain “actives”. Serums are used to target skin concerns, such as pigmentation, aging, or acne.
  4. Eye cream: the under-eye area on the face is an extremely delicate area, due to the skin being thin. Eye serums are great, as they help with signs of ageing, puffiness, or dark circles.
  5. Moisturizers: a moisturizer is done to ‘close the pot on the cooking’ – and in this sense, it encloses the active products that were applied to the skin, ensuring hydration and lack of premature product evaporation.
  6. Sunscreen: if you’re a regular here, you would’ve read in almost every blog now, my obsession with SPF. At the end of your skincare routine (but before applying makeup) always make sure you finish things off with a SPF. This is non-negotiable and helps prevent aging and skin cancer.

Common mistakes to avoid

While layering is very important, there are a few common mistakes to watch out for:

  • Over-layering: over layering can mean that too many products are working on the skin at one time, leaving it susceptible to irritation or damage. Only ever use the essentials, and if you want to introduce a new product, make sure its done slowly without bombarding the skin.
  • Incorrect order: using products in the wrong order can mean that their efficacy is reduced. Don’t put in all that hard work for nothing!
  • Skipping SPF: skipping SPF means that the skin has been left wide open for damage. Apply your SPF every single morning as your last step in your skincare routine.


By following a structured approach, you can enhance the effectiveness of your products, address multiple skin concerns at once, and maintain a healthy, radiant complexion. Remember, the key to successful skincare is not just the products you use, but how and when you use them!