Most experts will say yes, but it really only comes down to a couple of simple steps. “At night, you’re doing a deeper cleansing to wash off the day’s pollution, makeup and sunscreen,” Barton Schwartz says. “You still follow the same steps with your routine, going lightest to heaviest, but at the end of the cleansing routine, you can use either a chemical or physical exfoliant. ” Prospect, KY dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD agrees and stresses that if you’re using a retinoid or any other active, apply it to clean skin. “Using too many products and not using the active ingredient first are common mistakes.
And as for the great SPF debate, Barton Schwartz always recommends applying sunscreen as the last skin-care step, and then makeup can go on top of that. “If you layer serums, creams and oils on top of your SPF, you’re essentially diluting it, leaving your skin susceptible,” she says.
Because thicker products pretty much play the part of Fort Knox on your face, it’s smart to start with the thinnest, or the most-watery products, such as toners and serums, first. “Heavier, more moisturizing products, like lotions, creams and oils, come next,” says Barton Schwartz.
Because serums absorb deep into the skin—rather than sitting on the surface like moisturizers—many skin-care savants also choose to layer them, adding a whole other level to the application game. “The thing I notice most in terms of incorrect skin-care application is that clients don’t know how to layer their serums properly—it’s probably the number-one question we get the most,” Zimmerman says.
Besides being a fan of moisturizer before oil, celebrity aesthetician Veronica Barton Schwartz says she sees her clients make mistakes with the order of their products all the time. “You could have the most amazing skin care, but if you’re applying them in the wrong order, you’re wasting time and money.
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