How to Layer Your Skincare Routine

Like the perfect cake or outfit, layering your skincare routine is an art that requires some know how. With the ever growing market of skincare products, it's sometimes hard to figure out exactly how many layers are too many. And while there isn't a one size fits all model, we can tell you that you can simplify an unnecessarily complex routine by getting back to the basics. Your wallet, skin and medicine cabinet will thank you.

Daytime Versus Nighttime

 The first thing that you need to establish is whether you're looking for a daytime or nighttime routine. You will find that day and nighttime products differ in key ingredients and can provide different benefits based on your desires. For example,  good daytime moisturizer should be lightweight and have an SPF to protect skin from sun damage. If you are new to the realm of skincare routines, we suggest solidifying a strong nighttime routine. The benefits of a strong nighttime routine outweigh those of a daytime one because your skin has the whole night to soak up the nourishment that a solid skincare routine provides. Ingredients founds in a good exfoliant, for example, can renew skin by sloughing away a layer of debris while you get your beauty sleep! Natural botanical extracts found in the right serum can deeply hydrate and nourish skin overnight, leaving skin dewy and luminous. Set your intentions and go from there. If you know what results you're looking for and what problem areas you are looking to conquer, you can work backwards and find products that have the right ingredients based on your needs. This article will focus on a nighttime routine because they can be, quite frankly, more confusing!

Order Matters

Sounds cliché and maybe even obvious, but it order does in fact play the most critical role in a good skincare routine. Your skin will work in tandem with the compounds in products when placed correctly in the right order. Keep in mind that if you apply skincare in the incorrect order, it may completely nullify the effects, so definitely take notes!

Step 1: Cleanser

We all know it's the right thing to do, but often times we neglect to wash our face after a long day or a late night. It is the single most important step in any good skincare routine no matter skin type of problem areas. What's perhaps even most important to remember is that even if you don't have make up on, you should wash your face to remove the impurities of the day. If wearing makeup, use an oil based cleanser that will dissolve makeup without stripping and over drying your skin. A clean canvas sets the stage for the good stuff to be absorbed!

Step 2: Exfoliating treatment (like our Overnight Star!)

Exfoliation is key for the health of your skin because of one reason: cell turnover. Cell turnover is the process by which the deeper levels of your skin produce new cells, which move up through to epidermis to replace those that have died. When they reach the surface (the stratum corneum), they shed through a process called desquamation.

Your body’s exfoliation process slows and weakens as you age. For example, babies’ skin cells turn over at an approximate rate of every 14 days whereas by your teenage years, this process has already slowed down dramatically to every 28 days or so. This decline continues to get sluggish as you age and can slow down to an almost snail’s pace of up to 90 days in certain cases.

As well as your age, cell turnover can be determined by a whole bunch of other factors including your genes, hormones, lifestyle, and exposure to environmental stressors such as pollution and sun damage. While you can’t control your genes or turn back the clock, leading a healthy lifestyle and protecting your skin goes a long way in keeping your cell turnover at its optimum rate.

When cell turnover becomes inefficient, dead skin cells build up on the surface of your skin causing dullness, poor texture, blocked pores, and uneven skin tone. Exfoliating helps speed up this process by removing those dead skin cells, improving circulation, and generally boosting the skin’s natural desquamation process.

Our all-time favorite way to exfoliate is with lactic acid, which is one of the most highly researched skin acids and the hero ingredient of our Overnight Star Lactic Acid Treatment. Lactic acid is extracted from either fermented milk or vegan sources like beets, tapioca, or corn starch and has a pretty large molecular size. This makes it way more tolerable than glycolic acid but with none of the skincare benefits taken away.

Step 3: Toner

While not mandatory, you want to look for cleansers that have beta hydroxy acid or glycolic acid. The goal with a good toner is to unclog pores and remove blackheads. Stay away from alcohol based toners as they will over dry your skin! 


Step 4: Serum

Serums can be pricey, but they are the best way to level up your skincare routine. They generally are straight doses of highly potent antioxidants and humectants. All skin types can benefit from a good serum, especially a vitamin C serum. Vitamin C in particular brightens skins and produces collagen, double win!

Step 5: Moisturizer

A moisturizer not only adds an extra burst of hydration, it also seals the deal with the aforementioned products making them more effective. When selecting your moisturizer, pick one based on your skin type. For dry skin, select a moisturizer that has ceramides and stay away from yucky parabens or mercury.

Step 6: Face oil

A good face oil is magical. It leave your skin supple and just delivers an indescribable glow. There is something healing and therapeutic about topping off a skincare routine with an oil. Look for ingredients like rosehip and jojoba to complement your skin and provide nourishment that far surpasses a simple moisturizer. 

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