The Correct Order to Apply Your Skincare Products

Elsa De Berker

Beauty Expert

2 min read

Skincare Education

A step-by-step guide to skincare order.

Order to apply skincare

From innovative ingredients to the latest science-backed results, there’s a lot to take in when it comes to skincare. At times the noise can, understandably, feel overwhelming.

The easiest way to get your skincare order down? Check out our definitive skincare guide to layering your fresh product picks, no matter how simple or advanced your daily routine. (Hint: It involves the “thin-to-thick rule.”)

Phase 1: Cleanse

A clean start

Whether AM or PM, every routine requires a clean canvas to best absorb whatever products come next. So if you're asking, the answer is yes, you do need to wash your face twice a day. In the morning, cleansing serves to balance the skin, removing any excess oil and sebum that may have accumulated overnight. In the evening, it dissolves makeup and unclogs pores blocked by makeup, pollution, and dirt. To keep things simple, we recommend choosing a cleanser that’s pH- balanced and gentle enough to use every day, twice a day—like our Soy pH-Balanced Hydrating Face Wash.

Prep & tone

Finish off your cleansing regimen with a generous swipe of toner. Soak a cotton pad with Rose Deep Hydration Toner and sweep it across your face, neck, and décolletage to clean up any lingering impurities. This step has additional purposes, too: it helps refine pores, strengthens the skin barrier, and enhances suppleness. On days you're adding a face mask to your routine—typically 1-3 times per week—cleanse, then mask, then follow with toner.

Phase 2: Treat

Find your essence

Depending on how skin-versed you are, you may or may not be familiar with facial essences. This small but vital step has significant benefits. As essence can help repair pre-existing oxidative damage (think fine lines and wrinkles) while safeguarding your skin against harm from environmental stressors. To apply, shake a few drops into clean palms and press gently into your skin from your neck up to your forehead, both AM and PM. Our go-to? Kombucha Antioxidant Facial Treatment Essence.

Remember the “thin-to-thick rule” we mentioned earlier? Facial essence is water-based and has a fine, fluid texture. That's why it goes first. When layering treatments, apply each product in order of consistency—starting with the thinnest and ending with the thickest. This ensures optimal absorption. Your serums and creams will only be getting thicker from here on, so apply the same rule until finishing off with a moisturizer.

Boost resilience

This step is dedicated to the Tea Elixir Skin Resilience Activating Serum, an iconic product that, like the facial essence, requires its own stage. Tea Elixir Serum works to boost the skin’s ability to resist life stressors that cause signs of aging and strengthen the skin barrier, resulting in skin that’s visibly smooth and able to function at its full potential. All sound too good to be true? Read the science and study the before and after photos to see for yourself!

Treat it

If you're opting for a second layer of serum, think about your skin concerns and goals, and pick a targeted formula to suit. During the day, most skin types will benefit from a lightweight but deeply hydrating face serum , while a gentle resurfacing formula is great for boosting radiance while you sleep . Experiment and see what works best for you.

Don't forget the eyes

The skin around the eyes is thinner and more delicate than anywhere else on the body, making it prone to fine lines and under-eye wrinkles. That's why your eye area needs special treatment—whatever your age or skin type. Smooth on a small amount of eye cream twice daily to protect this fragile area.

Phase 3: Moisturize

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Your skincare routine is almost complete, and your complexion thanks you! Now seal in the good work with your preferred moisturizer. Lightweight or rich, detoxifying or firming, there’s a fresh moisturizer to address every need. If it’s morning, don’t forget to follow this step with sunscreen, too.

Seal with a kiss

Lips, like the eyes, are more sensitive and deserving of area-specific formulas—particularly in the colder months. To close out your skincare routine, swipe on a nourishing lip balm at least twice a day, or choose a tinted lip balm to hydrate with a kiss of color. To help prevent chapping, apply a gently exfoliating lip scrub and finish with a leave-on lip mask—like our Sugar Recovery Lip Mask Advanced Therapy—especially before bed.

A fresh routine, everyday

We strive to bring you the best skincare routine by combining potent natural ingredients, ancient rituals, and modern science. Whatever your age, skin type, or concern, a fresh routine of indulgent products used properly will give you a healthy, radiant glow all year long!

Author Profile
blog author Elsa

Elsa De Berker

Beauty Expert

Elsa is a NYC-based skincare enthusiast and experienced editor with years of worth of content creation for fashion, beauty, wellness, and digital media outlets.