A Guide to Layering Skincare

You may have come across a few widely spread tips on how to properly layer skincare products, the most popular being to layer products from thinnest to thickest in consistency. There is merit to that, with the theory being something we’ve all learned in science class: water and oil don't mix. Ideally you’d want to use water based products first followed by oils in order to maximize absorption.

Though this is not an incorrect way of doing your skincare routine, I’d caution you to be a little bit more careful when it comes to using certain active ingredients, such as vitamin A as it can be irritating, and to think about layering in terms of maximizing effectiveness and avoiding irritation.

Before starting your routine, listen to your skin. Our skin is a fickle thing that’s condition changes from day to day, meaning we should tailor our routine to best serve our skin’s need. For instance, you may notice your skin sans it’s usual healthy glow in the morning following a late night —let’s be honest, several consecutive late nights then you should custom your routine to best fit your skin’s need, and in this instance it’s boosting hydration and protecting against free radical.

Some ingredients, like any good power couple, are just better together, they bring out the best in each other. Power duos like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid can have a wonderfully brighting and hydrating effect when paired together. Though on the other end of the compatibility spectrum, there certain active ingredients that just don’t play well together such as vitamin C and vitamin A. They can be irritating and why it’s often recommended to use vitamin C in the morning and vitamin A in the evening.

If you feel like some of the active ingredients are a bit too harsh, as sometimes experienced with vitamin A products, it’s a good idea to put a buffer between the ingredient and your skin, like a moisturizer or to incorporate calming ingredients such as niacinamides.

That’s all well and good, but you’re probably wondering i just want a fool proof, easy to follow step by step routine. Here’s a guide (feel free to follow or strip back accordingly):

Morning: Cleanse, tone, vitamin C (&E), HA, moisturizer, SPF, make up.

Evening: Double cleanse, tone, eye cream, acid treatment, calming treatment, moisturizer, oil.

Evening alternative: Double cleanse, tone, eye cream, hydrating treatment, moisturizer, vitamin A.

About the Author
Nauf Alfahad is a Digital Editor at a leading publishing company with a background in Applied Linguistics. Her interests range a wide expanse driven by her need to understand the human condition, her appreciation for well curated aesthetics, and achieving that inner glow.  
For more on this beauty and brains, follow her at @riyadhblogs