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Don't Make These Mistakes When Layering Your Skincare Products

January 24, 2023

Don't Make These Mistakes When Layering Your Skincare Products

Over the years I've seen many clients get super confused about layering their skincare products.  I've helped clients unravel the mystery of layering Retin A, facial oils, gels, creams, essences, toners, ampoules, sunscreen etc.  Layering products doesn't have to be rocket science.  However, there are a few issues to avoid...

For example, we generally know that it's best to layer from thinnest to thickest in consistency.  But what about facial oils?  Retin A?  Alpha hydroxy acids?

Facial oils are always applied last AT NIGHT ONLY since sunscreen doesn't sit well on top of an oil.  If you apply something after the oil, it cannot absorb since the oil forms an occlusive layer, blocking what comes next.  I've even seen this happen to clients who use very creamy cleansers that leave a slip to the skin.  One example is the brand Goop's creamy cleanser.  A client invested in some NeoGenesis products (serums that are very waterlike in consistency.)  You can guess what happened next.  NOTHING!  I saw her a month later and was confused. I expected improved skin.  Upon quizzing her further about her routine we discovered the culprit.  The creamy but OCCLUSIVE cleanser she was using.  (Not all creamy cleansers do this.  Mine line's creamy cleanser doesn't, for example.)

When it comes to Retin-A, always follow the manufacturer's instructions.  Once that absorbs, (you usually wait a half hour before another product) you can apply your serums and then moisturizer IF THE RETIN A is a GEL.  If its a cream it gets tricky.  Still, I find NeoGenesis and other serums seems absorb fine if the timing between the layering is at least a half hour.  It gives the Retin A time to get where it can work before another product is applied.

When it comes to layering in Alpha hydroxy acids, I like to double cleanse my face, apply the acid, and wait 5 minutes.  Then I'm free to apply the next serum I'm using.  If you apply a serum right after without waiting a beat, the acid gets diluted and doesn't work as well.

There you have it.  Apply thinnest to thickest with these few exceptions.  Do you have layering questions?  Hit reply and let me know!





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