How to layer your skincare for glowing results

Being the self-confessed beauty addicts we all admittedly are, it probably means you have a bathroom cabinet overspilling with different skincare products – but do you actually know which order you should layer your skincare products in to make sure your skin is getting the maximum benefit from their active ingredients?

As always YNLS has you covered, so by the end of this article you should know how to have the perfect skincare routine for both your morning and evening routine and how to layer your skincare correctly for glowing results.

What different products are available for my skincare routine?

So you are ready to level-up your skincare routine and commit to a new routine that will maximise your glow-up? Let’s start by looking at the different skincare products to include in your routine, what their purpose is and the benefits for your skin **side note** you’ll probably already have most of these in your bathroom cabinet:


Purpose: Removes dirt, oil, and makeup from your skin.

Benefits: Prepares your skin for the next steps, unclogs pores, and promotes a clean canvas for other products.

How to Choose for your skin type:

  • Oily Skin: Gel-based or foaming cleansers can help control excess oil.
  • Dry Skin: Creamy or hydrating cleansers with moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid.
  • Sensitive Skin: Fragrance-free and gentle, consider a cleanser with calming ingredients like chamomile.


Purpose: Balances the skin’s pH levels and removes any remaining impurities.

Benefits: Helps tighten pores, enhances your skin’s ability to absorb subsequent products, and provides a refreshing sensation.

How to Choose for your skin type:

  • Oily/Acne-Prone Skin: Look for toners with salicylic acid or witch hazel to control oil.
  • Dry/Normal Skin: Alcohol-free toners with hydrating ingredients like glycerin.
  • Sensitive Skin: Alcohol-free, fragrance-free toners with soothing ingredients like aloe vera.

Exfoliator (only use 1-3 times a week)

Purpose: Removes dead skin cells and promotes cell turnover.

Benefits: Improves skin texture, unclogs pores, and enhances the effectiveness of other products.

How to Choose:

  • Chemical Exfoliants: AHA (glycolic, lactic acid) for dry skin, BHA (salicylic acid) for oily/acne-prone skin.
  • Physical Exfoliants: Gentle options with fine particles for sensitive skin.


Purpose: Delivers active ingredients deep into the skin.

Benefits: Addresses specific concerns such as hydration, brightening, or anti-aging. Choose serums based on your skin goals.

How to Choose:

  • Hydration: Hyaluronic acid or glycerin-based serums for dry or dehydrated skin.
  • Brightening: Vitamin C serums for a radiant complexion.
  • Anti-Aging: Retinol or peptide-containing serums for targeting fine lines and wrinkles.

Eye Cream

Purpose: Targets the delicate eye area, addressing concerns like dark circles, puffiness, or fine lines. Benefits: Provides extra hydration and targets specific concerns around the eyes.

How to Choose:

  • Dark Circles: Look for eye creams with ingredients like vitamin C or niacinamide.
  • Puffiness: Choose a product with soothing ingredients like cucumber or chamomile.
  • Fine Lines/Wrinkles: Anti-aging eye creams with peptides or retinol can be beneficial.


Purpose: Seals in moisture and provides a protective barrier.

Benefits: Hydrates the skin, locks in the benefits of previous products, and helps maintain a healthy skin barrier.

How to Choose:

  • Oily Skin: Opt for oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturisers.
  • Dry Skin: Rich, creamy moisturisers with ingredients like shea butter or ceramides.
  • Sensitive Skin: Fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturisers with gentle ingredients.

Anti-Aging Cream

Purpose: Addresses signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Benefits: Promotes collagen production, firms the skin, and reduces the appearance of fine lines.

How to Choose:

  • Retinol Products: Start with a lower concentration if you’re new to retinol.
  • Peptide-Based: Peptides help stimulate collagen production for firmer skin.
  • Antioxidant-rich: Look for ingredients like vitamin E or green tea extract.

SPF (Daytime only)

Purpose: Delivers active ingredients deep into the skin.

Benefits: Addresses specific concerns such as hydration, brightening, or anti-aging. Choose serums based on your skin goals.

How to Choose:

  • Hydration: Hyaluronic acid or glycerin-based serums for dry or dehydrated skin.
  • Brightening: Vitamin C serums for a radiant complexion.
  • Anti-Aging: Retinol or peptide-containing serums for targeting fine lines and wrinkles.

How to build and layer your skincare routine, step by step

So, you’ve decided to treat your skin the way it deserves to be treated, and we’re here for it! Here’s a breakdown of the order in which skincare products are typically layered to make sure your skin is getting their maximum benefits:

Step 1: Cleanse – Refresh Your Face

Imagine your skin as a fresh canvas. Cleansing is like giving your face a refresh. Choose a cleanser that suits your skin type, and let the clean slate journey begin!

Step 2: Tone – Harmonic Balance of Skincare

Toner orchestrates your skincare, it balances your skin’s PH levels, tightens pores, and prepares your skin for the other products to come.

Step 3: Exfoliate – Revival Pass

Exfoliation rejuvenates, bidding farewell to dull skin, unveiling your radiant, refreshed glow. Use it 1-3 times a week to bid farewell to those dead skin cells, making way for the fresh, radiant you. Your skin will thank you with a glow that screams “I woke up like this.”

Step 4: Serum – The Power Lotion of Skincare

Serums pack a punch, tackling skin goals head-on—hydration, brightness, anti-aging—pick your favourite serum based on your skin goals and watch your skin transform!

Step 5: Eye Cream – Your Secret Weapon

The eyes are the windows to the soul, so why not frame them with a little extra love? Eye creams are like the secret agents in your skincare routine, battling dark circles and puffiness. A small touch goes a long way!

Step 6: Moisturize – Hydration embrace

Seal in all the goodness from the previous steps, hydrate like your skin just crossed a desert, and rejuvenate, hydrate, and reveal your nourished, glowing skin.

Step 7: Anti-Aging Cream – Timeless Revival Elixir

For those fine lines and wrinkles that think they can set up camp on your face, enter anti-aging cream! Find an anti-aging cream that promotes collagen production and turns back the years.

Step 8: SPF – Your Skin’s Bodyguard

Last but certainly not least, the SPF – your skin’s shield against the sun’s damage. Apply in the morning to shield from harmful UV rays and maintain that youthful vibe.

Remember, your skincare journey is uniquely yours, so pay attention to how your skin responds and adapt as you feel necessary. Always patch test new products and consult with a dermatologist if you have specific skin concerns.

Top Tips for The Best Skincare Layering:

  1. Consistency is Key: Apply products from thinnest to thickest consistency.
  2. Wait Between Steps: Allow each product to absorb before applying the next one.
  3. Target Specific Concerns: Choose products based on your skin type and specific concerns.
  4. Morning vs. Evening Routine: SPF is crucial during the day, while some products like anti-aging creams may be more suitable for nighttime use.

Questions and Answers

Can I skip a step in my skincare routine if I’m in a hurry?

If time is tight, prioritize cleansing, moisturizing, and SPF. These form the basics for a quick yet effective routine.

Can I mix different brands of skincare products?

Yes, you can mix brands. Just ensure each product is compatible with your skin type and concerns. Patch testing is a good practice to avoid potential reactions.

How long should I wait between applying each skincare product?

Aim for 30 seconds to a minute between each step. This allows products to absorb, optimizing their effectiveness.

Can I use an exfoliator and a serum on the same day?

Absolutely, but don’t overdo it. Limit exfoliation to 1-3 times a week and use a serum that complements your skin’s needs on the other days.

Can I use anti-aging cream in my 20s?

While anti-aging products are typically for mature skin, using a lightweight formula with antioxidants in your 20s can be preventive and beneficial.

Should I use different products for morning and night?

Yes, customize your routine. SPF is essential during the day, and nighttime allows for more intensive treatments like anti-aging products.

What should I do if my skin reacts to a product?

If irritation occurs, stop using the product. Patch test new products and introduce one at a time to identify the culprit. Consult a dermatologist if needed.

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