Though the basic beauty or skincare rule is to layer the skin care products in the increasing order of their consistencies, there are some exceptions like cleansing and toning are the preliminary steps of any skin care routine, followed by the application of other products on the damp skin. However, beauty experts insist that it is better to pat dry the skin before applying any product containing sensitising ingredients such as glycolic acid, retinoid etc., to prevent the risk of irritation and also avoid using toners containing alcohol.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Kaustav Guha, R&D Head at SkinKraft Labs, shared, “When you use multiple serums of similar viscosity in your skincare routine, it is absolutely fine to blend the serums together and apply the mixture into the skin. Unlike traditional approach, when you sensitive skin, it is better to apply the retinoid based product or any bleaching agent on top of the moisturizer to prevent possible irritation. Also, if you are using the moisturizer as well as face oil in your skin routine, apply the oil later to lock in the moisture.”
He added, “Sunscreen should be the last product to be layered on the skin during day time, no matter if it is sunny, rainy or cloudy and sunscreens containing zinc or titanium provide better protection as compared to chemical sunblocks.” According to Dr Shibani Bhatia, MBBS, MD Dermatology, DNB, FAGE, MRCP (SCE) UK from Kaya in Goregaon, “As much as it is important to use the correct skin products – it is also important to apply them in the correct order.”
She advised, “If your skin care is extremely basic – you follow the CTM regime that is Cleanse – Tone – Moisturise (and of course top it up with an SPF) but if you have a few more actives in your regime (which you should) – here’s your application guide. Your AM routine steps should be cleansing using your face wash and toner, followed by application of spot creams if you use any (as this needs maximum absorption). Top it up with an antioxidant serum such as Vitamin C and then apply moisturizer followed by sunscreen. Your make up goes after this. Remember sunscreen should be the last step in your AM routine. PM routine should start with double cleansing to get rid of the dirt and grit developed throughout the day. This should be followed by a retinol serum to improve the skin cell turnover and then a layer of moisturizer over it.”
Vipin Sharma, Senior Product and Research Manager at Fixderma India Pvt Ltd., recommended a 6 step routine to follow. These include:
Step-1: Cleanser: Always start with a clean base. Start with a cleanser (in case you are wearing makeup, don’t forget to use a makeup remover before your facewash).
Step-2: Exfoliator: Once cleansed, go ahead and get rid of those dead cells with either your chemical exfoliator or exfoliating toner. These include your AHAs and enzyme formulations.
Step-3: Toner: Toning right is the key to moderate the behaviour of your pores.
Step-4: Serum: Go with treatment first and then your enhancing serum. For instance, in case of acne prone skin, you need to apply the Salicylic acid serum first and then you can follow up with your niacinamide or hyaluronic acid serum. Remember to never mix AHA and BHAs.
Step-5: Moisturiser: Post treatment and targeting your skin concern with serums, time for repairing and nourishing your skin barrier with your go-to moisturiser.
Step-6: Day-sunscreen; night-face oil