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Having great skincare products is important, but you also need to understand how to use them to maximise their benefits. Without proper guidance, it can be difficult to know the right skincare order, that’s why we are breaking down the application with tips to help you achieve healthier-looking skin.

skincare routine order

What is skin layering?

Skin layering is when you follow a specialised order of skincare product application so they work together to enhance the skin’s glow. While it can vary, the general rule to follow is thinnest to the thickest product. Start by layering your water-based and soluble products, then move to creamy textured and finally seal it all in with an oil-based formula. The lighter products can reach deep into the skin without any roadblocks, while the heavier products can penetrate through the thin formulas with ease and work as a sealant.

The skin has three primary layers – the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous layer. A proper skincare routine for normal skin will go beyond the epidermis to reach the dermis where sweat, oil, collagen and elastin are stored. Following the right skincare order in the morning and evening will create balance and harmony in the skin cells for healthier and brighter looking skin.

Morning skincare routine order

Your morning skincare routine should nourish and shield the skin against dirt, sweat and the UV impact it will encounter throughout the day ahead. It’s a good idea to include antioxidants to protect your skin from free radical damage throughout the day, and an effective SPF product to shield your skin from sun damage. Follow these steps to ensure your day starts with the correct skincare.

Step 1: Cleanser

Cleansing is an important first step in a morning skincare routine as it will wash away any irritants, dirt or bacteria collected while sleeping. Using a cleanser will improve hygiene and it also creates a clean base for the products to come. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser uses ingredients powered by nature and science to gently dissolve oil, dirt and debris.

Step 2: Exfoliator

Exfoliating buffs away dead skin cells and can clean deeper into the skin’s surface than cleanser alone. This encourages younger and fresher cells to form which can result in a brighter, clearer complexion. The Clearly Corrective™ Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser is formulated with pearlstone, white birch extract and peony extract for skin brightening and exfoliating properties. It has been made for everyday use and can help soften and smooth the skin’s surface.

Step 3: Toner

Toner will help eliminate any residual toxins not removed thus far and rebalance the skin. This key product will prepare the skin for the nourishing formulas to follow by improving the skin’s ability to absorb products. The Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Toner soothes and comforts skin, it is suitable for normal to oily skin types and is safe for use on sensitive skin.

Step 4: Skin serum

Serums are concentrated formulas that are infused with efficacious and powerful ingredients that can improve your skin quality. The previous skincare steps will prime the skin for deep absorption so the serum can permeate the skin deeply for effective results. Choose a serum that has scientifically backed ingredients like antioxidants for radiant and bright skin. Kiehl’s Powerful Line-Reducing Concentrate combines the power of vitamin C with hyaluronic acid. Vitamin C, or l-ascorbic acid, is an active antioxidant known to target signs of skin ageing while hyaluronic acid is a humectant molecule that attracts and retains moisture in the skin. These two powerful ingredients will permeate deep into the skin for targeted and potent results.

Step 5: Eye cream & moisturiser

An effective moisturiser will help replenish oils to supply the skin with nourishing hydration. Choose a lightweight texture that can absorb easily into the skin’s surface like the Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane, an ideal morning facial moisturiser that can balance the skin’s driest areas for 24-hour protection. Squalane is a natural botanical lipid derived from olives which can help strengthen the skin’s protective barrier for soft and balanced skin.

The eyes are a crucial area that demonstrate signs of ageing as the skin around the eyes is 40% thinner than the rest of the face. To help protect your eyes, follow facial moisturising with an eye cream to give this delicate area added care. The Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado moisturises and softens the skin around the eyes, gently apply this cream for brighter and firmer looking skin.

Step 6: Facial oil

Facial oils can create a sealant effect to lock in all the nourishing ingredients of your skincare routine. A facial oil can also boost your skin’s barrier, forming a strong guard against toxins encountered throughout your day. Apply the Daily Reviving Concentrate in the morning to help fortify your skin barrier.

Step 7: SPF for UV protection

The sun is a key culprit of skin ageing and damage. Protect your skin with UV protection, the Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel is a non-comedogenic sunscreen that can help guard your skin throughout the day ahead.

spf for uv protection

Evening skincare routine order

Your evening skincare routine may require a few small changes to the skin layering order. While your morning routine was all about protection for the day ahead, the evening routine should replenish skin with rich ingredients that have time to seep deeply into the skin overnight. See our recommended evening skincare routine order here:

1. Cleanser: wash away any toxins acquired throughout the day.

2. Toner: rebalance the skin after cleansing and prepare it for nourishing ingredients.

3. Retinol serum: Retinol is vitamin A, a powerful skin agent that helps minimise signs of ageing and skin damage. It can make the skin more sensitive to UV, therefore it is recommended in an evening skincare routine. Try the Kiehl’s Retinol Skin-Renewing Micro-Dose Serum for brighter, more youthful skin.

4. Eye cream and moisturiser: replenish your skin’s hydration with nourishing night creams.

5. Facial oil: The Midnight Recovery Concentrate Facial Oil is formulated with ingredients to help enhance your skin while you sleep.

Now that you know the correct skincare routine order, keep reading to discover How to Choose a Facial Cleanser.


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