The Proper Skin Care Routine Order for Best Results

The Proper Skin Care Routine Order for Best Results

There are so many different skin care products out there, and it can be super overwhelming to figure out how to use what when. Gone are the days of just splashing your face with a little bit of water (and for good reason!). A great skin care routine will help keep your skin glowing and healthy.

Order and timing in your routine are important because doing both correctly will help your products work better. We’ve broken down a basic skin care routine order and tips to help you get the most out of your routine!


Main Takeaways: In order for your skin care products to work as best they can, it’s important to put them on in the correct order starting with your cleanser and then moving from the thinnest product to the thickest.

Good to Know: Serums do not take the place of other products, like a moisturizer. Even if you use a hydrating serum, you should also use a moisturizer.

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1. Cleanser

The first step in any skin care routine is the cleanser. It’s incredibly important to wash your face every day, especially at night, with a gentle cleanser. Throughout the day bacteria, dirt, dead skin, oil, and makeup all build up on the surface of your skin. If you don’t wash off the gunk, you risk clogging your pores.

Most skin types should also wash their face in the morning as well. Those with extra dry skin may be able to get away with only washing at night, but that’s definitely the exception, not the rule.

If you’re a heavy makeup user, you may also want to try what’s known as double cleansing. First, you remove your make up with an oil-based cleanser. The oil bonds with the makeup lifting it from the surface of your skin. Then, wash your face with a gentle water-based cleanser to fully remove the makeup and oil. This may sound like something people with oily skin should avoid, but that isn’t the case. The oil-based cleanser can also help to remove excess oil by bonding with it as well. Finishing it up with the water-based cleanser will leave your skin feeling fresh and clean, even if you have oily skin.

When washing your face it’s important to use lukewarm water, and not hot water. Lukewarm water is gentler on your skin and will allow your pores to loosen for a deeper cleanse. You can then rinse your face with cold water to tighten your pores again.

2. Exfoliator

An exfoliator is a great addition to any skin care routine to help remove dead skin and excess oil. Think of exfoliating as a deep cleaning for your skin.

There are two types of exfoliators: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliators use granules of natural ingredients like coffee or sugar to physically exfoliate your skin. Physical exfoliants can be a little harsh for people with sensitive skin since the friction can cause irritation. Chemical exfoliants use alpha hydroxy acids like lactic acid or glycolic acid (both natural ingredients) to help slough off dead skin cells.

All exfoliators should only be used 1-3 times per week as overuse can cause irritation for all skin types.

3. Mask

A mask is the ultimate at home spa day treatment. There are many types of masks: hydrating, calming, detoxifying. So, you can use the one that best fits your skin's needs that day. A hydration mask is great if your skin is feeling a little dry, and if you feel like your skin needs an extra deep cleanse, opt for a detox charcoal mask.

Some masks can be used every day, but some masks, like many detox masks, should only be used 1-3 times a week.

4. Toner

This is a step that many people skip or don’t understand, but a good toner helps to cleanse, hydrate, balance natural oils, and temporarily tighten pores. toners also help prep your skin for the rest of your routine, so that your products absorb better and are more effective.

There are many different kinds of natural toners like rose water, tea tree oil, and witch hazel. When shopping for a toner, just be sure to check the ingredients like for alcohol. When alcohol is in a toner, it’s usually a high concentration which can potentially dry out your skin. Exactly the opposite of what you want!

5. Serum

A serum contains a high concentration of one or two ingredients that are meant to target a specific concern such as hydration, dark spots, or skin tone/texture.

The most common serum is a vitamin C serum which works to rejuvenate skin, even skin tone, minimize the look of dark spots, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. When combined with ferulic acid and vitamin E, a vitamin C serum is extra effective.

Another common serum is a hyaluronic acid serum. Your body naturally produced hyaluronic acid and it helps keep your skin hydrated and plump. However, as you age, your body produces less of it. A hyaluronic acid serum can help restore the benefits in your skin.

There are many other serums out there, but it’s important to note that a serum is not meant to take the place of a moisturizer, even if it’s a hydrating serum. Many serums have a light gel-like texture that needs a few minutes to absorb into your skin before continuing on with the rest of your routine.

Skin Care Routine Order

6. Eye Cream

One of the best times to apply your eye cream is actually when you’re waiting for your serum to absorb.

An eye cream is something you should start using in your 20s as it will help prevent the look of dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles before they begin to form.

Look for an eye cream with a mixture of ingredients that target different concerns. Look for squalane, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin to hydrate skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Look for caffeine, green tea, and vitamin E to reduce the look of dark circles and puffiness.

Pro-tip: You can store your eye cream in the fridge. This will help preserve the ingredients and the cooling sensation in the morning will help reduce the look of puffiness as well.

7. Spot Treatment

A spot treatment is used on a blemish, and should only be applied to the area of your skin that you’re trying to treat. Dab a small amount on the area before you apply your moisturizer. This will help the product absorb into your skin better and be more effective. Do wait a few minutes for it to absorb, so that you don’t spread it around your face as you add your moisturizer.

8. Face Cream/Moisturizer

It’s super important to moisturize your skin, using a moisturizer twice a day will help to hydrate your skin, and help prevent common signs of aging. Plus, no one likes the feel of tight, dry skin.

The best natural ingredients to look for in a face cream are aloe, glycerin, sunflower oil, hyaluronic acid, and squalane. These are all super hydrating ingredients that will leave your skin soft and plump.

For your pm routine, you may want to think about using a night cream. A night cream is usually thicker and takes longer to absorb. They also include ingredients meant to help refresh your skin while you sleep like retinol.

9. Sunscreen

The final step in your am routine should be a sunscreen. If you use a moisturizer with SPF, then you can skip this step, but if you don’t you need to use a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30.

Sun exposure can dry out your skin and accelerate signs of aging like dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, so it’s important to protect your face, even if it’s cloudy or wintertime.

Now you know the proper skin care routine steps!

Making sure you use your products in the correct order will help them be more effective and leave your skin looking more healthy, refreshed, and fabulous!

At Fleur & Bee we have a handy deluxe set that contains the most important products for your skin care routine: a cleanser, toner, vitamin C serum, eye cream, and face cream. It’s the most convenient way to get the incredible benefits of these skin care essentials.