Make your skin care work for you

You spend a lot of time looking for the best skin care products, and you invest your money into those products believing that they’ll deliver the results that you need. But, do you protect your investment by learning how to best utilize and layer those products?

What you use on your skin matters, but the how and when you use your skin care matters, too! The great news is that it’s easy to learn how to make your skin care work for you. When you learn the ropes, you’ll see better results from your products and you’ll get more bang for your buck!

Actually read the label
The easiest, most basic way to make your skin care work for you? Actually read the instructions on the label.

It seems almost too basic to need stating, but application instructions really do surprise you sometimes; plus, the label instructions may also include information on how to layer that particular product with the rest of your skin care regimen.

The words “for best results” really do mean something. Application methods for any product are based on the science behind the formulation and real life experiences, so application amount, recommended time of day, length of time to use the product (if you’re meant to wash it off after), and things of that nature all really impact the results of your product.

Learn the skin care order of operations
When most people think about the order of operations, they’re transported back to 5th grade math. But, skin care has an order of operations, too!

For skin care products to deliver results, they need to not only penetrate the layers of your skin, but they need to be able to penetrate through each other in order to reach your skin in the first place!

You can easily read up on the science behind skin care textures and how layering works, but here it is broken down into its simplest terms:

After cleansing, start with your most liquidy, water-based products, especially those containing acids or pH-balancing ingredients. These products should always go on clean, bare skin. Also, skip the cotton applicators and use your fingertips instead. When it comes to water-based liquid-textured products, cotton wastes way too much formula!

After liquids come essences, which also feature watery textures, but may be slightly heavier than the products mentioned above.

From there, apply your serums. This is where label-reading comes in handy if you have more than one serum you use on a regular basis, as some serums will penetrate more easily than others.

Along with serums, you can also apply your spot treatments, especially if you’re not applying the serum to the spot you need to treat. In other words, if you’re avoiding a blemished area while applying your anti-aging serum, be sure to apply your spot treatment during this layering step.

Finally, apply your eye cream to the eye area as you apply your day or night moisturizer to the rest of your face. If you use one, you’ll follow this step up with an oil.

As always, for daytime regimens, end your application with an SPF applied after your other products have become dry to the touch. If you apply your SPF to product-damp skin, you’ll be diluting the SPF and won’t receive its full protective powder.

One more note on skin care oils: oil acts as a barrier against any water-soluble skin care products, so never ever apply your oil as your first step in your skin care regimen, or you’re essentially blocking the efficacy of all your other products.

If a skin care oil is your #1 hero product, you should apply it to clean, damp skin, and end there! Many people who love skin care oils make it part of their nighttime regimen so the oil can provide all its gorgeous benefits without blocking the benefits of other products.

Simplify, simplify
It really is possible to bog your skin down with too many products. While layering properly will help many skin care products work together, you still don’t want to overly complicate your routine and stress out your skin.

A great way to simplify your routine is to set a single skin care goal for yourself, and use only the products that help you reach that goal. As long as you’re using excellent formulations that help you reach your goal (like the products from, your skin’s overall health will improve, which will clear up lesser-importance skin care issues while you’re targeting your #1 concern.

Use products for four weeks before judging
It’s really fun to get new skin care products, but sometimes they just don’t live up to your expectations. If you’re finding it hard to fall in love with your new products, be sure you’re giving them their due diligence before writing them off.

For most products, it may take up to 4-6 weeks before you see the results you’re looking for. In general, using a new product for four full weeks will give you the information you need to decide if you’ll continue using that product or not. Anti-aging products may take a bit longer, so you may want to hang in there for six weeks before you decide.

At the end of the day, your skin care products should be working for you—but you can make their job easier (and more efficient) by applying and layering them properly. Put these skin care tips into action (and give it four weeks!) to see the difference that proper use and application can make in your beauty routine.

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