A step-by-step guide to skincare
- Next1 of 9Glo
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Come to Order1 of 9
By Rachel Hayes
Great skin isn't just about buying the right products—to be most effective, they need to be applied in the proper order. "Each product has a purpose, but you could be defeating it if you don't put it on properly. For one, putting on a thick ointment or cream before a lighter gel or serum may keep the latter from penetrating skin," says Mona Gohara, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. Here, Glo breaks down an ideal daily skincare routine, from sunup to sundown.
Fresh Start2 of 9
It's crucial to start with a clean slate first thing in the morning. Gohara suggests using a cleanser that has a mild pH, which will effectively cleanse your skin without stripping it of natural oils. Ceravé, Dove and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for All Skin Types are great options. Caveat: If you have persistent acne, use a cleanser with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
Toned Up3 of 9
After cleansing, you may want to use a gentle toner—like Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner—which gives skin a clean, refreshed feel. Gohara warns against using a formula with alcohol. "Your skin should not feel tight afterward," she says.
In Treatment4 of 9
After cleansing and toning in the morning, always put your medicated treatment or anti-aging serum on next. "You want the active ingredients to penetrate your skin the most, so it should go onto clean, dry skin," says Gohara. This includes acne medicine, non-retinol-based anti-aging treatments and brightening serums like Yes to Grapefruit Dark Spot Correcting Serum.
Perk Up Peepers5 of 9
"During the day, I like to use serums around the eye because they have a higher concentration of ingredients and a gel-like texture, which makes it easier to layer concealer over it. The concealer won't slide all over the place," says Gohara. Pur-lisse Pur-Eye Adore Quadra Benefit Eye Serum is a great choice.
Sunny Days6 of 9
In the a.m., the last skincare product you should apply before your makeup is sunscreen. The reason? Sunscreens are generally the thickest daytime product you use, and could impede other products from penetrating your skin. Look for a light fast-absorbing formula, like La Roche Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra Light Fluid For Face, that has a broad-spectrum SPF factor of at least 30.
Sweet Dreams7 of 9
At the end of the day, you'll want to cleanse again, and then apply your evening skincare. Anti-aging treatments that contain retinol (like Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Intensive Repair) should only be used at night. "Retinol increases cellular turnover, which helps to combat acne and wrinkles, but it also makes your skin very sensitive to the sun," says Gohara. Apply sparingly—a little goes a long way—and avoid the delicate eye area.
Shut Eye8 of 9
To lessen the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes, use a night cream like Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Moisturizing Eye Cream. It contains a low-dose of a retinol-like ingredient, along with peptides and antioxidants to help heal and hydrate skin.
Lights Out9 of 9
The last skincare step in your evening routine should be to apply a soothing, nourishing night cream like the brand-new Caudalie Premier Cru The Cream. "Make sure it has a lot of antioxidants, like vitamins C and E or berry extracts, which will work in tandem with your retinol treatment to help build collagen and firm skin," says Gohara. If you tend to sweat a lot at night, use a lighter lotion instead of a cream. Try to wait at least five minutes after applying any retinol products—to give them time to absorb—before smoothing on your moisturizer.
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