If you’re anything like me and spent your teens well and truly not glowed up (seriously have you seen 14 year olds today 😱), still playing with your barbies and somehow missing the memo on a 15 step skincare routine, it may be difficult for you in your adult life to navigate where the f*ck everything goes. Skincare is a complicated beast, we have cleansers, scrubs, masks, toners, mists, oils, serums, moisturisers and about 15,000 additional products we can now buy to get that glowy AF skin.
Not only do we have an unlimited number of different products we can use with various active ingredients, we also have a lot of misinformation out there about what to use when and most importantly HOW!
Now I am no beauty expert (just ask the other half of SKINNED, she eye rolls me harddddd) but one of the most important things I have learnt in recent years (also thank you to the SKINNED other half for teaching me this) is the importance of what products go first after your cleansing routine. Unfortunately for most of us (read: me) applying just anything anywhere will not only send your famous TikTok beauty star (or beauty therapist BFF) into a melt down, it also just isn’t as effective.
So, we ask the question of what the f*ck goes where? Unlike my dating life, I like to keep my skincare routine simple. Not only do I not have the time for a 10,000 step routine, I honestly cannot justify the amount of products it uses. So keep this in mind when you are doing your own skincare routine and build any additional products alongside. I start the morning off with a good cleanse (ok, maybe MOST mornings I cleanse) followed by my favourite serums (currently using Retrograde layered under Bang Bang Boogie Facial Serum), a light moisturiser and sunscreen (see I told you I keep it simple) and at night I do the same however instead of the sunscreen I add in a good quality eye cream after the serum and before the moisturiser (you can do this step during the day too, or leave out!).
So why do we put serums before moisturisers? Consider facial serums as the heavy hitters of skincare. These bad boys are basically a potent shot of active ingredients to your face (and we know I do love a good shot- preferably tequila!) that take your skincare from basic to beneficial in one quick swipe. Face serums tend to be lighter than moisturisers and should be applied before due to factors like the molecular weight of the formula and the ability to absorb. Basically putting the smaller more easily absorbed products first helps your skin to actually absorb it and not just sit on top of the other products (useful right). If you’re using multiple serums you again should look at using the thinnest to thickest as a general rule and always ensure the products you are using stack well and don’t react with each other. And if you have combination skin, you can mix and match serums to different problem areas of your skin as needed.
An exception to this rule is using an oil based serum. For most people there is no need to apply anything on top of this serum as oil based facial serums tend to provide a megadose of moisture to your skin. However, if you do layer it, ensure you use your thinner serums first (I use Retrograde first then Bang Bang Boogie on top) and give your skin a good time to soak in that goodness before applying additional products like moisturisers and/or sunscreen.