The Right Way to Layer Your Skincare

Posted by Victoria Kirby on

Hi beauties!

Whether your skincare routine is pared down or packed with numerous steps, the order in which you apply your products is as important as which formulas you use. If you’re putting on your skincare in the wrong order or layering ingredients that cancel each other out, you’ll not only render your routine less effectiveyou could end up seriously irritating your skin. Check out our easy-to-follow guide below on the right way to layer your skincare.

Don't get hung up on the number of steps 

Before we get into the order of things, let’s be clear: more products do not equal prettier skin or faster results. In fact, most skin types fare better with fewer products. Some people like to pamper their skin with multiple stepsand that’s perfectly fine if you enjoy a more lengthy, indulgent regimen

But just know, your skin doesn’t require lots of formulas to be balanced, hydrated, and healthy. Using two or three products from one brand that are designed to work together as a system will ultimately be more effective than mixing and matching a bunch of different products from various brands that may end up losing potency when layered on top of each other.

Cleanse properly

Washing your face is obviously step one in any routine, right? Not exactlyUnless you use cleansing oil, which dissolves cosmeticsat nightyou need to take off your makeup before you wash your face. Otherwise, makeup may be left behind on your skin even after cleansingmeaning your skincare won’t absorb as well. 

Be wary of facial wipes, many of which contain harsh ingredients that can irritate your skinnot to mention how much they contribute to landfill waste (even the ones labeled biodegradable). Instead, pour a little oil-based makeup remover on a washcloth and use that to gently wipe off your makeup. 

And so long as you cleansed your skin the night before, you don’t have to wash it again in the morningyou can just splash water on your face to refresh it before you apply your A.M. products.

Layer in order of consistency


Once your skin is clean, the general rule is to apply your products in order from the thinnest consistency to the thickestthe reason being that if you apply a richer substance first, it could prevent thinner formulafrom penetrating your skin. There are a few exceptions though, which we’ll get into below. 

Wait about 30 to 60 seconds between each step to allow each formula to fully absorb and reduce the chance of pilling, which is when you’re blending in your skincare and it balls up into those little annoying bits

Here is best order in which to apply your skincare, and why:

A. M. P. M.
1. Toner or essence (optional) 1. Toner or essence (optional)
2. Antioxidant serum 2. Serum 
3. Eye cream 3. Eye cream
4. Spot treatment ( if needed) 4. Spot treatment (if needed)
5. Facial moisturizer 5. Facial moisturizer
6. Sunscreen   6. Face oil (optional)                                                                   

Toner or essence (optional)

Today’s toners are nothing like the harsh, alcohol-laden liquids of the past. Most deliver additional hydration, antioxidants, or nutrients, while the ones for acne-prone skin provide chemical exfoliation that helps gently treat breakoutsIn the past, toners were marketed as necessary for rebalancing skin’s pH after cleansing, but that was back when people washed their face with skin-stripping soaps, so you don’t need a toner for that purpose. In fact, you don’t need a toner or essence at all, but if you like the refreshing feel of these water-y formulaschoose one that targets your skin’s specific needs.

Antioxidant serum 

Serums are highly concentrated treatments rich in active ingredients such as antioxidants, hydrators, vitamins, nutrientsand acidsAs such, they should go on as bare of skin as possible so they can absorb down to where they do their best work. No matter what your skin type, a serum with potent antioxidants is a must every morning to guard against UV rays, pollutants, and other environmental aggressors that can damage skin. Our PUREVOC All Day Glow Multi-Corrective Serum contains powerful antioxidants such as vitamin C and caffeine along with several different kinds of hyaluronic acid to protect and hydrate skin.

Eye cream

Before you ask, no, your face moisturizer can’t double as your eye cream. The skin around the eyes is thinner and typically more sensitive than on the rest of the face, so you need something formulated specifically for the delicate skin here. Dabbing on eye cream twice a day helps keep the skin healthy and firm to minimize signs of aging around the eyes. Our PUREVOC All Day Glow Multi-Corrective Eye Cream contains peptides to strengthen the skin barrier, collagen boosters to treat and prevent fine lines, caffeine to help calm puffiness, and illuminating ingredients that help make dark circles less noticeable.

Spot treatment (optional)

Most prescription or over-the-counter spot treatments for breakouts or dark spots are meant to be applied at night, but some may be twice a day. Always follow the product’s instructions for how often to use it, and be sure to dab on the treatment before your moisturizer. For maximum benefits, try to avoid blending your moisturizer right on top of your treatment.

Facial moisturizer

Yes, everyone needs moisturizer twice a dayPeriod. It’s essential for providing your skin with the hydration it needs to stay healthy and balanced, plus it helps seal in the ingredients from your other skincare so they can be effective for longerIt’s best to smooth on face lotion while your skin is slightly damp to lock in hydration, then wait at least five minutes for it to absorb before putting on makeup. Better yet, skip foundation and concealer and try our PUREVOC All Day Glow Multi-Corrective Face Cream a nutrient-rich moisturizer with immediate, makeup-like benefits that blurs imperfections, helps skin tone appear more even, and creates beautiful, natural-looking radiance.


Wearing broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher every single day, regardless of the weather, is the single biggest step you can take to prevent aging skin. So, if SPF isn’t already built into your daytime moisturizer, apply a separate sunscreen to protect skin from UV-induced free radical damage. Most daily face sunscreens have a thin, fluid-like consistency, but they should still go on after moisturizer for optimal UV protection.

Face oil (optional) 

While oil might seem thinner in consistency that a cream or lotion, it should always be the last step in your P.M. regimen (should you choose to use it), because oils create an occlusive barrier that helpseal in everything underneath them. If you were to pat on facial oil before your moisturizer, then the moisturizer can’t fully absorb into the skin. Oils aren’t for everyone, but they’re a great extra step if have very dry skin or need additional moisture in the wintertime.

Ingredients that shouldn't be layered 

If you use a skincare system from one brand (like our PUREVOC All Day Glow System), the formulas are designed to layer together effectively. But if your A.M. or P.M. regimen consists of different products from various brands, check the formulas to make sure you’re not inadvertently layering these ingredients that don’t play well together: 

  • Retinol and Vitamin C: When used at the same time, these ingredients lower each other’s potency. Instead, apply vitamin C in the morning (it’s an antioxidant, after alland retinol at night.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinol or Vitamin CThe acne fighter benzoyl peroxide renders botof these ingredients ineffective if they’re layered on top of each other.
  • Vitamin C and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): Applying these two exfoliants can really irritate skin, so use antioxidant vitamin C in the morning and AHAs before bed.

Thankfully, the rules of skincare layering are simple to follow, and the payoff of getting the most out of your products is healthy, glowing, happy skin.

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