What Is the Right Order to Use Skin Care Products?

Mar 1, 2024

Skin Care Order
of Products 

A Guide to Maximizing the
Effectiveness of Your Routine

Skincare Layering 101:

How To Apply Your SkincareProducts In The Right OrderAnd Why It Matters

When it comes to achieving healthy, radiant skin, using the right products is only half the battle. It's equally important to know the order in which to use them. Using products in the wrong order can lead to decreased effectiveness and even skin irritation. We've broken everything down in this section, but you can read each step in detail further below.

First and foremost, it's important to cleanse your skin. Use a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and makeup, and ensure that your skin is completely clean before moving on to the next step.

Next, it's time to tone. Toning helps to balance the pH of your skin and prepare it for the next steps. Look for a toner that is specifically formulated for your skin type, whether that's oily, dry, or combination.

After toning, it's time to apply any serums or treatments that you use. These products are typically more concentrated, and are designed to target specific skin concerns such as acne, fine lines, or hyperpigmentation. Apply them to your skin while it's still damp from the toner, as this will help the product to penetrate more deeply.

Next, it's time to apply eye creams and moisturize. Moisturizer helps to seal in the benefits of the products you've applied so far, and keep your skin hydrated throughout the day or night. Again, choose a moisturizer that is specifically formulated for your skin type, and be sure to apply it to your entire face, including your neck and décolletage.

Next apply a facial oil to lock in hydration. Adding a face oil to your routine will help you get the most out of your products by sealing them in and creating a barrier, allowing your skin more time to absorb the lovely ingredients you've fed it.

Finally, it's time to protect your skin from the sun. Apply a sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and make sure to use it every day, even on cloudy days or when you'll be mostly indoors. Sunscreen not only helps to protect your skin from UV damage, but also helps to prevent premature aging and hyperpigmentation.

Does the order I apply my skincare products really matter?

The order you apply your skincare products is as important as the products themselves. In fact, skincare products can be rendered completely useless when applied incorrectly. Why? Let's consider the purpose of our skin.

Our skin protects us by keeping things out. It is our natural barrier to the world around us. However, our skincare products have ingredients that we are trying to add to our skin. No matter how a product is formulated, our skin can only absorb so much.

By layering our products in the correct order, our skin has more time to absorb the beneficial ingredients, allowing them to penetrate more deeply. Applying your products in the right order helps you get the most out of them and their skin-loving ingredients!

When it comes to skincare, science matters.

You know the old expression about oil and water not mixing? Well, that idiom is not wrong when it comes to skincare.

The oil creates a barrier so that the water can't get in. Any water-based products, like moisturizers, then just sit on top of the skin and are never absorbed. What a waste!

What's worse? If you applied serum over oil, your skin may actually become dry over time because not enough water is getting through to the skin. So when it comes to layering your skincare products, the general rule of thumb is to go from thinnest to thickest, water-based to oil-based.

Morning Skincare Routine: Layer to Protect and Prevent

Our morning skincare routine preps our skin for the day ahead. It creates a protective barrier from all we might be exposed to throughout the day, like air conditioning, heating, and dirt. This is also our chance to prevent further damage from the elements, like pollution and free radicals!

Step 1: Cleanser

Cleansing our skin in the morning helps us clear away any heavy products applied the night before and creates a clean base for your morning skincare products.

Stick to gentle, water-based cleansers in the morning. For many, just a splash of good old-fashioned water will do!

Simply lather and rinse! For added hydration, avoiding drying off your face before applying your next product.

Step 2: Toner

Toner can help clear away any remaining cleanser and rebalance your skin's ph levels. Toners are best for those of us with oily or acne-prone skin but should be avoided by those of us with dry or reactive skin.

Avoid toners with alcohol as they can strip your skin of moisture. Apply toner by pouring a small amount into your hands and patting directly onto the skin. Skip the cotton pad as it absorbs most of your toner, wasting your precious product!

Step 3: Antioxidant Serum

Serums differ from other skincare products because they are highly concentrated with active ingredients. In the morning, it is best to stick with serums that antioxidant actives, like vitamin C, because they help protect your skin from damage caused by UV rays, free radicals, and pollution.

Drop a few drops directly onto your skin and gently massage in.

Step 4: Spot Treatment

So you woke up with a pimple or two and want to bid them adieu? Now's the time in your routine to tap a tiny drop of spot treatment directly onto those bad boys! Spot treatments work best on the occasional whitehead and should not be used on large areas, chronic acne, rashes, blackheads, or cystic acne.

To get the most out of a spot treatment, clean away any product you've applied on the targeted area with a damp cotton swab. Make sure you apply spot treatments with clean, freshly washed fingers or even a cotton swab for extra sterility. Spot treatments are potent, so a little dab will do.

Avoid toners with alcohol as they can strip your skin of moisture. Apply toner by pouring a small amount into your hands and patting directly onto the skin. Skip the cotton pad as it absorbs most of your toner, wasting your precious product!

Step 5: Eye Cream

The skin around our eyes tends to be thinner, making it one of the first areas to show signs of ageing. While most eye creams are just moisturizers in smaller packages, a good eye cream may contain a more gentle formula for this thin skin, or a higher concentration of an active ingredient, like retinol, to prevent fine lines.

If you choose an eye cream with retinol, use it in the evening instead as retinol can make our skin sensitive to the sun. Favour eye creams rich in vitamin E for your morning routine.

To apply your eye cream, gently tap a small amount around your eyes with your ring finger. This finger is weaker than its neighbours, forcing us to be gentler with this delicate area.

Step 6: Moisturizer

Consider moisturizer to be a non-negotiable step in your morning skincare routine. No matter your skin type, moisturize helps lock in your skin's hydration and adds moisture via all its yummy ingredients. It helps maintain your skin's health and prevents ageing. Need we say more?

For oily skin, favour lighter moisturizers or gels that have a thinner, more liquidy texture. For dry skin, opt for rich creams or soothing balms, especially in the coldest winter months. For combination skin, go for a creamier formula that is thicker than gels and thinner than balms. Think your typical lotion consistency.

To ensure an even application, take about a dime-sized dollop and drop it into key areas across your face, like your forehead and cheeks. Then gently massage your moisturizer across the surface of your face.

Step 7: Face Oil

Face oil is like the gatekeeper to your skin. It keeps the good stuff in and the bad stuff out! Adding a face oil to your routine will help you get the most out of your products by sealing them in and creating a barrier, allowing your skin more time to absorb the lovely ingredients you've fed it. Not only does it seal in your actives, but the right face oil also adds its own benefits to your skin, like rich Omega fatty acids, antioxidants, nutrients, and minerals. This adds a rich layer of repair and protection to your complexion that other products in your routine just can't deliver.

All skin types benefit from a face oil. Yes, you read that right. It's probably obvious that dry skin benefits from the added moisture that face oil delivers, not to mention the protective barrier it creates to keep hydration from evaporating.

What may not be as obvious is how it benefits oily skin types. You'd be forgiven for thinking that adding oil onto already oily skin will result in, well, more oil. The truth is our skin becomes oily when it's dehydrated. Yes, you read that correctly. When our skin is dry and dehydrated, it produces more oil to overcompensate.

The best way to target excess oil is to add oil back in. By introducing face oil to your routine, it tells your skin that all is well on the hydration front and that oil production can resume at a normal pace. Say goodbye to T-zone tantrums and hello to a beautiful glow!

As the thickest product, face oil should always be the last step of your routine as this will ensure that all other products get to properly penetrate your skin.

When it comes to face oil application, patting is much more effective than rubbing. Not only is patting more gentle on your skin, but it also improves blood circulation and distributes oil more evenly.

Oil is rich and spreads easily, so start with just a few drops and pat away! You can always add a few more drops if you need some extra glowy hydration.

Step 8: Sunscreen

When it comes to preparing your skin for the day, nothing works harder than your sunscreen! Mineral sunscreens, like those with zinc oxide as their principal ingredient, are best because they sit on top of the skin and reflect away harmful UV rays, making them the natural last step of your morning skincare routine.

Sunscreen isn't considered skincare in the sense that it's not trying to add anything to your skin. It's actually protecting your skin by keeping things out. But when we consider the purpose of our morning skincare routine - to prepare and protect your skin - we think you'll agree that it's well and truly an integral part of your morning routine.

Stick with sunscreens that offer SPF 30 or higher. Apply liberally and apply often! Sunscreen takes a little time to be fully effective, so try to avoid heading outside for at least 15 minutes.

Evening Skincare Routine: Layer to Clean and Repair

Our evening skincare routine repairs our skin while we sleep. It gives us a chance to clean off the day and let our skin breathe. It's also a great time to use active ingredients that make our skin sensitive to the sun, like lactic acid and retinol.

Step 1: Oil-based Cleanser or Makeup Remover

If you've ever washed your face only to look in the mirror and find some serious raccoon eyes (not exactly the smokey eye look we're going for...) or find bronze-coloured stains on your towel, you'll LOVE double-cleansing.

Double cleansing is the perfect start to your evening skincare routine and consists of two steps. Start with an oil-based product and follow with a water-based product. Oil-based cleansers and makeup removers are best at breaking down makeup and sunscreen. Water-based cleansers actually clean your skin, creating the perfect blank canvas for your rich nighttime products. If you're using a cleansing balm, apply it directly to dry skin.

If you're using an oil-based cleanser, you'll typically want to apply it to wet skin. Always check your product's specific instructions to get the best cleanse possible. You can rinse away with warm water, or use your water-based cleanser before rinsing.

Step 2: Water-based Cleanser

Now that you've cleared off the makeup and grime from the day, a mild water-based cleanser will remove any remaining traces of product and clear away any sweat, excess oil, or dirt.

Many cleansers incorporate an active ingredient like salicylic acid to ease acne flareups or hyaluronic acid to avoid stripping your skin of precious hydration.

Choose a creamy, milky, or watery cleanser and lather up! Rinse with warm (not hot!) water. For added hydration, avoiding drying off your face before applying your next product.

Step 3: Exfoliating Mask

Is there anything lovelier than indulging in some self-care? Exfoliating masks not only feel like a treat, but they're also a great way to keep your skin fresh and clear! Clay masks are favoured for a reason, so choose a formula with a clay base, like bentonite, to draw out impurities and exfoliate any dead skin cells away.

Apply your mask following the product instructions. Some masks prefer a washed and dried face while others prefer to be applied to clean, wet skin. Be sure not to leave your mask on for longer than the recommended time and only use them once or twice a week. Masks are meant to deliver a quick and intense treatment, so overusing or leaving on too long can result in dry or irritated skin.

Step 4: Acid Treatment or Serum

Now it's time to start tackling whatever skin woes might be worrying you with active ingredients. The evening is the perfect time to use potent actives that might cause minor temporary redness or irritation, like lactic acid, or make your skin a little sensitive in the sun, like retinol. Remember to pick one skincare issue and tackle that with one active. Trying to tackle too many issues with too many ingredients increases your chances of a reaction and some actives actually neutralize each other rendering them useless.

If you're looking to exfoliate and boost cell turnover, try glycolic acid or lactic acid. If you're prone to acne or bumps, go for salicylic acid. If your skin is dry or in need of plumping, hyaluronic acid is the right active for the job. And if anti-ageing is on your mind, retinol combined with vitamin E is hard to beat.

Acids and serums are pretty potent, so a little goes a long way! Thin serums can be applied directly to the skin by using the dropper. Thicker serums should be warmed in your palms before patting it into your skin.

Step 5: Spot Treatment

If you're hosting a few unexpected guests in the form of pimples, this is the time to give them the boot. Spot treatments are great for the occasional blemish, so apply a small amount using a cotton swab and let it do its thing while you rest.

Pimple patches can also be great ways to tackle a spot or two, and often come in the form of fun little stickers that are cute but not going to make it into your daytime look. 

Step 6: Eye Cream

Some of us just can't imagine a skincare routine without eye cream. A rich formula with plenty of peptides and antioxidants can make a visible difference over time. Look for ingredients like retinol, vitamin E, and vitamin C.Like serums, eye creams are highly concentrated not to mention expensive.

With your ring finger, tap a pea-sized amount around your eye while avoiding the lash line. The last thing you want is to lose precious beauty sleep because you got product in your eye!

Step 7: Night Cream or Sleep Mask

Now it's time to reintroduce some moisture to your skin. You can totally use your daily moisturizer from your morning routine in the evening! That said, many of us favour using a product that is a little richer or denser. before bed. This is especially true if you've got really dry or chapped skin as you might want to use a healing balm that is much thicker than your typical lotion.

Sleep masks have become popular as the rest of the world has discovered Korean beauty products. A sleep mask is similar to other masks in that it is delivering a special potion to your skin that might be irritating or unnecessary for everyday use. They are formulated to be gentle enough to be kept on all night while it penetrates more deeply than your typical 15-minute mask.

Be sure to follow the instructions specific to the product to make sure you're getting the most out of your sleep mask.

Step 8: Face Oil

Now it's time for the grand finale! Lock in all the active ingredients and moisture by patting a clean, rich face oil all over your face and neck. This will seal in all the lovely products you've applied to your skin, prevent evaporation, and force actives like retinol to penetrate deeply. This added moisture also delivers its own skin-loving benefits, like antioxidants and minerals that your skin craves. As the thickest product, you'll be adding to your skin, you'll want to be sure to put it on as the final step in your routine. 

That's A Lot of Products! Do I Really Need Them All?!

Absolutely not. In fact, we wouldn't even recommend you use them all and certainly not every day. Not all skin types and concerns need all products and you might even do more harm than good by using products or ingredients that you don't need. For example, dry and/reactive skin types do not need toner or essence. Toner is meant to restore your skin's natural ph levels, and only if they're out of order. Toners often consist of alcohols that may be drying to your skin if dryness is already an issue.

If some is good then more is better, right? Not so much. If you use too many products, your skin may become congested and break out. You also run the risk of using conflicting ingredients that cancel each other out. And remember; your skin can only absorb so much. Use fewer quality products that match your needs. There are endless products out there, but your skin doesn't want or need all of them. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

What about actives?

Actives are active ingredients in our skincare that do what we want them to do. Those of us who are acne-prone tend to have a hawkeye for the active ingredient salicylic acid. Those of us with dry skin tend to want all of the hyaluronic acid, an active that holds water, we can get our hands-on. And for those of us who would drink from the fountain of youth if we could, we're all about anti-ageing actives like retinol.

It's easy to want to tackle every skincare issue when we hear of all the actives out there and the amazing things they do for our skin. But the truth is that actives are, well, pretty active! This means they can compete with each other and cause issues we never had to begin with. By adding in actives that we don't need or pairing them with other competing actives, we can actually disrupt our skin barrier and cause acne, dermatitis, eczema flare-ups, and aggravated rosacea symptoms. So when it comes to actives, less is more.

Instead of layering your skin with every product you can get your hands, pick key skin issues you wish to target, choose products formulated specifically for them, and then layer accordingly.

Ready to add a face oil to your skincare routine?

Crambé Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil
Crambé Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil
Crambé Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil
Crambé Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil
Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil - Crambé Skincare
Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil - Crambé Skincare
Crambé Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil
Crambé Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil
Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil
Crambé Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil
Crambé Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil
Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil - Crambé Skincare
Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil - Crambé Skincare

Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil


What it is:

A powerful face oil that instantly locks in hydration and promotes a smooth, supple complexion. This nourishing oil quickly reduces the appearance of fine lines and restores radiance to tired, dry or dull skin. The unique molecular structure of this oil delivers a quick absorbing matte finish that is velvety to the touch.

Great for all skin types, but especially: 

Dry, damaged, mature, and/or sensitive skin.


100% Pure Abyssinian Oil, 30ml 1fl oz in size.

How To Use:

Crambé Face Forward Rejuvenating Facial Oil is very versatile! We suggest incorporating it as the final step of your morning and evening skincare routine. Simply warm a few drops in the palm of your hands, and then gently press onto your face and neck. 

You can also add a few drops to enhance your favourite moisturizer or use it as a primer for a makeup application. To make your manicure last, use a few drops as cuticle oil. It also makes an outstanding hair oil. Apply a couple of drops to dry clean hair. Gently use your hands to apply oil to your mid-lengths and ends to give them much-needed moisture.
View Details

Join the #crambecrew 

Join our incredible community and get amazing skincare content like this delivered right to your inbox!
Plus you'll save 10% off your first order!