By Allison Castloo
Once you’re up and running in the morning, it’s time to rinse away your PM products and any dead skin cells that have accumulated while you were catching up on your zzz’s. Also remember that unless you’re switching out your pillowcase regularly, you’re also resting on a shared surface with your hair, meaning excess oils, any products left on your hair before bed, and yes, even germs from coughing and drooling throughout the night.
Toners may have once had a drying and irritating reputation, but don’t count them out just yet. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, consider a post-cleanser mattifying toner to wash away excess oil and any last traces of dirt, like Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner. Combination or dry complexion? You may want to just skip toner entirely, especially if you’re using a calming, balancing cleanser. But you may want to consider an invigorating essence immediately after cleansing — like Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence.
Serums need to be kept as close to the skin as possible, due to their antioxidant and nutrient-rich formulations. A Vitamin C-infused product like C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum acts as the perfect third step — it absorbs quickly to plump the look of skin and brighten without a sticky, greasy residue.
Everyone needs to moisturize to ensure the skin has adequate protection before stepping outside. Even oily skin can become dehydrated or dry. Knowing how to layer moisturizers is just as important for your skin as other skincare products in order to keep your skin hydrated. Reach for a lightweight moisturizer, while your skin is still damp from your serum — this will help the product to lock in that necessary hydration. If you’re targeting dullness, discoloration or aiming for extra protection against pollutants, reach for a hydrating, glow-inducing moisturizer packed with Vitamin C, like C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream. This creamsicle-scented moisturizer will wake up your complexion in no time.
Moisturizers and eye creams can typically be applied interchangeably, but you’ll also want to consider the eye cream formulation before you settle into a sequence. For example, if you’re using a brightening eye cream like Auto Correct Eye Cream, you’ll want to apply this eye cream post-moisturizer — this guarantees that the light-reflecting particles stay put where they’re most needed. Eye creams that simply hydrate the eye area may be applied before moisturizer.
Regardless of whether you’re skipping toner or switching your eye cream/moisturizer order, an SPF should always be the last step in your morning skincare regimen. Why? Because it allows your other targeted treatments time to absorb into your skin, especially vitamin C products. Applying SPF before any other skincare steps is counter-productive — you may be doing your part to block harmful UV rays, but you’ll also be preventing active ingredients in your other products. Ideally, you’ll want to wait about 20-30 minutes after your skincare routine to apply your sunscreen.
Why double cleanse in the evening? Because you have a day’s worth of build-up on your face, especially if you wear makeup and SPF. For a deeper, SPF and makeup-dissolving cleanse, start with something soothing and sugar-based, like Blue Moon Clean Rinse Cleansing Balm. This extra-soft melting balm not only melts away stubborn makeup but also contains therapeutic essential oils of Blue Tansy and German chamomile to calm your skin and help you wind down.
Depending on the type of concern and formulation, toners are generally great for all skin types, especially oily and acne-prone skin. The same goes for essence — they’re wonderful for adding an extra dose of hydration, too. Since many toner and essence formulations tend to be very lightweight and water-based, you can apply them interchangeably after cleansing. Just listen to your skin!
If your skin seems to be doing well with the same moisturizer used during the day, then keep doing what you’re doing. However, if you’d like to step up your hydration game or you’ve recently exfoliated, it may be time to reach for a thicker moisturizer. ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream uses ceramides and hydrating coconut to prevent excess water loss and works while you sleep to prevent tight, thirsty skin in the morning.
Just like your morning eye care application, this step will depend on your eye cream formulation and whether you’d like for it to stay put. If your eye cream is formulated with light-reflecting particles, like Auto Correct Eye Cream, it’s best to apply it last in your routine (before SPF!) to ensure the particles stay put. If your eye cream doesn’t include a brightening boost, apply it before any targeting treatments. Just be careful not to apply any peels or extra-potent exfoliants too close to the eye area.