Whether you’re a two-product minimalist or a 10-product maximalist, the order in which you apply your go-to beauty products makes a real difference in your long-term skincare results. Even if you’re a seasoned skincare pro, sometimes basic application questions arise, like whether or not you should slap on that serum before (or is it after?) moisturizing at night. Clueless about the right way to approach your skincare routine? Allow our definitive beauty guide to answer all your application questions. Serum.
A general (logical!) rule: Apply a product that has a lighter consistency before a heavier one to ensure that they both sink in. If you put on a moisturizer before a serum, “you’re just wasting the serum, because it won’t penetrate through the moisturizer,” says Ellen Marmur, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
For best results, use a serum containing active ingredients, like antioxidants (which help to fight the free radicals responsible for aging) or hyaluronic acid, then wait one minute so that it has time to settle in to the skin’s surface. Lock in hydration with a moisturizer.