Layering Skincare: The Ultimate How-To
What is “Layering” Skincare?
The layering of skincare may seem like a relatively new thing, but Asian women have been doing it for ages. In fact we can thank K-Beauty in general for this practice, though it isn’t limited to Korean beauty. In short, the intention of layering skincare in a specific order is to maximize the benefits of each product.
Applying your skincare in layers is not as easy as it sounds though, and it depends on whom you ask how to do it “right” what the answer may be. Of course it will vary greatly on your skin’s needs at any given moment, as most of us have dynamic skin that isn’t defined by type but rather by present conditions. Layering also changes a bit from day to night routines and the season.
Confused yet? Does it sound like something out of a Harry Potter book/Hogwarts Potions class that only Hermione could ever master? Fear not, sweet layering sorceresses!
The following guidelines are based on the properties of Nuria Beauty products as well as the collective wisdom of our founder and women around the world. Remember that there really is no right way to layer skincare and that experimentation will be your best teacher.
In addition, despite what some skincare brands might say, you do not have to use items from only one brand in order to layer successfully. It’s perfectly okay to mix and match products across collections within any given brand as well as use products from different brands.
The Ideal Layering Order
Cleanser should be the obvious first step, right? But now that “double-cleansing” is common parlance, which cleanser comes first? Oil-based makeup removers and/or micellar waters, like our Hydrate Refreshing Micellar Water.
It should be noted that if you’re going extra and doing a mask, it should generally be applied after cleansing, before anything else.
After cleansing, the rule of thumb is to go from lightest to heaviest, or least molecularly dense to most. That’s because thinner and/or more watery products can penetrate more easily because of their smaller particle size. These products include Toners, Essences and Serums, generally in that order.
Additional treatments come next, which can include more intensive, active serums and or spot treatments.
Heavier-hitters like oils, eyes creams and moisturizers come next-to-last or last. The occlusive nature of these products works to keep the hydration and antioxidants/vitamins you just added in and on your skin.
The very last step of your daytime skincare routine should be sunscreen. Application of anything over your sunscreen can dilute its effectiveness.
General Layering Tips & Some Caveats
An overall BIG TIP is to allow some time between each step, especially the step between serums, oils, and active treatments and more occlusive products like eye creams and moisturizers. One way to do this is to keep your favorite moisturizer in your nightstand and apply it just before turning out the light.
Another wise course of action to allow your skin to adjust to any new product for at least a week before you start mixing and layering with abandon. Then, if your skin becomes irritated, you’ll be able to isolate the culprit more easily.
Listen to Your Skin
By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to being a Layering Master, but you may find that you like to tinker with the order a bit. For instance, some people prefer to apply oils as the last step, over moisturizer. In time you’ll learn how to listen to your skin and adapt the products and the order in which you layer them to your skin’s changing needs.