Beautiful Because is home to so many skincare brands and products, it is tempting to buy more than just one. And, with so much choice, it can be tricky not only to decide which is best for your skin type and concerns, but the order in which to apply more than one product. Here are our "art of layering" rules for the most effective results.
It is very important to gently cleanse your skin each morning and evening, preferably with a cream cleanser. Cleansing should be a ritual and not a chore! Removing makeup, grime and impurities keeps skin healthy and fresh, and ensures the next stage of your skin care routine is more effective. Our recommended method is a cream cleanser and muslin cloth. Check out our Everyday Cleansing Ritual article for more tips.
Following your cleanse with a toner is optional, but can particularly useful for specific skin concerns such as excess oil – where a mattifying toner is recommended; dehydration – where a hydrating mist such as rose water will help quench thirsty skin; or a balancing product, to help keep combination skin under control. Toners can also prep skin for the next step - oils and serums as these are best applied to damp skin.
Being more concentrated than moisturiser, serums usually have a cellular repair purpose, and are able to deliver essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to areas of need on the face (avoid the eye area). Serums do need a few moments to absorb, so don't rush to the next step. Here are some of our favourite serums for different needs:
See also our article on anti-ageing serums, where La Mav's Tarj Mavi explains The Benefits of using Bio-Active Facial Serums.
If you choose to use an eye treatment or moisturiser – great for targeting concerns such as crow's feet, puffiness, or dark circles – then this would be applied after your face serum. Specially formulated for the eye area, these products are not only more lightweight but gentler on delicate skin. Apply by lightly dabbing just a grain of sand amount to the eye area, using your ring finger (for lighter pressure) in spots around the orbital bone.
The main purpose of a moisturiser is to hydrate and protect skin, but it will also help seal your serum in for added efficacy. A good natural moisturising cream will soften, brighten, hydrate and improve the texture of skin. By day, we suggest opting for a protecting lightweight product with mild mineral SPF protection; the best products are designed to protect your skin from the environmental stresses; be it UV, the weather, pollution and other free radical damage. At night, a richer, more hydrating product will help repair, soften and moisturise your skin. For those with oily skin, your skin needs hydration – choose for a more lightweight fluid or lotion, rather than a cream. These are some of our top picks:
Usually you would choose either a serum or oil, depending on your skin type, preference and concerns. However, if you prefer an oil, we recommend applying it in place of a serum, and before your moisturiser by day (so your SPF cream is last for better protection). While at night, since oils can penetrate creams, you can apply your skin oil to areas of need after your moisturiser, or use instead of a moisturiser at night, if you prefer. Some people use serums in the day time (as they more quickly absorb and are more lightweight, and oils at night). For better absorption, skin oils are best applied to damp skin - you only need a few drops as a little goes a long way!
Remember what may work for you, may not work for others, and less really can be more when it comes to bio-active natural skin care routine. The most important step, is always to protect your skin from the sun with an adequate SPF, sunscreen or tinted moisturiser.
By Nina Weston