Woman sprays herself with toner

How to Apply Your Skincare: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Apply Your Skincare: A Step-by-Step Guide

Woman sprays herself with toner

There is one question I hear daily at Follain: How exactly do I apply my products? Our daily skincare routines can have several steps, and it’s important to know how to correctly layer each product so you’re getting the maximum benefit from them all. A good general rule is to apply your product from thinnest to thickest, as thinner products won’t be able to penetrate a heavier product to reach your skin.

1. Cleanser

First and foremost, you need to start with a clean palette. In the morning, I love to use a cleanser that slightly exfoliates, like Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser or Naturopathica’s Oat Cleansing Facial Polish. Since our skin regenerates at a higher rate while we sleep, a slight exfoliation in the morning can help remove any dead skin cells and residual oil from the night before. If you feel that cleansing in the morning dries out your skin, you can skip this step.

Because I wear makeup and SPF every day, I double cleanse at night. Oil cleansers like Naturopathica’s Manuka Honey Balm or La Bella Figura’s Clean Slate are powerhouses when it comes to lifting dirt and makeup from the skin and removing eye makeup. After wiping the oil cleanser from my face, I’ll use a different facial cleanser to ensure my skin is at its most fresh and clean. I love Osea’s Ocean Cleanser or Osmia’s Black Clay Facial Soap.

2. Toner

Toners help restore our skin’s pH and repair the acid mantle, prepping skin for full product absorption. Depending on your toner, they can help draw in moisture or balance oily skin. This is an important step to ensure your serums and moisturizers can adequately penetrate your skin. A great choice for dry skin is Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator, while Indie Lee’s CoQ-10 Toner is a terrific balancing toner.

3. Serum

Your serum is a product you choose with a specific skin goal in mind. Vitamin C serums like La Bella Figura’s Modern Radiance Concentrate or One Love’s Vitamin C serum are the ideal choice to prevent premature aging and to fade skin discoloration. Serums containing hyaluronic acid will help firm, plump, and smooth wrinkles. The most potent active (your vitamin C) should go first. For example, at night I’ll layer a vitamin C first, followed by my hydrating serum. These go before other moisturizers due to their small molecular size.

4. Moisturizer

During the day, a light cream, lotion, or oil is enough for most of us. I like to layer an oil (lately it’s been May Lindstrom’s Youth Dew or Intelligent Nutrient’s Renewing Oil Serum) underneath a light lotion that also helps to prime my skin for makeup, like Osea’s Atmosphere Protection Cream.

You can play around here to see if you prefer oil underneath or on top of other moisture. Some people find their oil better serves them on top to seal everything in. Take a couple days to see which variation feels best on your skin.

At night, I like to use a regenerative oil like the Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil from Pai, topped off with a rich night cream like the Kahina Face Cream or Crème Riche from Tata Harper.

Read more about different kinds of moisturizers and how to layer them here.

5. Eye Treatment

Your eye treatment typically comes at the end of the routine, as these products contain high concentrations of special ingredients meant for your delicate under eye area.

During the day, I like one with plumping tendencies like Tata Harper’s Restorative Eye Cream (Spanish lavender acts like a natural Botox, perfect for those fine lines around the eye). At night, I prefer a rich and hydrating product, like Juice Beauty’s Smoothing Eye Cream or an oil like the Follain x French Girl Eye Opening Rose Oil.

6. Sunscreen

During the day, don’t forget to round out your routine with an SPF. I love Josh Rosebrook’s Nutrient Day Cream. The texture is less sunscreen, more day cream with the added benefit of blocking both UVA and UVB rays. For those who really want to streamline their routine, this could even work as their main moisturizer.

7. Spot Treatment

If you’re experiencing a breakout or have a spot or two you want to target, you can add a healing spot treatment like Osmia’s Spot Treatment at the end of your routine.

I want to reiterate: Everyone’s skin is unique and there are always caveats. These are basic guidelines that certainly can be tweaked to suit each individual. My skin is typically pretty dry, so what works for me may not be effective or necessary for someone with oily or acneic skin.

At Follain we strive to tailor a skincare routine that is unique to you and your individual skin concerns. Our online skin quiz can help you get started, and our store educators are an amazing resource to assist you in developing the right routine for you.

Megan Rogers, Seattle Store Educator | March 12, 2019