Among the countless moisturizers, creams, oils, and serums you have to put on a daily basis—which one should you apply first? We asked dermatologist Dr. Kaycee Reyes, M.D., owner of Luminisce Skin, to set us beauty geeks straight.
"The correct order is facial wash, toner, serum, cream or moisturizer, and then sunblock," she says. The logic is pretty simple: Water-based products and serums get absorbed easier when applied on bare skin.
"If you're applying two to three products in the morning, wait for three minutes before moving on to the next," she says. We know the waiting time sounds tedious, but Dr. Reyes suggests incorporating your skincare routine to daily tasks. "After applying serum, brush your teeth or drink coffee, and then move on to the next product."
If you've been using facial oils, apply a couple of drops after you slather on moisturizer. "Oils can penetrate through creams, but creams can't seep through oil."
At night, the same order applies: Facial wash, toner, serum, moisturizer—but replace your SPF with retinol, a beauty multitasker that fights wrinkles, pigmentation, and acne. It takes at least three weeks for retinol's effects to kick in, so don't expect results overnight.
There are a LOT of retinol creams out in the market, so be sure to consult your dermatologist on the right choice for you.