How To Apply Your Skincare Routine Step By Step
You likely have a whole cabinet full of skincare products, but do you know how to apply them? Even with the best product in the world, if you don’t apply it right, you won’t get all of its potential benefits. You might even be making it completely ineffective!
MiamiMD wants to help, so we created this complete guide to how to apply skincare products effectively. Spend your money, and your time, wisely.
Step One : Cleanser
The first step in any skincare routine, morning and evening, should always be a cleanser.
Before you can go on to effectively applying your products, you need to remove all traces of what has happened to it in the hours before. Also, if you want your products to absorb properly, you need clean, open pores.
Choosing the right cleanser is important, as well. Pay attention to your skin type — dry, oily, normal, combination, or sensitive — and pick a cleanser that works specifically with your skin. For instance, if you have naturally oily skin, you don’t want to use an oil-based cleanser.
Also, forget the makeup wipes. Not only are they irritating to the skin, they can also leave an unwanted layer of residue behind that can clog the pores and stop other products from being able to absorb.
If you wear makeup, you may want to start with a gentle product designed to remove it, like micellar water (which cleans the skin without drying it out).
When using a cleanser, also make sure to always wash your hands first. You’ll also want to make sure to use lukewarm water instead of hot, so that you don’t dry out your face. Wet your face, then place a small amount of cleanser (around the size of a dime) on your palm. Work it into a lather, if using a lathering cleanser, then apply it to the face in a circular motion. Start at the forehead, then cleanse around your eyes, down your cheeks, and finally your chin.
Once you are done washing your face, rinse and dry it gently.
Most people prefer to apply their products to a dry face, especially if the products that they’re using have a tendency to irritate the skin, but leaving just a little bit of water on the face may also be able to trap in moisture and help hydrate the skin even further.
If you do dry your skin, make sure to use a blotting or patting motion instead of scrubbing with your towel, especially in the under eye area. Pulling at your skin can help exacerbate fine lines and wrinkles, as well as damaging the skin.
You also don’t want to wash your face too much.
Dermatologists recommend washing your face only once or twice a day. Washing it too much can lead to a loss of natural oils and fats, which can loosen the matrix between the skin cells and increase the risk of infection and inflammation.
Step Two : Toner
After your skin is clean and at least mostly dry, the next step in any skincare routine should be a toner.
Long gone are those old-school, alcohol-based toners that burned your face when you applied them. Today’s toners are far more gentle, helping to remove any last traces of dirt, debris, or dead skin cells that may have made it past the cleansing process.
They also help to open up the pores so that the next steps of your routine can absorb far more easily.
You’ll want to look for a toner that is made for your specific skin type and concern. Acne-prone skin will do best with toners that contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), whereas other skin types may prefer a more hydrating toner.
It’s best to apply toner using a cotton pad, so that the natural oils from your hands don’t reclog your pores before you get a chance to really apply your other products. You won’t need to really soak it, just get it damp, then gently apply to the face in a sweeping, outward motion.
If you have areas that you really want your other products to boost, you can even leave the cotton pads on your face for five to ten minutes to really open up the pores.
Step Three : Serum
Skincare serums are some of the most misunderstood skincare products out there. Because there are so many and many people confuse them for moisturizers (we’ll get into the difference in a few), there is a lot of bad information out there about how to best use them.
Think of skincare serums as being a quick “shot” of benefits that are specifically designed to help your skin.
They are usually made up of a combination of peptides, antioxidants, hydrators, and other nutrients that also help to amplify your moisturizer’s benefits. Many skincare experts consider them to be the most important part of any skincare routine, especially if you choose them carefully to target your specific areas of concern.
By far the most commonly used ingredient in skincare serums is vitamin C, and for good reason.
Vitamin C is said to be a potent antioxidant, reported to help fight off the signs of aging, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation. It may be able to boost collagen, as well, which is an essential component that is needed to keep your skin looking firm and youthful. It’s often considered to be the real MVP of the skincare industry.
When applying serums, they sometimes work better if you warm them up. Just put the number of drops you’re using into the palm of your hand and let it sit for a few seconds, longer if you’re using a particularly dense or thick serum. Once it’s warm, rub your hands together gently to spread the serum over your whole hand, then gently apply to the face. Using your whole hand helps you to get better coverage, and warming it helps it penetrate even further into your pores.
Always let your serum dry before moving on to the next step, for maximum absorption.
Step Four : Eye Cream
After you’re done applying your serum, move on to your eye creams (or targeted serums).
We recommend our Eye Rescue, because it works with all the benefits of a general skincare serum to provide even better results for the eye area — lifting, brightening, and slowing age-related fine lines and wrinkles.
Generally, you’ll want to apply a pea-sized amount of your eye cream using your ring finger. Use very gentle pressure so that you don’t inadvertently tug or pull on the area (it is very delicate). Some people may use a tapping motion so that it’s easier to resist the urge to rub.
The benefits of using an eye cream are that they provide your eye area with specifically targeted help. While generalized serums are great for helping your face overall, eye creams can help reduce dark circles, decrease sagging (a common aging concern), and even work to stop the development of crow’s feet.
Again, just like with serums, you’ll want to make sure that you let it dry fully before applying your moisturizer.
Step Five : Moisturizer
Moisturizers are essential, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
One of the biggest problems the skin has is its tendency to get dehydrated, which is what worsens nearly every other skin issue out there. Dehydrated skin shows far more fine lines and wrinkles, feels tight and uncomfortable, and makes for a rough, dull canvas for any makeup application you may be doing.
In addition to providing the skin with hydration, moisturizer also works to trap in moisture and other skincare products so that they stay on the skin and in the pores longer.
Holding and keeping in moisture is the main role of your face’s moisture barrier, which is also easily damaged. Moisturizer can not only help to repair the moisture barrier but also stop it from being damaged in the future.
You’ll want to choose a moisturizer that is non-greasy so that it doesn’t clog the pores.
In the morning, choose a lighter moisturizer that has a sunscreen included. In the evening, go with a heavier moisturizer to help your skin naturally repair and renew itself as you sleep.
Never skip this step, though, because hydrated skin is healthy, happy skin.
Use a quarter-sized amount of moisturizer and start in between your eyebrows. Sweep a small amount of the moisturizer from your brows to your forehead, up and out. Then, apply from the side of your nose out to your cheeks. Swirl with your ring finger again, using small circular motions until all of the moisturizer is absorbed, finishing up with your chin.
If you plan to use makeup after applying your moisturizer, wait at least five minutes to let it thoroughly absorb. This will also minimize the risk that your makeup will pill and roll off your face.
From cleanser to moisturizer, knowing what to look for in a skincare product and exactly how to apply them to get the most benefit can be game-changing.
MiamiMD products were designed to help reveal your best, most flawless, youthful skin. Don’t minimize their effects by applying them ineffectively. You deserve to live in your best skin, and we’re happy to help you get there!