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The Order of Your Skincare Routine Matters, According to a Derm & Aesthetician

Whether you consider yourself a skincare minimalist who sticks to the essentials or you love to luxuriate in a multi-step ritual, the skincare routine order you follow is vital for maximizing the benefits of each product. As a general rule of thumb, celebrity aesthetician Joshua Ross of SkinLab says the best skincare routine order is determined by the product’s viscosity (i.e., how thick it is). “A light viscosity would be a hydrating toner, and a heavy viscosity would be something like an emollient-rich night cream,” he says.

The key, Ross adds, is to layer the products from lightest to heaviest. “This will allow each product to penetrate better as well as act as a vehicle to carry the next product in,” he says.  “For example, misting a toner on your skin before your serum will help pull the serum in, and then layering on top of that with a moisturizer will help it absorb.”

Now that you have the basics down, keep scrolling to learn the best skincare routine order according to the pros.

The Pro-Approved Skincare Routine

“Serums are generally potent high concentrations of active ingredients...in a lighter formula to allow for a better product absorption....”

Bonus step: Treatment mask

Dr. Boakye says masks are great to do once or twice a week to add more hydration to the skin. Ross says you’ll want to incorporate the mask into your skincare routine order after adequately cleansing the skin. Then apply the mask for the recommended time, do a second gentle cleanse and continue with your skincare routine order. Or, Ross adds, you can also opt for an overnight mask which you can apply at the end of your evening skincare routine and leave on overnight for additional benefits.

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