Ask An Expert: What is the order you should apply your skincare products?

By Noella Gabriel

Noella Gabriel
Q What is the order you should apply your skincare products for optimum results?

A Everyone has their own specific type of skincare routine, be it a five-minute flash facial when time permits, or a dreamy Sunday wellness ritual packed with primers, serums, face creams, moisturisers and facial oils galore before you go to sleep. Yet customers often ask what order we should apply our products, and how it can help them to achieve the very best results for their skin. Which is why Fabled by Marie Claire caught up with Noella Gabriel, President and Co-Founder of ELEMIS to ask exactly when we should apply our skincare heroes. PS: Don’t have time for ten? Ease yourself in with 2, 7 and 8 - slotting in the best of the rest when your skin needs extra TLC.

1. Makeup Remover
‘The first step is easy – if you are wearing makeup, it’s imperative to take it off. Look for an effective but gentle makeup remover that will remove all traces of mascara and eyeliner, leaving your skin ready for a thorough cleanse.’ Fabled by Marie Claire loves: Bobbi Brown Instant Long Wear Makeup Remover

2. Cleanser
‘Now it’s time to sweep away the day’s dirt and grime. Whether you prefer a cleansing balm, oil or cream formula to target acne, every great skincare routine begins with a proper cleanse – it is the foundation for healthy skin. Effective cleansing will rid the skin barrier from a daily build-up of aggressors – think sweat, city smog and pollution – without upsetting the natural pH levels of the acid mantle.’ Noelle recommends: ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm

3. Exfoliator
‘Exfoliators should be used once or twice a week to renew dull, congested skin. Whether you opt for a physical or chemical formulation – physical scrubs ‘slough away’ dead skin cells, while chemical acids dissolve them - your face exfoliator should offer intense renewal for when your skin needs an extra-deep cleanse.’ Fabled loves: ELEMIS Gentle Rose Exfoliator

4. Toner
‘All skin types require toning. With a consistency similar to water, your toner’s job is to balance the skin barrier’s pH after cleansing – the optimum number is 5.5 – while removing any remaining residue as well as minerals that may be found in tap water. Don’t be tempted to skip this step. This is why a facial toner is important in your skincare routine.’ Fabled by Marie Claire loves: Lancome Tonique Confort

Every great skincare routine begins with a proper cleanse – it is the foundation for healthy skin

Noella Gabriel, President and Co-Founder of ELEMIS

5. Face Mask
ELEMIS recommends applying a mask at this point in your routine once to twice per week. Your toner will have balanced the skin barrier, leaving it perfectly prepped for the potent ingredients in a face mask to be deliver deep into the epidermis.’ Fabled by Marie Claire loves: Origins Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Mask

6. Facial Oil
‘A facial oil should be the first step in the ‘treatment’ phase of your daily skincare routine, as the massaging process helps to smooth and soften the skin, ensuring it’s fully prepped for what is to come.’ Noelle recommends: Elemis Superfood Facial Oil

7. Serum
‘Serums sink effortlessly into the skin’s deeper layers to deliver a potent hit of actives and target your primary skin concerns – be it ageing, pollution, blemishes, or irritation. Your choice of serum may well change throughout the month to meet the demands of your skin.’ Fabled by Marie Claire loves: La Mer The Revitalizing Hydrating Serum

8. Eye cream
‘It is important to apply your eye cream next, as you want it to sink into this delicate skin before applying your face moisturiser. This is to ensure the actives within are delivered straight to the eye area. It’s important to treat this skin delicately, tapping the product onto the skin without dragging or rubbing.’ Fabled by Marie Claire loves: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex Il

9. Moisturiser
‘The densest product in the line-up, your anti-ageing cream will seal in the other skincare products that came before it, ensuring optimum efficacy from all those powerful actives. If your skin’s feeling especially dry, you can finish with a couple of drops of your preferred facial oil, pressed over the top.’ Fabled by Marie Claire loves: Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream SPF 30

10. SPF
‘SPF is essential to keep your skin protected – and not just on sunny days. Your moisturiser may already have you covered (look for both UVA and UVB protection,) but if you are using a separate product then it is best to apply it after moisturising. It is a good idea to wait a few minutes after applying your moisturiser, ensuring the skin has absorbed it fully before reaching for the SPF cream.’ Noelle loves: Elemis Daily Defence Shield SPF 30

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