How To Layer Skincare Products In the Correct Order

There are so many skincare products that a person can try.  But did you know, if you aren't properly applying them in the right order you could be wasting your time and your money?  Today let's talk about how to properly layer your skincare products so you can get the most bang for your buck.


First and foremost let's talk about WHY the order in which you apply certain products matters.  

1- They may not be able to properly penetrate the skin. 

2- They may be less effective. 

3- You could actually harm your skin .

A good rule of thumb is that you should always apply your products from the thinnest to the thickest.  When you apply products that are thin (water based) on top of products that are thick (oil based) those active ingredients in the water based products won't be able to properly penetrate the skin and actually work. Oil based products have an occlusive effect because they can sit on top of the skin's surface, and that's why they should always be applied last.


Proper layering of your morning skincare routine.

Bella Botanicals Skincare


The morning is a great time to create some beneficial habits around your skincare routine. This will ensure that your skin is adequately hydrated and protected from the day to come. 


Step 1 - Cleansing isn't always a must in the morning.  It's ok to do this as your first step, especially if you use any products at night that contain retinol.  Retinoids can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, and thus are typically used in the PM skincare routine. If you prefer a morning cleanse we recommend starting with our gentle and PH balanced Sweet Orange Facial Cleanser .


Step 2 - If you do decide to cleanse in the morning then step two would be your toner. Now, I personally do not cleanse in the morning, so for me this would be step 1. Nevertheless, you decide what's right for your skin.  We recommend using our Witch Hazel and Lavender Facial Toner in two different ways.  First, use it as a cleanse by squirting onto a reusable cotton round, and gently massaging over face. Secondly, give your skin a few leave on spritzes. The toner is a blend of two hydrosols; witch hazel and lavender. Both of these floral waters have a lovely nutritional profile that will hydrate and soothe the skin. We also use willow bark extract, which has naturally occurring salicylic acid, to gently exfoliate the skin, and green tea extract, a potent antioxidant. Since this is a water based product this would be considered your first layer.


Step 3 - Moisturizer with actives.  For this step we recommend moisturizing with our antioxidant rich, Moisture Boost Facial Serum. This serum has CBD, a potent antioxidant which can help battle free radicals from damaging and aging the skin. This blend also has two different weights of hyaluronic acid, an amazing humectant, which is known for its ability to hold 10x its weight in water. Applying this in the morning can help prevent water loss in the skin throughout the day. This product does have some light weight, fast absorbing oils that act as emollients to moisturize the skin. If you use a targeted vitamin C serum that is water based, that would also fit into this step in your skincare routine. If pairing it with our Moisture Boost Facial Serum it should go on first.


Step 4 - Eye Creams.  I personally like to save this for my nighttime skincare routine however you can also incorporate this during your morning routine. Especially on nights when you've lacked proper sleep. We recommend using our Organic Under Eye Roller with CBD, to properly hydrate and nourish the gentle under-eye area. This is an oil based product and therefore needs to go on after your lighter products like toners and serums. 


Step 5 - The most important step in your morning routine is application of a proper SPF!!! I cannot overstate the importance of this enough. They need to be worn every day regardless of whether or not your leave the house (although we recommend trying to get outside at least once a day, so you can soak up some vitamin D). We recommend using physical sunscreens, especially when you wear them daily. Physical sunscreens don't end up in the bloodstream like their chemical counterparts, which is great news for many reason, many of which im sure you've heard. Zinc Oxide is a great option for this as it has the ability to block UVA and UVB rays. My personal recommendation for a daily SPF is MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield with 50 SPF! It comes in a tinted version for those from light, light/medium, medium/medium dark, and dark. SPF should always be the last step in your daily skincare routine, because you don't want any other products degrading it's efficacy. You can apply makeup afterward, but make sure your SPF product is fully dried before doing so. 

     *One note: During dry seasons of the year it can be nice to add a few drops of the Antioxidant Facial Oil into your spf. This gives your skin a few added emollients that are lacking, especially during cold and dry winter months. Make sure to fully blend the oil and Spf with a finger prior to applying, so you still get adequate coverage from your SPF.


Proper Layering of Your Nighttime Skincare Routine 


Bella Botanicals Under Eye Roller with CBD


Now that we've covered which order to use your products in the morning, let's talk about how to properly layer products at night. Developing a proper nighttime skincare routine is vital to healthy skin. We're exposed to countless toxins and pollutants throughout the day, and going through the proper steps at night to rectify that is crucial to maintaining naturally beautiful skin.


Step 1 - Cleansers.  Step one will always be to cleanse during the evening hours. If you're a person that wears heavy makeup it can be helpful to use an oil cleanse prior to a surfactant based cleanse. An oil cleanse doesn't have to be anything fancy, a little Jojoba oil on a cotton round will do. You can also use this to effectively remove your eye makeup.  If you're like me, and only use a tinted moisturizer and minimal makeup, then the Sweet Orange Facial Cleanser will be all you'll need. This facial cleanser is PH balanced at 5.5, and is extremely gentle on the skin. With the incorporation of willow bark extract the skin gets a light chemical exfoliation along with the physical exfoliation provided by gentle jojoba pearls. The surfactant used is this product is coconut based and SLS free. It's scented with Organic Sweet Orange Essential Oil and has been dubbed by many as their "mimosa in the shower!"


Step 2 - Toners.  Toners work great as a way to gently remove dead skin cells and perhaps makeup particles left behind after a cleanse. To do this we recommend spraying our Witch Hazel Facial Toner, onto a reusable cotton round and gently massaging around the face, neck, and chest. Then apply a few spritzes as a leave on. 


Step 3 - Actives and light weight serums. This step is where we can utilize more water based products that tend to be more active.  One in particular would be our Fruit Acid Gel, which acts to chemically exfoliate the skin with a blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids.  These acids can be extremely helpful in the fight against acne breakouts, as they can help remove dead skin cells that tend to clog pores. The removal of the dead skin cells also works as a way to make sure products layered on top can penetrate more effectively. 


Step 4 - Moisturizer. In this step you'll utilize products that may have a combination of oils (ommolients) and water based actives.  Our moisturizer of choice is the Moisture Boost Facial Serum. This product works to effectively hydrate and nourish the skin without being overly heavy. It can be a great product to use as a stand alone or a product to build off of. Seeing as this is a lighter serum, it will still allow actives applied on top to penetrate the skin. Now, you have a few more choices here.  If you use a retinol you can use this product during this step (step 4). It can be used as a sole moisturizer or it can be layered on top of a light weight moisturizer.  Word of caution around retinols. They can be super sensitizing to the skin. Use a little and start out only using it a few nights a week. Most people cannot use retinols nightly. Overuse can cause dermatitis. Retinols can be especially helpful for those that suffer from acne.


Step 5 - Thicker creams or Oil Based Products. During this step you can lock in all the goodness form those other light weight products, by applying thicker more occlusives.  Oils act as a barrier and tend to sit more on top of the skin rather than penetrating down to the deeper layers.  For an oil based product we recommend our Antioxidant Facial Oil with CBD.  This product is made with a blend of olive squalane, organic jojoba, and organic evening primrose.  These essential fatty acids work to help maintain a healthy skin barrier, by supporting the body's natural production of these important skin building blocks. This blend is also formulated with a CBD isolate to soothe and nourish the skin.  This can be especially beneficial for those who suffer from either dry skin conditions, or inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea. Those that suffer from cystic acne, can also sometimes benefit from these oil blends. As oil tends to sit on top of the skin it can trick the body's natural oil (sebum) production into thinking it's producing enough oil, and therefore can begin to produce less. Since cystic acne is also very inflammatory, incorporating oil blends like this one can help to calm the skin. 


Step 6 - Eye Creams and Serums. Eye serums can be extremely beneficial if used correctly. Our serum of choice is our Organic Under Eye Roller with CBD.  This blend is 100% natural, organic, and fragrance free.  We use Organic Sea Buckthorn oil to soothe fine lines and wrinkles, and CBD to reduce puffiness. 

A key point to make about eye serums.  It's important to use the right eye product for YOUR skin type. Many people use products that are either too occlusive, and can develop milia (white bumps that form from dead skin and keratin being trapped under the skin), or irritation from utilizing products that have fragrance.  Now, when i say fragrance I don't just mean synthetic, I'm talking all natural essential oils as well. Essential oils are wonderful, but are far too sensitizing for the gentle eye area, and as such we recommend staying away from eye products containing them. 

To use our eye roller we recommend rolling all around the eye area.  Make sure to keep a distance from the lash line, as not to get the product in the eye. Once applied you can simply pat the product in with your fingertip. 


Step 7 - Lip balm!! Don't forget this step if you want to keep those lips kissably soft and hydrated. We recommend using our Nature's Kiss Lip Balm with CBD to complete your nightly skincare routine. Our lip balm is chock full of nutrients and emollients to effectively nourish and protect the lips. We recommend keeping one of these exclusively in your bathroom vanity so that it doesn't get lost or misplaced in the black hole that's called your purse.




Whew.... that was a ton of information. Are you still with me? I sure hope so, because if you are you're now empowering yourself with the right information to achieve your skincare goals. I hope you now understand not only the importance of layering your skincare products appropriately, but how to do just that.  Since we all have different routines, it's worth noting that not everyone needs to or has to utilize all these steps. Think of this as a blueprint to either build on or scale back. While some people's skin can tolerate tons of active ingredients, others' cannot. Keeping note of how your skin reacts to products solo is important before you start layering them, especially when trying something new. 


How do you layer your skincare products?  Have you found these tips helpful?  Let us know.  








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