Whether you have 4 skincare products (or 40 or 400!) sitting around on your bathroom counter, it's possible (ok, likely) that at some point or another you've wondered about when and how to use them. Serums, toners, oils, moisturizers....they seem like they can be interchangeable at times. And then what about spot treatments? SPF? It is easy to be confused.
I am here to shed a little bit of clarity on this fun topic. I hope it is helpful and do let me know in the comments (or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org) if things still need clarification!
First things first....cleanser is always first. Always! And if you think about it, it makes sense. Anything else applied would wash right off with cleanser. Also, all of these beautiful serums and moisturizers you are going to apply absolutely have to be applied to clean skin. Clean skin sets the best stage for absorbing products and it reduces the potential for clogged pores, etc. So cleanser first. If you are a "double cleanse" fan, then your oil-based cleanser is first, followed by the creamy/foamy cleanser, like the Pa'akai Cleansing Cream. Oil is great for loosening makeup, but oil cleansers occasionally don't rinse entirely, which is why you might need something else. For most of us, we need to cleanse AM and PM but you might be able to get away with lukewarm water in the AM, followed by the rest of the routine.
Your weekly face mask is next, if you so choose. This step is completely optional, but for those of you that love face masking, your mask should go on cleansed skin, ideally at night so the benefits can really soak in before you apply SPF, makeup and more. Follow the directions for use to determine how long to leave them on....typically anywhere from 5 minutes to a few hours (we've been known to fall asleep in front of the TV with face masks on....no harm done as long as your face mask has pretty safe, mild ingredients and not chemicals that should be rinsed off immediately).
Now that skin is clean, you are ready for toning. Toners fulfill a variety of roles. Some contain AHAs and BHAs for liquid exfoliation. Others are based on hydrating waters and oils for added hydration. Our Hawaiian Beauty Water is a liquid exfoliant with natural AHAs for gentle exfoliation, toning, brightening and tightening. Many toners need to be physically applied with a reusable cotton pad. Disposable cotton pads work too but over the long-term, reusable will save you time and money. Swipe all over face and neck to remove dead skin cells and any stubborn dirt. If your toner is an exfoliant, like ours is, we recommend using a few times per week (unless you are a Hawaiian Beauty Water die-hard and you already know you love it every day). On the days you aren't using Hawaiian Beauty Water, a hydrating/toning mist helps keep skin clear and moist. Our Lihau Facial Mist is primarily sandalwood hydrosol, which is a toning antioxidant face mist.
Serums. You might have 1 or 10 in your cosmetic drawer. These can be intimidating products because it is not always clear how to use them or what to use them for. Serums are ultra-concentrated blends of nutrients that might focus on anti-aging, brightening or more. They are essentially "shots" of nutrients for your skin. Our Aloha Youth Serum has potent-plant botanicals for a dose of Vitamin C and bakuchiol (a plant-derived retinol alternative). Many people skip this step because they aren't sure which serum to use, but those that skip are missing out. We love applying our serum to freshly spritzed skin that has a layer of moisture. The serum soaks in beautifully and spreads more easily, making the entire bottle last longer. Some serums are creamy and some are oily. If they are more oily, you can use them here or during the Face Oil step - do what seems to work best for you!
Eye Cream. If you use eye cream, now is a great time to layer it on. Dab a bit on your ring finger and tap gently underneath your eye and to the outer edge. During the day, we love creams on a stick. Rollerballs can be nice and soothing too but often they can scrape delicate skin around the eye area, so use caution if yours has the potential to scrape. At night, we use a face oil safe for eye area, like our 'Ōlena Beauty Oil. Dab a little under the eye area for eye-area moisture.
Spot Treatments are next. It is ideal that they get to work before the moisturizers are layered on so add them here in the AM or PM (but probably not both or you risk irritating your skin). We love our 'Āina Detoxifying Mask for a spot treatment and it is perfectly fine for AM and PM use.
Moisturizers! Everyone needs one, no matter how oily your skin is. During the day, reach for one with SPF30 at least and anything with SPF should be applied LAST. If your skin is dry, we recommend a dab or two of beauty oil before for extra hydration. Our 'Ōlena Beauty Oil soaks in right away to smooth and brighten skin before applying the Malu Protecting Day Cream which also has SPF30. At night, skip the SPF in favor of something more regenerative like the Māhealani Moonlit Glow Balm or 'Ōlena Beauty Oil. If your skin is pretty dry, you may opt for both. Start with the Oil and then using finger tips, dab the balm on drier areas of your skin, like cheeks, under eyes and neck. These should be applied last as other products won't penetrate them. Well, except SPF - that always goes last. :)
Thanks for reading and for taking an interest in keeping your skin healthy and glowing!