Skin + Product Layering

The world of skin care can be complex! Between functional extracts, botanical ingredients, and potent actives, navigating which product goes where can be difficult. A question we get asked all the time at Consonant is: in what order should I apply my skin care products? We’ve got you – this quick read is all about product layering. 

Why Is Product Order Important?

Layering your skin care in the correct order will ensure the efficacy of the active ingredients, prevent ingredients interactions, and optimize product penetration into the skin. Order of application is based on a number of factors, including formulation PH, particle size and viscosity.

In general, layering products from low pH (acidic) to higher pH (alkaline), small to large particle size, and from thinnest to thickest texture can ensure best results. A simple way to remember which product goes where is to follow a cleanse, treat, protect model. Wipes before cleansers, serums before moisturizers and always seal it in with SPF!

Order Of Operations

In general, one would apply products in the following order:

  • Cleanser

  • Toner

  • Essence

  • Water-serums

  • Oil-serums

  • Moisturizer

  • Facial oil

  • Sunscreen 

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