“In What Order Should These Products Be Applied?”

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Reader Jacalyn recently changed up her skin care regimen and says, “I was using a daytime moisturizer that contained SPF. I’m now using (and loving) Kate Somerville’s Deep Tissue Repair and Quench Hydrating Serum. I will need to add sunscreen to this routine, so in what order should these products be applied?”

I’m sure this is a question we’ve all asked ourselves a thousand times. With the layers upon layers of products we slather on daily — from moisturizers, serums and spot treatments to sunscreen and prescription products, it’s hard to know what goes first, third and last.

Here’s the order I follow based on the info I’ve picked up from skin gurus over the years: First, apply any prescription or treatment products (like retinoids or acne spot treatments). They should be the items closest to your skin so they don’t get diluted by other products, and can work as efficiently as possible.

Next, apply serum-type products. These are lightweight and meant to be absorbed by skin, so they should go on early in the process as well. They also often contain potent active ingredients, and in order to reap the benefits they offer, you’ll want them close to your skin as possible. Follow serum with moisturizer, which is thicker and often contains more oil. It will actually help seal in the products you previously applied while protecting your skin from the elements.

Finally, finish with SPF. You want your SPF to be the last thing that you apply so it protects your skin to the best of its ability. And, if you’ve applied any products that are easily broken down by UV rays, it will help those products remain more stable and active, too.

Oh, and Jacalyn, if you’re in the market for a great SPF product to layer on top of your Kate Somerville products, I recommend these two: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sunblock SPF 55, $6.24  Chanel UV Essentiel SPF 50, $52. Both are ultra lightweight (almost watery) and never greasy.

Do YOU have a beauty question? Ask it by commenting on this post.

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