You can invest in the finest skincare in the world, but if you apply products in the wrong order—you're screwed they'll never reach their full impact. Because this is something we've been doing for far too long (ashamed is an understatement...), we looked to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau to break it down once and for all—complete with a graphic that illustrates *precisely* how to layer your serums, moisturizer, and so on when you get ready in the morning.
The golden rule of thumb: go lightest to heaviest.
Layer 1: Toner
After cleansing away all the grime on your face AKA dirt, makeup, and sebum, apply a dime-sized amount of toner to your face and leave it damp on the skin. "It has a consistency similar to water and acts as a carrier to deliver the ingredients in your serum deeper into the skin," explains Rouleau. "It removes face wash residue plus chlorine, salts, and minerals found in tap water, as well as plumps skin cells with hydration."
Layer 2: Serum
With a dime-sized dollop, serum should always be applied to the skin while it's still damp so that it seals in moisture. "Use serums when you feel like your skin is in a rut and you would like to increase the results of your basic products," she advises. Look for ingredients that are beneficial to your skin type, such as white tea for calming redness, peptides for firming, hyaluronic acid for hydrating, and vitamin c for brightening.
Layer 3: Moisturizer
Take a nickel-sized dollop of moisturizer and smooth it all over your face. "It protects the skin and doubles as a sealant, keeping the other ingredients in the skin," says Rouleau.
Layer 4: Eye Cream
Most eye creams are heavier and more concentrated than regular moisturizer—a pea-sized amount is plenty to use underneath the eyes. Bonus: it also acts as a highlighter. "Eye creams reflect light to soften the appearance of lines," she says.
Layer 5: SPF
"This is a step that should never be skipped," cautions Rouleau. Apply a nickel-sized dollop to your face and it will act as a barrier against the sun's harmful rays.