What order should I apply my skincare?

In today's treatment room, we're going to cover what order to apply products and why. If you're a client of mine or if you've read my book, we've probably touched on this once or twice, but I think it's still a really good thing to re-cement in our brains every once in a while.


So let's start with the breakdown of our basic routine: a basic routine is a cleanser, toner, treatment, eye cream, moisturizer and SPF.




Step 1: Cleanser This one's pretty self-explanatory. You obviously want to clean the skin before you do anything else, so I decided I would toss in a few more cleansing tips for you since this section is shorter. Cleansing tip 1: you're probably using too much cleanser. A pea size to a dime size amount is really all that you need... And if you feel like you don't have enough, try adding a little more water before you add more product, you might just not have enough water to get enough slip on the skin to allow the product to move around

Cleansing tip 2: Move the product around on your face For 60 to 90 seconds each time you cleaned to break up dirt, debris, oil, pollution, make up or anything else that happens to be on the skin. Cleansing tip 3: I've had people asked if they needed to clean their skin in the morning and night, or just one or the other? The answer isn’t super simple…maybe, maybe not. I always recommend a full routine at night, but some people can get away with not doing a full cleanse in the morning and just starting with their toner.


Step 2: Toner that brings me to step two in our routine, toner... I've said it for years, I'll keep saying it until everybody that I know is using toner.

Toner is the unsung hero of skincare.

Unfortunately, I think for a long time toner got a bad rap because of the skin burning, dehydrating astringents of the 80s and 90s, but what I'm talking about is a pH rebalancing liquid that brings skin back to the proper pH after cleansing, helps to remove any extra mineral build up from washing the face with water and preps your skin to absorb product in the next steps. I cannot state this enough. Toner is not optional in a good skin care routine... I said what I said, I meant what I said.


Step 3: Treatment

these are things like your vitamin c, retinol, hyaluronic…

these should be applied between tone and moisturizer, they have a smaller molecule size, so If you apply them after the moisturizer, they won't penetrate through, they'll just sit on top making a mess. In most cases these are the more expensive items in our skin care routines because they have the smaller molecule, more active ingredients. So you really want to make sure that they're in the right spot so that they're getting into your skin and not just sitting on top of that moisturizer wasted.


Step 4: Eye Cream

If you aren't using one, start today. I don't care how young or old you are. It's never too early and it's never too late.

Apply your eye cream on your orbital bone - that's the bone that is like a circle kind of shape around your eye – don’t put it any closer to the eyeball. Your eye muscle, the orbicularis oculi, twitches all day and all night, so it will bring the eye cream inward where it needs to be, your job is just to put that I cram right to the edge of that eye bone.


Step five: moisturizer oil and/or SPF

Finish your skin hair routine with what your skin needs. Do you prefer an oil or a cream, or if its day time, consider whether or not you need a moisturizer during the day, or if you can get away with just SPF.

The SPF we use at the spa has skin care ingredients in it, so it's able to replace a moisturizer during the day for a lot of my clients, unless they have really, really dry skin.



I wanted to bring up a couple of things that have become popular in the last few years: a cleansing oil or balm, and a micellar water. These are used prior to Step One to remove makeup. Does everybody need a cleansing oil or micellar water? No, definitely not, but if you do wear a lot of make-up, especially if it's a heavy cream or liquid makeup, you probably will like the way your skin looks better long-term, if you do use one. It will help to break up all of the make-up on the skin, then you follow with your cleanse.


Lastly, I wanted to leave you with two tips to follow as general guidelines if we didn’t cover something specific here already: tip one, the thinner the product, the earlier in your routine it would go, the thicker the product, the later in your routine it goes. Now that's a really general rule of thumb, but it will help if you're ever in a position where you aren't entirely sure where it should go.

And the second tip is, I alluded to it earlier, but when skin is damp, it's more receptive to absorbing product, so always, always, always apply products on damp skin - even your body - if you apply your body lotion or oil right after drying off from the shower or the bath it will absorb better.


Did you learn something new here today? Leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @amberbudd and tell me about it!



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