The Order to Apply Skin Care Products

Serums, eye creams, moisturizers, sunscreens . . . if you're like many people who take skin care seriously, you know that each of these products are important but aren't completely sure of the correct order to apply skin care products. Perhaps you wonder if it even matters, as long as the products make it on your face. Allow us to settle the dispute: without a doubt, the order in which you apply skin care products  does matter. Regardless of whether your skin care routine consists of professional-strength products, drugstore brands or something in between, if you do not layer skin care products properly, you are likely diminishing the effectiveness of your routine and wasting a whole lot of money.

Since applying skin care products in the proper order is mission critical, we outlined a few helpful tips below. Before we get to that, however, consider this general rule of thumb: leave-on products should be layered based on their consistency, from lightest to heaviest. Additionally, we recommend that no more than three leave-on products be used at a time. Using more can result in dilution of active ingredients while minimizing the ability of the last-applied product(s) to penetrate the skin. While you might not implement all the steps outlined below, applying the products you do use in this order will ensure maximum results.

The right order to apply skin care products


Start by removing the dirt, bacteria, sebum (skin oil) and dead cells that collect on the skin’s surface with a gentle and soothing cleansing lotion. Gently massaging your skin during this vital first step not only helps to loosen dirt, debris and make up from the skin, but combining this step with light massage also aids in circulation and decongests oily areas while preparing your skin for the products that follow.


Toner will remove excess sebum (skin oil) and remaining traces of makeup and impurities after cleansing while soothing, repairing and hydrating the skin’s surface. A gentle  aloe vera toner like Lexli Tone & Balance, which, like all Lexli products, features a therapeutic base of organic, pharmaceutical-grade  aloe vera, will also minimize inflammation and redness. Use of a toner should leave your skin feeling soft and supple.


Whether you use a physical exfoliator designed to scrub away dead skin cells or a chemical exfoliator (the preferred method) that dissolves them, this step is extremely important for encouraging new skin cell regeneration and revealing smoother, more glowing and healthy skin. It also removes the buildup that can hinder your skin’s ability to absorb beneficial skin care products. Lexli AloeGlyC® is a  glycolic acid exfoliator with a pH similar to that of a professional chemical peel yet gentle enough to use regularly without irritating the skin.


Skin care serums are highly concentrated treatments packed with powerful nutrients that can penetrate deeply into the skin and address specific concerns so it is best to keep them layered close to the skin.


Consistency is key with this step. Regular use of eye cream over time will keep the thin and delicate skin around your eyes looking its best and, since it often is the area to show the signs of aging, it deserves adequate attention. It’s never too early to start daily use of an eye cream. In fact, we recommend beginning use while in your 20s. TIP: When applying a  firming eye cream, gently use your ring finger which gives a minimum amount of pressure as it is the weakest of your fingers.


Moisturizer is a product that EVERYONE should be using daily no matter your skin type. Young, old, dry or oily, all skin needs to optimize the skin's moisture content. The key is to find the appropriate moisturizer that meets the unique needs of your skin. Lexli offers a range of  aloe vera face moisturizers for every skin type.

7. SPF

Never skip this step! Even in the winter months or on overcast days, UV rays are penetrating your skin. The smallest amount of sun damage today can lead to  hyperpigmentation, dull complexion, wrinkles and potential melanoma in the future so prevent it as much as you can by including SPF in your skin care routine. If you use a  moisturizer with UV protection like Lexli Day Moisturizer with SPF 30 or Lexli Acne Moisturizer with Sunscreen, this step is built in. For everyone else, a product with an SPF of at least 15 is essential.

Suggested Reading: Is SPF 15 Enough?