Does it really matter if I apply my face cream first and then I apply my moisturizer and finish with my sunscreen?
YES it does matter!
Applying your skincare product is as important as the products
Not applying your skincare products the right way would not only reduce the effectiveness of the products, but could also cause skin irritation and a waste of product and also prevent you from getting all the benefits from the product.
How then do you slay on your skincare products like a PRO?!
STEP 1: REMOVE MAKEUP
If you have makeup on, sunscreen or any silicone based product, remove using a makeup-removing cleanser, which could be an oil, balm, milk or micellar water. You can however skip this step if you don't have any on. I personally like to use a milk cleanser, because of its brightening quality, rich in lactic acid it would help exfoliate even the most stubborn of dead cells and at the same time mild and won't irritate the skin. I use FÈNIX's MILK foaming cleanser and this product has the best ingredient combination for oily skin, if you have an oily skin stay away from oil cleansers and cream cleansers. If you prefer to use oil cleanser on your dry skin, Coconut oil does the job wonderfully well.
STEP 2: CLEANSE
After removing your makeup, its time to really start the cleansing. Since you don't have makeup on in the morning, you can start here as your first step, then in the evening this will ensure no makeup residue that could cause breakout or irritation is left on your face. Always use a sulfate-free cleanser so as not to tamper with your skin's natural PH. Use a gentle cleanser like FÈNIX's Oat face cleanser. It's suitable for all skin types and helps to brighten the skin as well as deep cleansing to remove any hidden dirt or residue in the skin. Be careful with using exfoliating cleansers as they could also cause irritation due to their harshness on the skin.
STEP 3: TONER/EXFOLIATION
Exfoliate your skin using a very mild exfoliator, this will ensure all other dirts are removed totally as well as removing dead cells that could stand in the way of your products getting absorbed into the skin. Please always use a mild Exfoliator. You can use lactic acid for a mild exfoliation but if you want a more dramatic exfoliation then try glycolic acid at a very low percentage. When you are not exfoliating, always use a balancing toner, to help balance your skin's PH and also post-cleanse. I like FT's Rose Hydrating face toner. It helps to balance the skin's PH, it's gentle on the skin and help to get rid of wrinkles and fine lines as well as dark under eye.
Here's where the most active products in your routine come in. You want them on clean, bare skin without a lot of dead cell build-up, so they can have the best chance of penetrating deeply. Use any acne and spot treatment ,serum and leave in Hydroxy acid or Retinol. Avoid using this products in the morning to avoid burn.
STEP 5: HYDRATING MIST/ SERUM. Everyone can benefit from incorporating hydrating mists and serums into their routine. If you're normal to oily, their lightweight humectants may provide all the moisture you need, especially if you're applying emollient sunscreens or makeup next. They're also essential for those with dry or dehydrated skin as a first layer underneath heavier creams and oils.
STEP 6: MOISTURIZER.
Next comes moisturizer, if you need it. Not everyone does! If your skin is normal to oily, you may be able to get away with a serum alone. Also keep in mind that when face creams are too rich and heavy, they can often trigger breakouts.
STEP 7: FACE OIL.
Not everyone has to use a face oil, but if you do, it should always be your last moisturization step. This is because it acts like a barrier, locking in the hydrating benefits of your other products. (So, anything you put on top of it won't absorb effectively on the skin)instead of moisturizing with just a serum and/or face mist underneath it. If you're really dry, layer on a mist, serum, moisturizer AND face oil for maximum moisture. Above all, it's super-important to choose a stable oil that doesn't generate toxic free radicals (which lead to cell damage skin aging). That means saturated or monounsaturated oils, such as coconut and jojoba—never polyunsaturated (seed) oils.
STEP 8: SUNSCREEN.
Unlike chemical filters, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide work by sitting on top of the skin and reflecting away the UV rays. Always wear a sunscreen of at least spf 15 to help protect your skin from harsh sun and make sure you are not using a synthetic sunscreen as this could also cause damage to your skin. Light and liquid products tend to penetrate fast and easily so thick products should be saved for last.
I hope this helps ease the layering process.
When in doubt, just go with the general rule, apply your product in the order of thinnest yo thickest.