How To Layer Your Skincare Like a Pro – Updated for 2023!

perricone md

If you’ve ever felt lost and confused when facing a whole row of skincare products, this one is for you.

With so many types of face cleansers, eye creams, serums and more, it can be enough of a challenge to get the right product in each category for your skin type – let alone know how to layer your skincare products. 

But, the reality is, if you’re not applying your skincare products in the right order, you could actually be wasting all your hard-earned money.

If that skin serum can’t sink in and do it’s job, because you layered it over moisturizer – well, girl, no other way to say it but… you just wasted your money and your skincare product.


Yeah, I feel you.

So, What’s the Right Order to Layer Your Skincare Products?

Here’s the good news! There’s a simple system for how to layer your skincare products so they can get to work and transform your skin. The system won’t really change, regardless of season or what product you use.

That means once you get the order down like a pro, you’ll be ready to for good. I love it when that happens don’t you?

To make it as easy as possible, I created this lovely little video for you to break down the steps.

Then, after you take a look, we will go into a little more detail on the steps and how you can figure out the products that are right for you:


Let’s dive in to each one and talk product. Most products below are affiliate links; I am only recommending products I use and love here.

1. Start By Cleansing:

Cleansing is the name of the game. Something gentle, so you don’t dry out your skin, but also something that will take off the day and all your makeup. I have sensitive skin with light signs of aging and am prone to breakouts. I wrote a whole post on my favorite face washes that you can read here. Or, skip the article and grab my favorite face wash:

Honest Gel Cleanser:


I’ve written about this one a few times and still love it. I use this most nights as it is super refreshing, gentle, gets all the makeup off, but leaves my skin super soft.

Use a Cleansing Brush:

I’ve started using a vibrating cleansing brush lately. There are a handful of them on the market. I find that this really encourage lymphatic drainage in my face (great if you have inflammation, allergies, or a tense face from stress) and helps relax my facial muscles. Here’s one of the ones I have and use:

Optional: Face Mask Time

currentbody led face mask

If you’re going to do a face mask or a red light mask, now is the time to do that. I typically do 1-2 face masks a week.

I love red light masks like the Current Body LED face mask – I did a full review of it here.

But, I also regularly use different types of face masks. Here are some posts I’ve written on my favorite face masks:

2. Time to Tone:

I use toners that will improve the quality of my skin by sinking deep down into pores to clean them out and moisturize my skin with powerful ingredients like rose water. My absolute go-to, most favorite toner of all time, is this super affordable, drugstore beauty pick. It helps with gentle exfoliation, as well as breakouts and balancing the skins ph levels.

3. Dot the Spot Treatment:

If you’ve got any blemishes you’d like to treat or use, now is the time. Personally, I use a light veil of  Perricone MD Acne Relief Clearing Treatment almost every night. It really effectively stops breakouts for me.

For active zits, I use a spot treatment only at night like this super affordable version by Neutrogena:

4. Sweep On the Serum:

You may be on the fence about trying a serum, but once you see the incredible changes in your skin, you’ll be hooked!

Serums are one of the most concentrated skin care products you can buy – which means a lot more bang for your buck! They last a long time and are chock full of active ingredients that sink straight into your skin!

If you’re using one, this is the time for your serum. Usually, just a few drops will be enough for your face and neck. I really love skin serums and have seen such a tremendous difference in my skin. I change the serum based on whether it’s nighttime or daytime.

I actually wrote an entire post on what serums are for, what kind of serum you would want for your skin, various highly-rated skin serums in different price points and more.

Check out the Ultimate Guide to Skin Serums here. 

5. I Scream for Eye Cream!

Pat, pat, pat, your eye cream around your undereye area and around and up under the eyebrow.Consider using a different eye cream for day and night, based on what your skin needs.

I am obsessed with eye creams, to put it mildly! I have so many and rotate through them based on what I’m feeling like using that day. If you’re looking for eye cream recommendations, check out these posts:

6. Mama Needs to Moisturize:

Best Daytime Moisturizer:

Get ready to moisturize!

For daytime, I am 100% in love with this La Roche-Posay Toleriane UV Day Moisturizer.

Usually under $20, lasts awhile and has this soothing, cooling quality. I’ve been using it for years and have turned so many people on to it. I love it. And, great news – if you use this one, you have your SPF for the day and can skip the next step.

how to layer skincare

Best Nighttime Moisturizer:

At night, you want to go for something richer and more moisturizing, since you won’t have to layer makeup on top. I wrote a post on my favorite drugstore night moisturizers that you might love, such as this really affordable, but excellent cream for sensitive skin by Bliss.

how to layer skincare

7. Face Full of Face Oil:

Now, this step may feel counterintuitive, but I promise this is what came up over and over in my research and talking to dermatologists. If your moisturizer doesn’t have SPF and if you need an additional skin oil for increased moisture, pat your skin oil all over on top of your moisturizer. This will create a seal over all of the skin care products you just applied so  that they can really sink in.

Personally, I skip this step because #BREAKOUTS and #ACNEPRONE. But, I’ll occasionally add oil at night when I am feeling dry.

This is my absolute, go-to, cannot live without it, face oil – and you will not believe how affordable it is and also that it is a totally CLEAN BEAUTY PICK! When I use this at night, I wake up with much more even, bright skin that almost looks airbrushed.

8. Sun’s Up; SPF On:

If you’re outside – you’re wearing SPF! While I get mine in my day lotion, you will need to layer it on top if you are using a day oil or your lotion doesn’t have it. The easiest way to do this is by brushing it on in a mineral foundation such as this one:

Or, if you’ll be wearing makeup, you can wear a BB Cream or foundation that has SPF in it (and most do now).

Here’s a post with my favorite BB creams and they all have SPF already in them.


There you go! The 8-step skincare routine that’ll get you the best skin of your life!

Remember that everyone’s skin is different and will respond to different products. You may also find that you don’t need one or two of these steps and it’s best for you to skip them. For example, I don’t tone every night and I don’t use a face oil during the day – ever, and only at night a couple times a week.

Try new things, keep what works, and stop what doesn’t serve you. Once you find a product that you like, considering trying other products from that brand to find a suite of products that you love.

Skincare is not one-size fits all; so find what works for you.

Have a fabulous day,




  1. August 14, 2022 / 3:00 am

    I follow all the steps here and I have been doing skincare since this year but it just seems like my skin is against me.
    I use cerave products but it feels like I’m just wasting my time and money

    • Erica
      August 14, 2022 / 8:00 pm

      Yeah, if you’re not seeing results, I would definitely start trying different products. If you’re looking for a brand around the same price as Cerave, try Acure. The products are clean and very effective.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hey Friends