How to Layer Skincare Products


If you’re like me and have a cabinet full of skincare products, it can be confusing to decipher which ones to apply when. Following the Korean skincare routine I’ve outlined in Daily Skincare Routine Basics can give you a head start in identifying product order.

Learning how to layer products can be tricky.  The general rule of thumb is to start with products that have smaller molecules, those that feel most like water, and build up to products that have larger molecules, those that are dense or oily. 

Below is a basic cheat sheet I use to remind myself, because let’s face it, this is kind of confusing and we all want to get the most out of our products.

Click here to download and print a small guide that can be taped to your beauty cabinet for easy reference.

  • 1 | Oil-Based Cleanser

    An cleanser that looks and feels like an oil. This step removes make-up and impurities.

  • 2 | Water-Based Cleanser

    A cleanser that is slick and produces bubbles when mixed with water. This ensures no residue remains after the oil cleanse.

  • 3 | Toner

    Water-like liquid that should be applied directly after cleansing. This preps the skin so all following products can penetrate better.

  • 4 | Serums

    Liquid, runny, and can easily drip through your fingers.

  • 5 | Creams

    Thick, smooth, and will not slide off your fingers.

  • 6 | Oils

    Oily liquid, can easily run through your fingers, BUT have a heavier consistency than serums. These tend to have the largest molecules and, therefore, other products cannot penetrate them easily.

  • 7 | Sun Protection

    Only needed in the morning and ALWAYS the last step. Always wear sunscreen!

Click here to download and print a small guide that can be taped to your beauty cabinet for easy reference.


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