Tip: Apply your products in order from lightest weight to heaviest. Think of your skin like a sponge—you want to slowly wet it for optimum soak potential. Since this is a guide, keep in mind that you can skip or swap out steps according to your needs.
Step No. 1: Remove Makeup, Duh
It's a no-brainer, really. If it's nighttime or there are traces of yesterday's makeup on your eyes, use makeup remover wipes, eye-makeup remover serums, or micellar water. Don't wear makeup? No problem. Skip this step.
Step No. 2: Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse
Get on the advanced skincare track by breaking up face washing into two separate steps. First, start with a cleansing oil that gets rid of any dirt. Follow up with a foaming cleanser that balances and gently cleans skin.
Step No. 3: Get Toned
Swipe on a toner that either has hydrating properties or balances skin pH. Western toners operate a little differently than most Asian toners, offering astringent properties to make sure your skin is really, truly clean. Most Korean toners are a little bit more hydrating, focusing more on adding moisture that was stripped away by cleansing. Some toners offer AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) or BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) for light exfoliation.
Step No. 4: You've Got Issues
Serums are great for targeting specific skin concerns. Think of them as magic potions that are concentrated specifically for your specific skin issues, such as dryness, frequent breakouts, and a dull complexion.
Step No. 6: Moisturize
Consider mixing ampoules (like a serum concentrated into little capsules) into your moisturizer of choice. While moisturizers are the heaviest products you'll use in your routine, they're the juggernauts that help seal in all the good stuff you just put on your face.
Step No. 7: Lock It In
Using a sheet mask every now and then can help enhance all the beneficial products in your regimen. Save this relaxing process for nighttime. Remember not to wash the mask off; instead pat any excess formula onto your neck and body.
Step No. 8: Spot Treat
Spot treatments, like those used for acne, should be the penultimate product in your nightly routine. Since these can cause skin to become more sensitive to light, be sure to apply your daily dose of sunscreen in the morning.
Step No. 9: Protect
Did you put sunscreen on this morning? What about yesterday? Did you reapply after lunch? Chances are, you probably don't have enough sunscreen on right now. Reapply every two hours, especially if you're sweating or spending time outside.