Ask Dr. Parks, Skin Care

In What Order Do I Apply My Skincare Products?

In What Order Do I Apply My Skincare Products?

One of the most frequent questions we get here at DermWarehouse is asking about what order to apply skincare products. If you’re new to skincare or looking to update your routine, searching for the right products that work well together can be daunting. A rule of thumb: whether you’re walking through your morning or nighttime skincare routine, apply your products from lightest to heaviest. We want the products to absorb in order to treat the skin at the optimal level and without counteracting each other. This is why I suggest layering products from lightest to heaviest, or thinnest to thickest.

 So, what’s the best order to apply skin care products?


Start your routine by cleansing away dirt, oil and dead skin. Don’t know where to start with picking a cleanser? Check out our post all about cleansers. Most cleansers should be used morning and night. 


Toner is an easily penetrating liquid that preps your skin for your skincare or makeup routine. It cleans away impurities and dead skin cells, and, depending on what your skin needs, can contain active ingredients that help with skin dryness, redness, etc. Your toner usually comes after cleansing and also both AM and PM. 


A face serum is a product that penetrates deep into your skin with active ingredients, such as vitamin c or retinol, depending on what your skin needs and what your main concerns are. They contain a more concentrated amount of active ingredients to deliver a light and hydrating treatment to the skin.

Eye Cream

Eye creams are products created specifically for the skin around your eyes, which is more delicate than the rest of your face. They can be formulated with active ingredients that address concerns such as dark circles, fine lines, etc.

Spot Treatment

Spot treatments can be applied on existing blemishes or imperfections to help clear them up. Treatments are usually applied at night to help the skin heal while you’re sleeping.


Skin moisturizers are water, gel or oil-based products that draw water to the skin and keep your skin smooth and supple. Moisturizer is arguably one of the most important steps of your skincare routine. 


Facial oils come in all shapes and sizes and complement our natural skin oils and keep our skin balanced and hydrated.  Oils are heavier than moisturizers, and will lock in the cream on your skin to keep it hydrated. 


To protect your skin from the sun, make sure to include sunscreen as a part of your morning skincare routine. Be sure to apply sunscreen every day- even if it’s cloudy!

Feeling overwhelmed with keeping track of all your skincare steps? Skincare kits are an easy way to stay on track with your skincare routine. The Jan Marini Normal/Combination Skin Care Management System is a 5 step regimen for normal to combination skin that includes the steps you need to take care of your skin. If your skin is more dry, check out the Dry/Very Dry Skin version of Jan Marini’s set. 

The DefenAge Clinical Power Trio (which also comes in a fragrance-free version) can help you keep your skin on track and target signs of skin exhaustion and aging.

New to skincare and looking for the basics to start up your skincare routine? ClarityRx’s line has great starter kit options for beauty basics,  moisture, anti-aging and brightening.


About Dr. Alan J. Parks

Dr. Alan Parks is a board certified dermatologist. Dr. Parks founded his practice, Eastside Dermatology, in 1986 and has been practicing there ever since. In 2016 Dr. Parks launched DermWarehouse, an eCommerce website selling professional strength skin care products to customers across the United States.

Related Posts