It has happened to us all. You get a new skin care product that you are excited to use, only to find months after starting it that you are not getting the results it had promised. Most of the time it is because you have not used it long enough, but get this: it may be because of the way you are layering your products! Many people don’t think about it, but product layering truly does affect product efficacy and results.
Just as any medication, skin care product ingredients interact with each other and are easily altered by temperature, pH, humidity, and the skin in which they are in contact. Each product is produced with this in mind, and you should keep this in mind when applying the products.
Science backs the careful thought process that goes into creating each skin care product. For example, waxy ceramics and cholesterol require heat to liquify and mix with other ingredients. Too much heat could damage useful fatty acids or even inactivate some ingredients such as Vitamins C. For this reason, waxy ceramics and cholesterol are integrated first allowing them to be properly mixed and then cooled before adding any more ingredients.
In the same way the order of adding ingredients into the formulas affects the final product, the order of product placement on the skin affects product efficacy. Important products that interact with each other have ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, hydroxy acids, hydroquinone, vitamin C, and peptides. We recommend that you consult a professional to clarify the order in which the products are applied to improve outcomes!
Lets talk specifics!
Cleansers can alter the pH of the skin and influence the penetrability of the skin. Therefore, they should be selected based on the products that will follow in your regimen. For example if you use a foaming cleanser, that will increase penetration and disrupt the skin barrier. You need to make sure that whatever you put on your face directly after you wash with a foam cleaner is gentle and not super drying.
We recommend foaming cleanser for those suffering with acne, so that the prescription medicines applied after washing will penetrate the skin.
For people who are dealing with dry, sensitive and eczema prone skin, we recommend creamy cleansers that will not disrupt the water content of the skin.
Eye products have many uses. They treat dryness and puffiness around the eye, treat fine lines and dark circles, but they also protect the delicate area. While you sleep your face products get all over your pillow. Applying an eye product before bed will protect your eyes from these products to eliminate any extra eye irritation and redness.
Like eye products, moisturizers have multiple benefits. They hydrate the skin, deliver important ingredients to the skin, and also protect it. Another thing moisturizers do that people don’t talk about is improve the efficacy of the product that is applied before it. Moisturizers contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and oleic acid that can increase penetration of the other skin care ingredients on the skin. Another major benefit of moisturizers is that they prevent the underlying products from getting wiped off. They seal in all the previous product you applied!
Moisturizers can be used after professional grade serums and prescription medicines to provide added benefits in many conditions.
Retinoids penetrate easily into the deeper layer of the epidermis. We recommend first time users to apply them on top of the moisturizer to reduce the side effects and increase compliance. If you are experiencing irritation, applying them on top of the moisturizer will slow their absorption rate and reduce irritation. As you build tolerance, you can begin to apply the retinoid first before the moisturizer.
You also have to think about the suns UV rays when using retinoids. They should always be applied at night, because they are easily broken down by ultraviolet light.
Finding the correct way to layer your products in your skin care regimen can be confusing. Schedule a consultation with one of our professionals to confirm what products are most effective and how they should be applied!
Baumann, Leslie S. “Skin Care Product Layering Affects Efficacy and Outcomes.” Dermatology News, May 2018, pp. 22–23.