What comes first the serum or the moisturiser ?The ultimate skin care application guide

What comes first the serum or the moisturiser ?The ultimate skin care application guide

What comes first the serum or the moisturiser ?The ultimate skin care application guide

What comes first the serum or the moisturiser ? The ultimate skin care application guide.



There are so many skincare products out there, from toners to lotions to essences and eye creams, the skincare world can sometime seem a little complicated, especially if you’re just starting out. I’ve put together a handy guide to tell you a bit more about some of the products and formulas that you can use to build up your skincare routine, what they do for your skin and most importantly what order you should be applying them in to ensure the product is delivering its maximum benefit.

I will preface this by mentioning that by no means are ALL of these steps necessary for everyone. I highly doubt you have the time every night to apply a 12 step skin care routine, there are probably more interesting things to do, but if you did want to include some (or all) of these products, this is where they should sit in your routine.


  1. Cleanser

For the ingredients in your skincare to properly absorb into your skin, you need to ensure that before you start your application your skin is clean, that’s totally free of oil and any dirt that has built up overnight or from the day before. Use something gentle with a creamy or gel texture to softly clean and prep your skin for the rest of your routine.


2.Toner/ Essence

Your second step in the A.M is your toner. Look for toners that are not alcohol based, they should contain gentle, hydrating ingredients and restore your skin’s pH levels which will help to prime your skin for the product following next. A good toner should feel light on your skin and essentially prime your face for the ingredients that follow to be absorbed more readily. Toners and Essences are pretty much interchangeable and will play the same role in priming your skin, so you can use your essence here instead of a toner if you wish.


3.Eye creams

Once you have toned and cleansed you can start with an eye cream. The skin around your eyes is a lot more delicate and sensitive, using a specialised eye cream or serum will help to gently hydrate the area are keep it supple whilst you treat the rest of your face. For the morning, eye creams with steel rollerball applicators or those with a caffeine filled formula will help to reduce puffiness that may have occurred under the eyes over night.



Possible one of the most confusing steps as there are so many types of serum available which help you to achieve different skin goals, but don’t be intimated! Serums are essentially concentrated boosts of hydration and nutrients which sink deeper into our skin than our moisturisers. They do a lot of the heavy lifting in our skincare routines as they’re so packed with goodness and can deliver so many great ingredients.  A great serum to reach for in the A.M would be something packed with vitamin C, that can help protect skin from damage caused by free radicals and help to brightening your complexion. You can also layer serums if you wish, use the general rule of applying product from the thinnest to the thickest textures (which is what we aim for throughout the entire routine).


5.Spot treatments

Targeted spot treatment to bust zits and pimples can be applied next, ideally these work best overnight but if you have a particular spot concern you need dealt with you can do so now, before we moisturise so the ingredients can really work their magic without the extra barrier to penetrate.



You may think if you have oilier skin you can skip on a moisturiser but it’s not true! Everyone should be moisturising at least once daily as it’s the only thing that will help to keep your skin barrier healthy. Moisturising infused your skin with hydration and helps to trap all the products you’ve already applied underneath to maximise their benefits. In the morning opt for something light and gentle to hydrate, a key ingredient to look out for in your moisturiser is hyaluronic acid to help plump and hydrate.


7.Facial oil

Sealing in all the ingredients with a facial oil will help to increase your routines efficacy, leaving the skin soft and smooth, usually most people opt for an oil in the night time, but if your a big fan they can be used here in your A.M routine too. Oils like rose-hip and jojoba can help rid excess oil from more acne-prone skin and oils like all can help to soothe.



Come rain or shine, winter or summer, indoors or out, you need to be wearing an SPF. The absolute minimum you should opt for is and SPF30. This step is absolutely vital if you want to stop signs of premature ageing, and decrease your risk of skin cancer. Just because you can’t see the sun it doesn’t mean its not there and UVA rays can even penetrate glass. A good rule of thumb when applying suncream is to follow the three finger method- squeeze a thin line of suncream down your first three fingers and this is the perfect amount required to fully cover your face.



Now you’re finally ready to move on to you make-up if you wish to wear any, your face should be prepped primed and ready for the perfect, easy application.


1.Makeup remover

    Skip the make up wipes and opt for a balm or oil based cleanser to make sure you remove every bit of makeup/ spf from the day. This type of cleanser will not only be better for your skin than a makeup wipe but also better for the environment too.



      You can double cleanse with the same cleanser you use in the morning. The first step above will remove any dirt and makeup but a second cleanse will help to clean the skin underneath.


      3.Physical Exfoliant

        Physical exfoliant manually buff away your dead skin cells, usually used just once or twice a week in the form of a scrub or cleansing brush. Exfoliating your skin helps to promote skin cell rejuvenation which leaves you with more firm, plump looking skin.


        4.Toner/ Essence

        5. Chemical exfoliant

        You can also exfoliate your skin with an acid, you don’t need to do both (this will be damaging for your skin barrier) but depending on your preference for a physical or chemical exfoliant, this step will sit in a different place in your routine. 

        Chemical exfoliants take the forms of acids and are an effective way to remove dead skills cells. There are many different types from AHAs and BHAs to combinations, all of them will help to exfoliate the skins surface. Exfoliants should be used at night as they will make your skin more sensitive to the sun.


        6.Eye creams

        At night you might want to opt for a more rich eye cream to help hydrate the area. Eye creams containing retinol are also available to help with fine lines.



          A super hydrating serum such as those containing hyaluronic acid is perfect for night to pull the water from the air into your skin, plumping and hydrating whilst you sleep.


          8.Spot treatments



              Again at night you may want to opt for a moisturiser which is thicker or richer than the one you wear in the day, as you have the entire night for its benefits to sink into your skin. This would be a perfect time to apply the Planthaya Soothe CBD balm which is great for replenishing dry skin and has the added benefit of lavender essential oil for a calming sensation whilst you sleep.


              10. Retinol

                Another scary one, retinol has become some what of a buzzword in the beauty industry as of late and are derived from vitamin A. They are an essential step to help reduce the signs of ageing but it’s important you don’t rush in before you’ve learned how to use them. Make sure you start out slow to mitigate the initial adjustment period which will involve flakes and sensitivity, slowly increasing use over time.


                11.Facial oil

                  Lock in all that goodness with an overnight oil


                  12.Lip balm/treatment

                    And finally don’t forget the lips. Use a good quality lip balm or lip mask before bed to repair chapped lips and dryness.





                    Aimee Townsend contributor


                    "I’m Aimee, Im an MSc Marketing student from Cardiff and I’m the Planthaya Social Media intern over on Twitter and Pinterest. I also run my own beauty blog peahesandgleam.com!"




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