Skin Care Routine Steps: The Ultimate Guide

Skin Care Routine Steps: The Ultimate Guide

What’s the best order to apply my skincare products? 

If you’re like most of our blog readers, you’re passionate about skincare and learning how to maintain healthy-looking skin. You’ve done the research, tested different products, and finally found the right ones for you and your skin. You may even feel like you have your daily skincare routine down to a science. There's just one thing you're missing - how and in what order to apply all of these fantastic products correctly. While investing in quality skincare products is essential to optimal skin health, using them in the right order is equally important to ensure you're making the most of each and every product and ingredient in your beauty cabinet. To make your skincare regimen as effective as possible, our Kate Somerville Skin Health Experts reveal what to use and in what order for both your daytime and nighttime routine.


Daytime Skincare Routine

Skin’s daytime needs are usually slightly different from its nighttime needs. During the day, our skin encounters harsh outdoor pollutants, UV rays, and sweat. To avoid skin irritation, it’s important to protect your skin with products such as sunscreen. At night, on the other hand, you want your skin to relax, replenish, and repair. When it comes to an effective skincare regimen, you don't need a ton of products, but you will want to apply them in the correct order. Many skin types do better with the essential products or using some products every few days. When starting out, keep your step-by-step skincare routine simple and determine which products work best with your skin type.


Step 1: Cleanse

Morning and night, we always recommend starting your skincare routine by washing your face. While this may sound obvious, cleansing is one of the most crucial steps in creating an effective yet simple skincare routine. Many people believe if they wash their face before bed, they don't need to do it again in the morning. The truth is, while you're sleeping, dead skin cells, allergens, debris, and oil can collect on your skin overnight. Washing all of this off in the morning using a gentle facial cleanser removes oil and creates a clean base that allows the rest of your skincare products to penetrate the surface layers of skin and work their best.


Recommended Cleansers

For Dry Skin: Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser

For Oily Skin: EradiKate® Daily Foaming Cleanser

For Combination Skin: Gentle Daily Wash or ExfoliKate® Cleanser


Step 2: Exfoliate

Once you’ve cleansed skin, it’s time to slough away any hardened dead skin cells and other tough-to-remove debris with exfoliation. By removing hardened dull, dry, dead skin from the surface, you allow the rest of your regimen to reveal newer, refreshed-looking skin cells. ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment is considered a holy grail product because in just two minutes, twice a week, you reveal healthy-looking, radiant, gorgeous skin. Exfoliating also helps minimize the appearance of pores and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 


Recommended Exfoliators

For Sensitive Skin: Liquid ExfoliKate® Triple Acid Resurfacing Treatment

For All Other Skin Types: ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment


Step 3: Hydrate 

After your skin is cleared of surface debris, you’ll want to hydrate it with Hyaluronic Acid to visibly firm, smooth, and plump. Our DermalQuench Liquid Lift Advanced Hydration Treatment was inspired by our #1 clinic Oxygen treatment that helps reduce visible signs of dehydration while brightening. By applying a hydration treatment like DermalQuench after cleansing and exfoliating, your skin is better prepped to absorb subsequent skincare products like serums and moisturizers. 


Recommended hydration Treatments:

For Anti-aging: DermalQuench Liquid Lift + Retinol

For All Other Skin Types: DermalQuench Liquid Lift Advanced Hydration Treatment 


Step 4a: Treat

Next, use signature serums to treat your skin's problem areas. Depending on your specific skin concern, use a serum containing vitamin C serum to brighten your skin, or work in a serum like the DeliKate® Recovery Serum to restore your skin’s protective barrier.


Recommended Serums

For Stressed Skin: DeliKate® Recovery Serum

For Dull Skin: KX Active Concentrates Vitamin B3 + Vitamin C Serum


Step 4b: Eye Cream

Most eye creams are lighter and thinner than face moisturizers. Because of this, you should apply them before putting on any moisturizing creams or oils. In general, when choosing which skincare product to use first, you'll want to apply the lightest product to the heaviest. Our Kate Somerville under eye serums and creams all work to visibly smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Each is uniquely formulated with additional benefits for the delicate eye area. Our KateCeuticals™ Lifting Eye Cream improves the look of under eye dark circles and puffiness while also smoothing and lifting. Our + Retinol Firming Eye Cream visibly brightens while firming and smoothing. 


Recommended Eye Cream

For All Skin Types: Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream

For Clinic-Grade Age Repair: KateCeuticals™ Lifting Eye Cream


Step 4c: Moisturize

Seal in all of your skincare ingredients and products with the right moisturizer for your skin type and/or top skin concerns. If you’ve got acne-prone skin, our Oil Free Moisturizer is a great option that doesn’t leave behind any unwanted shine. For clinic-grade age repair that firms, smooths, lifts and hydrates, try KateCeuticals™ Total Repair Cream. If you’re combating dullness and dryness, our ExfoliKate® Glow Moisturizer gently exfoliates while moisturizing for radiant results. 


Recommended Moisturizers

For Stressed Skin: DeliKate™ Recovery Cream

For Oily Skin: Oil Free Moisturizer

For Dry or Sensitive Skin: Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream


Step 5: Sunscreen

The last – and often overlooked – step in your AM routine? SPF. Sunscreen works best when applied after moisturizing because it's not trying to penetrate anything. Instead, it's there to protect your face and shield it from harmful UV rays. Whether you are interested in learning how to minimize dark spots or how to reduce age spots from surfacing in the future, sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to deflect the sun’s rays. Learn everything you need to know about SPF on the Kate Somerville Blog. 


Recommended Sunscreens

Before Makeup: Daily Deflector™ Mineral Sunscreen

After Makeup & For On-The-Go Touch Ups: UncompliKated SPF Makeup Setting Spray

Night Skincare Routine


We mentioned that a nightly routine slightly differs from your morning skincare routine steps. Here's how:


Swap Sunscreen for Retinol

At night, swap your sunscreen out for a quality retinol solution. Retinoids, a.k.a all vitamin A derivatives, soak into your pores and help your skin cells replenish and promote turnover faster [1].The result? With continued use, you'll notice visibly smoother, firmer results. Pair retinol with vitamin C to boost brightness and enhance firming, smoothing results. Our +Retinol Vita C Serum and +Retinol Vitamin C Moisturizer are expertly formulated to deliver impressive results overnight. We recommend using one of these products every other night for optimal results without irritation. 


Recommended Retinol Product

For All Skin Types: Dermaquench Liquid Lift + Retinol



Make Face Oil the Last Step

Because you're not applying sunscreen at night, make sure oils are the final product to go on before bed. Doing so will seal in your nightly routine and help refresh your face by morning. Our Skin Health Experts love Dilo Oil and recommend patting into the lines and creases on your face to wake up looking and feeling refreshed. 


If you're just starting out, remember that not every effective skincare routine requires a long list of products to achieve healthy-looking skin. In fact, sometimes simple is best! When crafting the perfect regimen for your skin's needs, start small and focus on products that tick multiple boxes—from there, begin adding or removing products where you see fit.




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