Jun 23

Skincare Application 101: The When and How

Imagine this.

You’ve just brought home a new lineup of skincare and are committed to doing what it takes at home to ensure you are working towards your skincare goals. But, as you step into your bathroom to begin your evening skincare routine, you realize that you can’t remember which order of products or how much of each should be used. You give it your best shot, but go to bed frustrated and discouraged about this new routine. 

While we hope that this situation never happens to you, we also know that starting a new routine — even if it is not super comprehensive — can be a learning curve. As aestheticians, we want to make sure that you feel informed about how best to use your products so that you can achieve your dream skin while also feeling like your money is being well spent. 

The When 

Now, before we talk too much about the how — i.e. the amount of each type of product you should be using, let’s chat about when you should use each product. The rule of thumb when applying products to your face is applying thinnest to thickest. This means that the thinnest textured product goes first and then you follow with the next thickest product and so on. 

When you apply your products in this order, you are ensuring that the active ingredients have the best chance to penetrate the skin appropriately. When thicker products are placed earlier on the skin than they should be, they create an unnecessary barrier — making it more difficult for the ingredients to do their job. 

The How 

While these recommendations work for most people when it comes to the amount of product needed to cover the face, know that you may need a teensy bit more or less for your face (especially if you use specific products on your neck and décolleté as well!). 


Regardless of which cleanser you are using, we recommend applying a quarter-sized amount to your skin to ensure you are covering the whole face and neck. Depending on the cleanser you use (please read the directions on the packaging), you may apply this product to your skin dry or wet — but be sure to massage your cleanser on your skin for at least 30-60 seconds to ensure that you have removed all makeup, oil, or dirt from your skin. 


When it comes to your exfoliant, just a tiny bit will do. One of our favorite ways to incorporate our exfoliant into our routine is to add a dime-sized amount of Eminence’s Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant to our second cleanse to get two jobs done at once while also enjoying the benefits of the physical and chemical exfoliation of the product. If you prefer to use your exfoliant on its own, add a small bit of water to any powder exfoliant, apply it to the skin and move in gentle, circular motions around the face for 60 seconds, removing with lukewarm water. 


Regardless of what goal you are looking to achieve with your skin, regular serum application will be one of the best products to see quick and beautiful results. To apply serums effectively, place a pea-sized amount of your choice product in your hands and gently press on still-damp skin (feel free to use a mist or toner prior to this step if your skin feels too dry). The goal with serum application is to ensure a thin layer of the product covers the entire face. Your skin should feel smooth after its application, but not super wet or sticky. 

If you are using more than one serum in your morning or evening routine, remember thinnest to thickest products for the most effective application. 


Eye creams are a highly concentrated product, and I mean it when I say that a little goes a long way. Using too much eye cream can cause the product to migrate into your eyes which equals irritation and puffiness — the complete opposite of what you would like it to do. To use effectively, apply a pea-size or lesser amount on the occipital bone above and below your eye. There is no need to apply eye cream directly under the eye because the product will naturally migrate upwards. Applying it at the occipital bone ensures that you cover the entire area of your eye without causing irritation. 


Moisturizer is the product that seals in all the goodness of the previous products and provides a barrier from the environment. Because of this, we want to make sure that we use enough product (about a nickel-sized amount) to create a thin, even layer across the surface of the face. Emphasis on thin. This is a product that is often overused, and while it’s not the worst thing you could do, using too much moisturizer is a waste of product as it does not absorb and it can also cause some “pilling” when you choose to apply makeup. 


Sunscreen. The final and most important step in your skincare routine. To effectively apply, use a quarter-size amount for your full face, and add in another quarter for your neck and decollete. While other products are typically applied to damp skin, to ensure SPF stays to play, you will want to ensure your skin is dry.  

We hope that this guide supports you in your at-home skincare routine, and we know that with time and dedication to your at home practice, you will see life-changing results!

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