In What Order Should I Do My Skincare Routine? - Glo2Facial by Geneo

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Have you ever purchased a skincare product with rave reviews, only to see little to no results? The problem may not be the product itself but how you applied it. To get the best results from your skincare products, they must be absorbed into the skin. How you layer your products affects their absorption and effectiveness, meaning you could be missing out on many skin-enhancing benefits and throwing away the money you spent on the products.
To ensure your beauty routine leads to healthy, glowing skin instead of expensive disappointment, we’ve created this article to guide you through the correct way to layer your skincare products for maximum results.

Skincare Routine Steps

Your skin has different needs in the morning than in the evening, so skincare routines are typically grouped into a.m. and p.m. categories. Here’s a simple, step-by-step guide to help you navigate the ins and outs of a balanced routine that will support your skin morning and night.

Morning skincare routine:
The biggest challenges your skin faces during the day are sun damage and exposure to environmental stressors such as pollution and dirt. Your a.m. routine should include sunscreen, as well as products with skin-protecting ingredients such as niacinamide and green tea extract.

  1. 1. Cleanser: Gently cleansing your skin to remove any sweat, oil, or other impurities it may have been exposed to during the night.
  2. 2. Exfoliant: Use a gentle chemical or physical exfoliant to remove dead skin cells for a brighter complexion. It’s best to exfoliate no more than three times per week.
  3. 3. Toner: Use a toner to balance your skin’s pH level, remove dead skin cells, and prepare your skin for the next step.
  4. 4. Serum: Apply an antioxidant-rich serum to protect your skin from environmental damage and oxidative stress.
  5. 5. Moisturizer: Moisturize your skin to provide hydration and “lock in” the other products.
  6. 6. Sunscreen: Apply a mineral-based sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 to any skin that will be exposed to the sun. About ¼ of a teaspoon is enough sunscreen to protect your face adequately.

Nighttime skincare routine:

A nighttime routine is all about supporting your body’s natural process of repairing and regenerating the skin while you sleep. Focus on products with ingredients that help with cellular turnover, collagen production, and hydration, such as retinol, squalane, and marula oil.

  1. 1. Cleanser: Use a gentle cleanser to remove makeup and the day’s grime.
  2. 2. Toner: Apply a toner to rebalance your skin’s pH and remove all traces of cleanser and impurities.
  3. 3. Treatments: Nighttime is the best time to apply treatments like retinoids since these can increase the skin’s sun sensitivity.
  4. 4. Eye cream: The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate, and it’s one of the first places to show signs of aging. Use an eye cream to protect this area and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  5. 5. Moisturizer: Use a rich moisturizer or night cream to deeply hydrate your skin before it goes into the repair and regeneration process.

Dos & Don’ts: Layering Skincare


  • Do apply products in order of their consistency. Always go from thinnest (serums) to thickest (moisturizer or creams). This ensures that each product can be absorbed into the skin without being blocked by heavier ones.
  • Do wait between layers. Wait about one minute between layers to give each product enough time to be absorbed.
  • Do customize your routine. Everyone’s skin is different, so tailor your routine and products to your specific skin concerns, such as acne, eczema, or hyperpigmentation.


  • Don’t mix certain ingredients. Not all ingredients are team players, and they may cancel each other out or cause irritation when used together. For example, mixing retinol and vitamin C can irritate your skin, and benzoyl peroxide can deactivate retinoids.
  • Don’t overuse products. Sometimes less is more when it comes to skincare products. For instance, if you have sensitive or very dry skin, you may not be able to apply a retinol serum every night or exfoliate as often.

10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

The elaborate 10-step Korean skincare routine is considered by many to be the Holy Grail of beauty regimens, and its effectiveness lies in the proper layering of ingredients. Our recommended a.m. and p.m. skincare routines are pared down versions of the K-beauty practice, but if you have the time and patience, you can incorporate the full version below to get even more skin-supporting ingredients into your daily routine.

  1. 1. Oil-based cleanser: Removes makeup dirt while keeping the skin hydrated.
  2. 2. Water-based cleanser: Removes the oil and any lingering impurities.
  3. 3. Exfoliant: Removes dead skin cells and improves product absorption (1-2 times per week).
  4. 4. Toner: Balances the skin’s pH level.
  5. 5. Essence: Hydrates and soothes the skin, preparing it for the next products.
  6. 6. Ampoule: Contains concentrated ingredients for maximum skin benefits.
  7. 7. Serum: Focuses on specific skincare concerns, such as dryness or uneven texture.
  8. 8. Sheet mask: Supports skin in various ways depending on the type you choose.
  9. 9. Eye cream: Protects and nourishes the sensitive under-eye area.
  10. 10. Moisturizer: Moisturizes the skin for a healthy, dewy complexion.


Here are answers to your most common skincare routine questions.

Do you cleanse or exfoliate first?

Cleanse your skin first and then exfoliate.

What is the most important skincare step?

Each step in a skincare routine supports the others, so the process as a whole is important. That said, applying sunscreen is one of the most important ways to protect your skin.

What are common skincare mistakes?

Common skincare mistakes include layering products in the wrong order (always go lightest to heaviest consistency), not using sunscreen, and not exfoliating.

Are toners necessary?

Toners help soothe skin, tighten pores, and balance pH levels, but they aren’t an essential step.

Add a Professional Facial Treatment to Your Routine

An at-home routine is essential to support healthy skin, but you can supercharge your daily beauty routine by incorporating a professional facial treatment, like the customizable Glo2Facial, every four to six weeks. Skincare professionals have access to cutting-edge technology and more potent ingredients than those available for home use, so you see immediate and long-lasting results.
To experience the benefits of Glo2Facial for yourself, find a provider near you!