Layering Approach to Skincare

After years of stripped down approaches, introductions of all-in-one products and “easy” three step systems, there is a buzz in the states about a different mind-set when it comes to taking care of the skin: Layering, a trend that is already popular in Asia and France with upwards to 10, 11, even more steps of methodically layered products.

With a different outlook, these countries spend millions more on skincare, while in the United States there is a different attitude; more money is spent on cosmetics and makeup. Covering up flaws rather than combating or preventing them to begin with. If we all suffered from less acne, dealt with less pigmentation issues and earlier on addressed fine lines/aging, would we spend less on makeup, too?

It brings to mind images of women looking almost flawless upon waking up, walking out the door with only a BB cream and a swipe of lipstick, while we all look on in envy of her beauty, and only after we spent upwards to an hour painstakingly penciling in our brows and concealing countless blemishes.

While we all know someone who only uses bar soap to wash their face and has no pores and is always glowing, the rest of us are in a constant battle with our skin.
While you may not have the time or resources for a 10+step skin care regiment, adding one or more new products, or even knowing the correct order in which to use them, could make all the difference.

Always apply products in accordance from light to heavy, thin to thick. Remember lighter products like serums are molecularly smaller when compared to heavier products like creams and moisturizers, and will absorb quickly and penetrate deeper. Creams will act to seal these products into the skin.


Step 1: Makeup Removal
While this should go without saying, ALWAYS remove your makeup at night. At the very least use a makeup remover wipe. Some regular cleansers are gentle enough for use around the eye, or oil based makeup removers, which easily break down foundation and mascara.

Step 2: Cleanse
Foaming or cream cleanser, depending on your skin type

Step 3: Exfoliation
This can be done as a separate step with a physical exfoliant product, or with your regular cleanser in conjunction with your Clarisonic or FOREO Luna.

Step 4: Toner
While some are more astringent-like and strip excess oil, other toners or boosters soften the skin and prepare it to take on and absorb products to follow.

Step 5: Mask
They come in a vast variety, whether it is a sheet mask, a gel, or clay mask. They address all types of issues from oily acneic skin, lack of hydration within the skin or hyperpigmentation to name a few. Masks are perfect for two to three day a week use.

Step 6: Serums or Essences
Just like masks they come is a variety of textures, from completely water like to a gel, and address many different issues. Unlike masks, these products are used daily or twice daily. Some people believe it is crucial to apply these within seconds after washing the face and with a patting motion rather than rubbing into the face.

Step 7: Eye cream
Whether formulated with caffeine to tighten the under eye skin in the morning, or hydrating and antioxidant-rich for nighttime treatment use.

Step 8: Moisturize
Oily skin still needs moisture, so hydrating sprays or gel moisturizers are recommended for this skin type, while more mature and dry skin can benefit form a heavier cream or an oil based moisturizer.

Step 9: Spot treatment
This could be spot treating acne blemishes with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, or perhaps treating hyperpigmentation spots with hydroquinone or kojic acid.

Step 10: Sun protection
The last step to a morning skin care regiment should always be applying a broad spectrum SPF. 

These basics to a layered skincare approach may help simplify what previously seemed like a daunting trial and error science experiment, and a bathroom counter riddled with bottles and jars of potions and promises. Is “less is more” or is “more is more”?

Blog Written by askderm’s in house Esthetician Chantal Monique
Chantal Monique is a NYS licensed Esthetician and Makeup Artist. She has 7 years experience in skin care and makeup artistry. Her specialties include makeup application and facial treatments, which were featured on ABC’s Wife Swap. Chantal also has a background in the Fine Arts. With the unique combination of her education as well as the desire to help people feel beautiful, Chantal provides expert skin care knowledge for our customers as well as the must have ingredients and trending looks. With an ever growing portfolio and clientele askderm is excited to be teamed up with Chantal for future blogs, informational videos and skin care tips!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *