You've spent some hard-earned money on your skincare routine. Let's make sure you're not slowing down or impeding your progress with improper application.
When applying your skincare products, order and timing are important to get the most out of the action ingredients. I'm referring to those products that pack a punch, not your cleansers or basic moisturizers. This could be an antioxidant, retinol, resurfacer, or peptide serum depending on the time of day. Think of the things that pack a punch.
After you cleanse your skin, apply your serum(s) first. You want the action ingredients closest to the skin. Allow the product to absorb for a few minutes before application of moisturizer and/or sunscreen. Application of one product over another too soon will only "water down" or dilute the formulation, making it less effective. An example I often use for timing with my clients is this – in the evening after cleansing I apply my nighttime retinol serum, then brush my teeth, giving the serum time to absorb, and then go back and apply my eye cream and moisturizer.
The only exception to this is for some prescription Vitamin A users. I have often heard doctors suggest diluting the Rx with a bit of moisturizer for those having difficulty adapting to the full-strength Rx. As always, follow your doctor's advice with all your prescription topicals.
Get your money's worth and get the most out of those carefully chosen ingredients!