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Skin Sense: How You Apply Your Products IS a Big Deal

Here’s a thought: What if that full on skincare product system you splurged on isn’t getting you the results you want simply because you're not applying your products in the right order? We can’t emphasize enough - the order that you apply your skincare products makes a huge and very significant difference to your skin. If you're not using them in the right order, it could easily be affecting the results you’re getting (or not getting!). It only makes good skin sense to get the biggest bang for your buck (and your time) by applying in the most effective manner?

In simple terms, you generally apply products from thinnest to thickest. Makes sense? Yes, the thinner the structure of the product, the quicker it is absorbed into the skin. Layering a serum on top of a moisturizer, for example, will negate any benefit of the serum, as it won’t penetrate through the thicker layer. Use the following as a guide for your personal skincare routine:

Morning: Cleanse. Let’s start with a rule: cleansing comes first and is non-negotiable. Sounds obvious, but we hear many clients who insist they don’t need to cleanse in the morning if they’re cleansing their face each night. Their skin is clean, they reason, so just a splash of water in the morning and they’re good to go, right? Not so fast. You produce about 10 grams of dead skin cells per week. Since you spend approximately one third of your time in bed, you could calculate that about one third of those skin cells will come off while you are in bed. That means every night your bed is collecting about 300,000 dead skin cells. And your skin can still produce oil and come in contact with environmental pollution at night as well. Even the best products won't work if there is debris or oil on the skin. Your products will give you the best results and absorb most efficiently on debris-free skin.

Tone: After cleansing, your skin should be smooth and clean and that's when you apply toner. Toner provides a thin veil of hydration before applying other products. While not everyone needs them, everyone can use them. They soothe, calm and hydrate, prepping the skin for your next step. Blemish prone and oily skin conditions benefit most from toner since they are formulated to remove sebum, oil, and dirt from the pores.

Treat: Serum is the powerhouse of skincare products and should be a staple in your routine. We recommend using a Vitamin C serum each morning since its powerful antioxidants provide protection from free radicals and other environmental stressors which are at the root of skin aging. Another recommendation is a lighter weight, water-based serum like EB Multi-Fruit Hydration Gel. It’s full of botanical extracts and antioxidants, is fast absorbin and powerfully hydrating. The results-oriented blend of active ingredients is why serums are usually the more part of a skincare routine—so it’s important to use them correctly – apply before moisturizer and after toner.

Moisturize: After serum, apply moisturizer to keep your skin balanced, hydrated, and protected. For dry skin, choose a thicker, more emollient formulation like Super Emollient or Advanced Moisture Crème. If you prefer a lighter touch, Lemon Gel Crème or Marine Hydration Crème are good choices. For an all in one moisturizer and SPF – Raw Elements Tinted Face Moisturizer performs double duty.

Eye Cream: Hydrate and soothe the delicate under-eye area while keeping fine lines and wrinkles at bay. This is the next to last step in your regular routine. You may use eye products twice daily. EB Collagen Eye Crème supports skin's natural collagen production, while Eye Contour Gel soothes undereye puffiness and diminishes the look of dark circles.

Sunscreen: The final step is sunscreen, and it’s another non-negotiable step. The exposure to sunlight is responsible for 90% of visible signs of aging or photoaging. Sunscreen is your best tool for preventing hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. Apply after skincare and before makeup. Don’t use under your lotion or cream moisturizer since SPF products block sun's rays from absorbing into the skin and will prevent your moisturizer from proper absorption.


Skincare for day and night can be a bit different. Here’s our take on a nighttime routine:

Cleanse: Remove the day’s debris, makeup, and oils – always. Dust, bacteria, pollution, etc. – a thorough cleanse is always in order. Evening is a good time to double cleanse – first with a facial cleansing oil, lotion or cream cleanse, then cleanse again with an exfoliating or gel cleanser to remove all traces of debris.

Tone: It’s important to maintain proper pH balance in the skin. The skin’s normal pH level is between 4.6 and 6.4, making it slightly acidic. Toners help achieve this and can also purify and detox the skin.

Exfoliate: Slough off dead skin cells and impurities that clog pores and dull the skin to provide a super clean slate for your other products. An exfoliating cleanser like EC AHA/BHA Cleanser with glycolic acid is a good choice for when you want to combine the cleansing and exfoliating steps. But gentle exfoliation is a must at least two to three times a week or more. If you prefer manual exfoliation, try our Enzyme Peel, gentle enough for everyday use. Or apply our Glycagel treatment, it’s also gentle but very effective.

Treat: Address your skin areas of concern in the evening with a serum designed for that purpose. This might be retinol – like our Vitamin A Serum, or a richer formula like Renewal or Marine Silk Serum. On the nights where you have more time, add a sheet mask or multi-mask - choose from various types that target a particular skin concern – like fine lines, excess oil, dehydration, hyperpigmentation and redness.

Moisturize: You may use the same moisturizer both morning and the night, but you can also address specific skin concerns, as with your serum, like extra hydration, relieving redness, or irritation, for example. The skin repairs itself at night, so take advantage of being at rest to give your skin what it needs to rejuvenate, speed up cell turnover and boost collagen production.

Not sure what products are right for you? Make an appointment with our student estheticians for a specialized facial treatment, skin diagnosis and homecare recommendations. We can’t wait to meet you!

Note: The Euro Institute will be closed for summer break from August 27-September 4, 2023. There’s still time to take advantage of our summer treatment and product specials – but not much!

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