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Skincare · June 3, 2021

Are You Using Your Skincare Products in the Right Order?

At Birchbox, we believe in four basic skincare fundamentals: Cleanse, Treat, Moisturize, and Protect.

Follow those fundamentals once in the morning, and once in the evening, and you, my friend, are as good as golden. (Speaking of golden, if you get confused, heres a helpful rule to remember: Apply formulas with thinner consistencies first, and then apply thicker treatments over them.)



Every morning: Wash your face
For dry skin, splash your face with warm water. For slightly oilier skin, wake up with a gentle cleanser.


Once or twice a week: Exfoliate
Exfoliating once or twice weekly helps to tackle dirt and oil buildup, reduce dullness, and sweep away dead skin cells (which promotes healthy cell turnover). Scrubs like this one gently buff away dead skin, while chemical exfoliators and peels give pores a deep clean all on their own.

When using a scrub, focus your exfoliating energy on areas with blackheads or flakiness, since those are the areas where clogged pores tend to crop up.

Daily: Apply toner
This often-skipped step has tons of skin-boosting benefits, including balancing skins pH levels so your skin is primed to absorb serums and moisturizers. Toner also helps restore skin after cleansing and provides the nourishment your complexion needs to look fresh throughout the day.

After toner, apply serums.
Should you choose to partake, serums are most effective when applied pre-moisturizer. Theyre full of hero ingredients (think: antioxidants, ceramides, hyaluronic acid), so applying them early in our routines helps skin soak up the good stuff.

Its important to pat serums into skinrather than just slathering them on topso they can penetrate and absorb.


Moisturizers follow serums. (No serums? Moisturize after toner.)
Smooth on a moisturizer to give your skin a big ol drink of water. Moisturizers are especially important if youre prone to excess oil and pimples, since dry skin can cause our oil glands to go into overdrive (which just causes more oil and blemishes).

For an extra shot of hydration, pat a facial oil on top of your moisturizer to seal it in.

Okay, now you can add eye cream.
...If you have time, if you feel like it, if thats a thing you do. If youre nodding yes, gently tap on eye cream with your ring finger (its more gentle than your pointer finger) to keep the area smooth and bright.


Apply SPF
We know, you know, we know that you know, you know that we know...but we have to say it: When it comes to protective skincare, sunscreen is non-negotiable. Layer it as the final step in your morning skincare routineon top, where it can most effectively fight UV rays, and reapply as per the instructions that come with your sunscreen of choice. P.S. Our SPF kit can help you find your favorite.


First: Remove Your Makeup
We know you know, but we also know that if youre like us, this step gets So, on days when youre really committed to your skincare practice, we recommend a classic makeup remover or cleansing oil. (Little-known fact: Cleansing oils dissolve impurities on the skin without drying it out, making them a great alternative for those with dry, sensitive skin, or aging skin.)

Next: Wash Your Face
Your serums and night creams can only work their magic when applied to clean skin. (Georgette Klingers Coconut Cleansing Milk is a great Clean Beauty option for evening, and Kiehls Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash is a tried-and-true favorite.


Follow Up With: Toner
The same one you use in the morning is just great.

Turn Your Attention to the Trouble Zones
This step is optional, but should you want to treat acne or chapped lips, heres a good time to do just that.

Apply Serums
Again, no pressure, but if youve been wondering where to fit a sample serum into your nightly routine-especially one with retinol in it; or maybe Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate-add here!


Just like in the morning, night moisturizers follow serums and/or toners.
Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream feels particularly nourishing just before bed.

Follow your evening moisturizer with eye gel.
Your eyes will not fall out if you skip this step, but if youre intrigued by the idea of eye gel, start with these patches.


At night, when youre asleep in bed, is the one time well tell you that you dont need SPF.
Still, a girl can dream. Zzzzzzzz

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Maura M. Lynch

Burt's Bees addict. Watches way too much TV. Has never turned down a french fry.