The Recipe for Good Skin

Just like a great cake, a great skincare routine requires a curated list of ingredients and a strict method to follow to make sure you get the most out of your products. It’s easy to have a carefree attitude about it all, after all, the French found fame in the simplicity of their routine.

But if you really want to get the most out of your products and allow them to make a real change to your skin’s health, you need to be considerate about the way, how much, and in what order you apply them.

In general, the rule is to go from products with the thinnest consistency to thickest. This is because thinner products like serums or toners, can’t penetrate through thicker products like heavier cream moisturisers. It also pays to think about the base of your products and whether they are oil or water based.

It’s well known that water and oil are not great friends. Think about what happens when you put the two together in a glass. No matter how nicely you ask, they just don’t mix. The same thing happens when you put them on your face. Water based products won’t be able to penetrate through heavier, oil based products, so you should put the water based on first. If you’re confused about which is which, a water based product generally has water listed as the first ingredient on its list. They’re things like toners, mists and oil-free moisturizers.

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To make it just that little bit harder, Silicone products also exist. These guys use ingredients that form a protective barrier over the skin. They include products like primers or barrier repair creams. They’ll prevent your expensive serum from penetrating your skin so make sure they are always the last step of your skincare routine before makeup and after sunscreen.

And speaking of sunscreen, always use it as the last step before your primer or foundation as it will do the same thing as products with Silicone. Sunscreen is your skins first barrier against harmful UV rays, free radicals and pollution so you want to be stopping those nasties reaching your skin as quickly as possible. Because you can’t really use sunscreen over your foundation and you need primer to create a nice base for your foundation to sit on, it should be the next layer down. Bonus points if your foundations or BB cream has SPF though!
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One last thing, if you’re using products to target certain concerns like Vitamin C, Ascorbic acid or Retinols, make sure you do a quick bit of research on products that conflict with that product. There are some ingredients that will stop others from working. The Ordinary has a handy guide and there are plenty of others out there.

So, to put it simply, use the following method;


  1. Cleanse – Use a pea sized amount (a very reliable form of measurement in the beauty industry)
  2. Tone – Lightly soak a cotton pad and swipe over your less congested areas first (so you’re not spreading bacteria around)
  3. Acne Spot treatments – Use a small amount just on top of any spots
  4. Serums and Essences – if you’re using multiple, look at their ingredients and remember water based goes first
  5. Eye Cream – Use half a pea sized amount under and around each eye
  6. Moisturiser – Use about two peas worth and make sure you spread it all the way down your neck, décolletage and chest
  7. Sunscreen – As much as you need to be completely covered (you can’t use too much of this stuff)
  8. Primer – Again, use a pea sized amount and work it from the inside to the outside of your face
  9. Foundation – However much you need to feel flawless

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By Jessica Frost