Facial Skincare Maintenance

Eye Cream

Since the eye area doesn't have oil glands to help keep it moisturized, you'll want to give it some hydration right away—as soon as you're done cleansing and exfoliating. (Since it's not going on top of the areas where you applied acid, you don't need to wait.) Feel free to use either your regular moisturizer, if you tolerate it around your eyes, or a specialized eye cream or eye serum. 

Treatment Serum

Now you can treat your individual skin concerns and fight free radicals with a serum containing active ingredients. L-ascorbic acid (the active form of vitamin C) is good for antioxidant protection, brightening, fading dark spots and even building collagen. Vitamin C derivatives can give similar benefits, although they are not as potent. Or consider niacinamide, which is also an antioxidant, and treats pigmentation, wrinkles, acne, redness and dryness. Other options include peptides, alpha arbutin and alpha lipoic acid.

Hydrating Serum or Essence 

This step is all about lightweight hydration. Look for serums or essences with humectants—ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and aloe vera that draw water into the skin. If you're using a cream next, then you don't necessarily need this step, unless your skin is very dry and could use the extra layer of moisture.

Moisturize:  Use a non-oily moisturizer if wearing makeup.  The combination of an oily moisturizer and foundation can make a made up face look cakey and greasy within a few hours – even on dry aged skin.  If you don’t wear makeup, you can use an oilier moisturizer.

Protect:  Absolutely necessary – use a sunblock of at least 15 SPF daily (unless you work the graveyard shift).  Even the darkest skin should be protected from the harmful rays of the sun. Sun protection can also be found in some commercial foundation formulas. If you use a moisturizer or foundation with a built-in sunblock of at least 15 SPF, you do not need to add a separate sunblock, though you should reapply these throughout the day.  


Cleanse:  Cleanse your skin thoroughly before bed at night.   Remove all makeup and use a cleanser that is right for your skin type. 

Tone:  Use a toner to remove cleanser reside and restore pH balance.

Acne Spot Treatment or Patch

Anyone dealing with acne can apply a spot treatment next, with ingredients like sulfur, zinc oxide and salicylic acid. Alternatively, you can stick on a hydrocolloid patch, which is usually even more effective at bringing the pimple to a head overnight. I would avoid benzoyl peroxide, which is not only extremely drying but also an oxidizing agent. (And whatever you choose, make sure you're using an all-over BHA, too—it's the best way to prevent breakouts, rather than trying to target them as they crop up.)

Protect:  Add any anti-oxidant serum to your skin and allow to soak in (may be combined with your moisturizer.

Moisturizer:  Add any special eye cream plus skin moisturizers gently to your skin.

Now you know how to apply your skincare products in the right order.

Let me know if these tips work for you! Or if you have any questions drop them in the comments.

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