Skincare is more of a science than most people care to know. We juggle countless factors to determine the best ways to care for our skin. Skin type is a big one and seems simple enough until you realize combination skin exists and external factors such as climate and season can impact the skin’s behavior too. This is further compounded by the fact that polluted air can have an impact too and reduce the effectiveness of some things or damage the skin in particular ways that it needs another kind of support. On top of all this, skincare products need to be used in an appropriate order to make the most of them without one getting in the way of another. Figuring out all of these factors and how to account for them is part of good skincare. While a lot of them are individualized, we can give a quick overview of appropriate product layering because that, at the very least, is universal.
The word is, in essence, a way of compressing the idea of how thick a given product is at a given moment. Think about the range of skincare products available. Some of them are almost water-like in how thin they are and as a result, need to be used carefully and quickly to make the most of them. At the opposite end of the spectrum is are products like body butter. The thick moisturizers offer a clear way to seal things next to the skin while by comparatively harder to spread, but long lasting. Accounting for these varying levels of viscosity in your skincare routine is necessary to try to make the most of all of the products available to you. This is because many of us layer products each day and in appropriate layering will diminish what all of our products can do for us and thereby reduce the effectiveness of our skincare. Fortunately, learning to do things correctly is relatively easy.
The Order of Application
All you really need to do is remember that you start with the lowest viscosity products and work your way up to the higher ones while finishing with the highest one. In practice, this translates to remembering to apply things like serums first. These products are more or less a fluid of highly concentrated product that gets spread quickly. Serums are quickly absorbed into the skin and can have something applied over them in relatively short order after that. Lotions and similar products go on after serums due to their easily spreadable, but thicker nature. This includes gel products as well. You’ll need to make your own decisions on which of those is thicker depending on the individual products though. After those, you’ll want to apply creams. These are typically one of the thickest products most people use and will be where many stop, but the scale keeps going up for those with thicker products. Finishing on the thickest product after starting on the thinnest product is the goal.
The Why of the Situation
More of our products require us to apply them in the same general area. This is especially true when it comes to facial skincare. As a result, it is easy for products to end up getting in the way of the other. Applying in an order based on viscosity helps to minimize this problem. Lower viscosity products are easier to spread overall and thinner. This means they don’t last as long once applied to the skin. They are absorbed or evaporate off quickly and thereby clear the way for the next product to be applied. Moving up by gradually applying thicker products, in turn, allows the thicker products to properly layer and seal in any remaining parts of the early product and improve their overall effectiveness. The final seal with a thickest product provides this for everything beneath it. Maintaining the proper order thereby lets you make the most of every product you apply to your skin where layering is required.
Viscosity is simply another factor that we all have to juggle when trying to make the most of our skincare. It isn’t that hard to factor into our routines either. All it requires is remembering to start with the thinnest product we’re applying to a given area and gradually working our way up to the thickest product. This ends up going a long way towards ensuring our skin is as healthy as possible while doing our best to avoid diminishing the effectiveness of our chosen products.