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Skincare Layering 101

March 14, 2022 | BY Stephanie Allen Klasse

Did you know…To maximize the benefits of our consistent skin care routine requires using the right products in the correct order? We want our products to properly penetrate and absorb, so our ingredients can get to work!

Rules of Layering

Have you heard the saying, “apply skin care thinnest to thickest”? This is a good start, but skincare routines and products have evolved past this basic recommendation. When we start looking at the ideal order of our routine, we should consider things like the product's water vs oil content, pH level, active ingredients, and how they work on our skin and with the other products.

The basic order to apply:
  1. Cleansers and Exfoliants to Active Serums and Moisturizers
  2. Water loving humectants to oil-loving emollients/oils
  3. Lower pH to higher pH
  4. Thinnest to Thickest in texture

    Guide to Skincare Layering Phase 1 Cleanse

    Phase 1: Cleanse, Refine, and Balance

    Makeup Removal: Doing a pre-cleanse with Argan Oil, or makeup remover helps to dissolve makeup, pollution, dirt, and oil to allow your cleanser to work on a deeper level.

    Cleanser: Cleanse for 60 seconds with warm water.

    Scrub or Mask: Exfoliation helps your other products penetrate deeper. Make sure not to exfoliate more than 2 or 3 times a week.

    Toner: Tone to balance the skin and remove any lingering impurities.  Apply Toner when you’re ready for the products that are going to stay on the skin. 

    Esthetician Tip: When it comes to the Enzyme Mask, you can decide if you want to use it before or after your toner. Oily or combination skin types may prefer to use toner afterwards, where more dry skin types may want to skip toning with the mask all together.

    Guide to Skincare Layering Phase 2 Treat

    Phase 2: Treat, Target, and Boost

    Layering skincare gets the most confusing when it comes to serums. If you’re using multiple serums, boosters, and skin treatments in one routine, just follow the ABCs!

    A: Start with your most Active ingredient on your skin for maximum results. These are ingredients like Vitamin C, Retinol, and exfoliating acids, like Glycolic Acid.
    B: Next apply your Booster and barrier supportive skin care. These help enhance the benefits of your most active serums, and help deliver additional benefits like barrier support and extra hydration!
    • Hyaluronic Acid Serum or Hydrate and Smooth Serum: hyaluronic acid is a powerful hydration booster, and it also can make your skincare penetrate more deeply. In order to avoid possible irritation, it is best applied on damp skin after your most active ingredients.

    • Niacinamide Booster is a barrier supportive booster that is ideal on top of your other serums.

          C: Finally, add any Spot Correctors or Skin Conditioning Serums with more oil loving ingredients in them!
          • Spot Corrector Pen works to target specific problem areas and should be applied prior to moisturizers. 

            Esthetician Tip: Our night routine can alternate between retinol and exfoliation, with some nights simply dedicated to hydration and barrier support. It is not recommended to exfoliate on nights when retinol is used!

            Guide to Skincare Layering Phase 3 Eye Care

            Phase 3: Eye Care

            The skin on the eye is thin and delicate so this area usually gets its own products dedicated to these unique needs. It works well to add eye care after your serums and before your moisturizer for maximum absorption.
            • Add our Youth Glow Eye Gel and any other eye serums first, then top with an eye cream.

            Guide to Skincare Layering Phase 4 Moisturize

            Phase 4: Moisturize

            Everyone needs a moisturizer! These typically have a mix of humectants and emollients (hydrating and moisturizing ingredients), and sometimes a bonus of active ingredients. Once a more oil-rich product, like moisturizer, is applied it makes it harder for your more water-loving ingredients to absorb, so it comes near the end of your routine. This is also an important step in locking in your other skincare, nourishing your skin, and helping drive your other products in more deeply.

            Your day and night moisturizer can be the same, or you can use something different based on the needs of your skin and the other active ingredients in your routine.
            • Day: I recommend leaning into your antioxidant routine with the Vitamin C Moisturizer.

            • Night: You can opt for the Retinol Night Cream or the iconic Actives Glyco-Peptide Anti Wrinkle Moisturizer.

                Esthetician Tip: Skin care doesn't stop at the jawline. Don’t forget your neck care and apply your Actives Tighten & Lift Neck Cream to your neck and chest area to give this delicate skin the same loving care as your face.


                Guide to Skincare Layering Phase 5 Protect

                Phase 5: Protect

                Our skin is our largest organ and we need to protect her. This comes in the form of oils and SPF. Once oils are applied you are really reinforcing your skin’s barrier and barrier function. You’re locking in the water and helping keep out environmental stressors. This will also serve as a final push to drive your skincare in deeper.

                • Day: Finish with a light layer of any oils you use (optional) and then your SPF. SPF is always the final step in your routine. Wait for your other skin care to absorb before adding your layer of sun protection.

                • Night: Don’t forget to press a little Argan Oil or Rosehip Oil on your lips and eye area if you’d like, and add any excess to your hands, nails or even your hair.

                  Esthetician Tip: Remember that skin care is subjective. There is not one right way to layer for everyone, but there are best practices that will maximize absorption, minimize possible reactions or issues, and achieve ultimate results.
                  VIP EXCLUSIVE! Rewatch Stephanie's Live about skincare layering and learn from the expert. 

                  Comments (21)


                  Can any products be used in the eye area other than the eye gel?
                  goPure Beauty replied:
                  Hi Naomi,

                  Thank you for choosing goPure! We recommend the Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Vitamin C products and Niacinamide Serum. Basically, you may apply almost all goPure products around the eye area except for the Retinol products.

                  All of the ingredients of our products are listed on our website. Please feel free to visit

                  Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any further questions or concerns.

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