Back to Basics: How to Build a Regimen
“Can I combine Lactic Acid 5% + HA with Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%”, “Which product should I use first, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 or Multi-Peptide + HA Serum”, and “When should I apply SPF?”
We get questions about the correct order of applying our products (also known as “layering”) all the time, so consider this an introductory guide on how to correctly layer our skincare products for maximum effectiveness and building a regimen.
How many products do I need?
Think of a regimen as having 3 steps: Prep, Treat, and Seal.
Step 1: Prep
The Prep stage is where we want to cleanse the skin and prepare it to receive active ingredients. Whether you want to start the day fresh or wind down from a great night out, it all starts with a great cleanser.
Consider using our Glucoside Foaming Cleanser to effectively cleanse the skin whilst maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier. If makeup is a concern or you need something a little more hydrating our Squalane Cleanser is a great first cleanse.
Step 2: Treat
When it comes to layering skincare, the general rule of thumb is to apply products from lightest to heaviest in texture to ensure optimal delivery of ingredients to the skin. The format is also a factor. You’ll want to apply water-based treatments first, followed by anhydrous (water-free) solutions or oil formulations, followed by creams or suspensions.
This means that you would apply a water-based serum such as Amino Acids + B5 before an anhydrous serum or oil such as Retinol 0.2% in Squalane..
What happens if there is more than one product with the same format?Ultimately they can be layered in any order, but we recommend focusing on the primary concern first. For instance, if you’re looking to target signs of aging as your primary concern and have both Multi-Peptide + HA Serum and Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, we’d recommend applying Multi-Peptide + HA Serum first because it targets signs of aging while Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 targets dryness.
Conflicting ProductsWe know conflicts can seem intimidating, but they aren’t! There are two types of conflicts: conflicts of ingredients and conflicts of tolerance but for simplicity’s sake, we’re going to treat them the same.
We’re also going to make a distinction between a regimen and a routine. When we say regimen, we’re talking about the whole skincare process including AM & PM and may span multiple days. A routine on the other hand is just the products that are used in one application - so the AM routine or PM routine.
Let’s dive into conflicts. Take for example Vitamin C and Niacinamide - two active ingredients we don’t recommend using together in the same routine. The key word here is routine. You can use Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% in the AM routine and Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% in the PM routine -- just not together in the morning or evening.
If your current regimen is more complex and contains multiple conflicting ingredients, this is when you might start changing your routines by day. On the first day, you might be using Antioxidants and Direct Acids, on your second day you might be using Peptides, and on the third day Vitamin C… and so on. It’s perfectly okay to rotate products!
Applying SPF should always be the last step in your morning skincare routine. This helps to protect against UV damage. We offer our Mineral UV Filters with Antioxidants in SPF 15 and SPF 30.
Additional Regimen FAQs
While there isn’t a set wait time between products, we recommend allowing each product to fully absorb into the skin before applying the next one.
When can I expect to see results?
Because everyone’s skin is different, everyone will have a unique response to new skincare products. The important thing is to be patient and consistent.
What is an Emulsion? Where do they fit in my regimen?
Emulsions are a mixture of two or more substances until they are homogenized (do not separate). We have both serum emulsions and cream emulsions so be sure to follow the thinnest to thickest rule in determining where they fit into your routine.
How to stop skincare pilling?
“Pilling” can be caused by many different reasons such as the amount of product being applied or the products being used. Some formulas may just not layer well together.
To reduce the chances of pilling, we recommend applying less product than you think (2-3 drops!) and letting it fully absorb before applying the next one.
Now you have the tools to build your own effective skincare regimen, you can take steps toward achieving healthier-looking, radiant skin. If you just want to grab and go, try exploring our Sets & Collections or make your own with our Regimen Builder.