The order of your natural skincare routine is almost as important as the products themselves. But what goes where? This is a FAQ at The Green Kiss - so let's walk through it together, shall we?
The skin's lipid barrier determines your skincare absorption rate, and our natural beauty products are formulated with that in mind. Our formulas come in various molecular sizes with different absorption rates. For example, lighter formulas are excellent for prepping the skin and treating the delicate area around the eyes. A richer formula offers a time-release drink to quench parched skin and repair the natural moisture barrier while locking in beneficial ingredients from previous steps. For your skin to get the full benefits of each product, we recommend starting with the lightest, thinnest formulas and working your way up to oils and balms. Here's our GK Layering Guide for hydrated, bouncy skin!
The Green Kiss Layering Guide
Step 1: Cleanse
Let's start with a clean slate. A good cleanser gently removes grime and makeup buildup without stripping natural oils. It sweeps away dry, dead skin cells and impurities as well as unclogs pores to help ensure skincare ingredients penetrate properly. The act itself stimulates blood circulation, serving an immediate glow. Choose from a bar, gel, cream, cloth, balm, micellar water, foam, milk, or oil cleanser, based on your skin type. Need help with that? Don't hesitate to reach out to us! If you're looking for a deep clean, that is more of a treatment, go with a double cleanse. Skin Gurus swear by the double cleanse! With origins in the 10-step Korean skincare routine, double cleansing typically starts with an oil-based cleanser and is followed up by a water-based one. What's the point? It's really just a more thorough cleanse. The first round removes oil-based impurities (makeup, sunscreen, pollution), and the second round works its way deeper into the skin to remove grime and sweat. If you'd love to add the act of a double cleanse to your skincare routine, but don't want more products on the bathroom counter, you can just use your same cleanser twice, but in our opinion this should only be done with a gentle creamy cleanser, such as this one from Glow Jar, or this one from 100% Pure. Otherwise, you run the risk of seriously stripping the skin and mucking up that moisture barrier!
Extra Steps: For those looking to level up that squeaky clean, add an exfoliating step one - three times a week. Less is more in terms of exfoliation for sensitive skin types. Exfoliating goes slightly deeper than a cleanser to unclog pores in the form of whiteheads and blackheads. Your skin will thank you!
Step 2: Tone
Toners are the unsung heroes of the natural skincare space. They are most effective as the second step in your skincare routine, applied to a cleansed, exfoliated face when it's most permeable and before you move on to your serums. Toners help to support the function of all the other products you apply afterwards. Make a moisture sandwich if your skin tends to be on the dry side. A hydrating toner can be used more than once, in-between skincare steps, to hold water and moisture close to the skin and reduce transepidermal water loss. As you move on to each step, ensure your skin is still damp from the previous step. Natural toners add essential hydration to the skin and many other benefits for a visibly softer, suppler, and more hydrated complexion!
Extra Steps: For our skincare aficionados who like a little extra zhuzhing, a facial sheet mask delivers a high dose of yummy ingredients with a targeted purpose. Hydrate, gloss, nourish, brighten, tighten, correct, or repair. Sheet masks adhere to your skin, allowing high-performance ingredients infused into the fabric time to penetrate the epidermis without evaporation. The results from a 20-minute mask application are immediate: cozy, glowing skin. There's a good reason facial sheet masks are consistently among our top sellers. (Friendly reminder - please, don't wash your face after a sheet mask. Leave those good ingredients on while you continue on with your routine.)
GK Pro Tip: Warm skin improves the penetration rate of your skincare products.
Step 3: Serum
Serums are up next - as your most impactful skincare routine layer. These are the HYPE girls of skincare! The heavy hitters. The take-one-for-the-team players. They are packed with active ingredients to target specific skin concerns, designed to nourish and repair the skin. This step is for applying a high-quality hyaluronic acid (HA) serum, a plant-based retinol alternative, and vitamin C products. Take the time to really pat your serum into your skin to let these antioxidant-rich formulas penetrate with ease.
GK Pro Tip: Use a Hyaluronic serum underneath your other more active serums. An HA serum will help pull the actives from your other serums down deeper into the skin. When layering them like this, be sure to apply your HA serum to damp skin (post toner application) and then apply your other serum (think Vitamin C, Antioxidant Serum, Retinol Alternative etc..) over top. They are also FABulous when applied in the under-eye area before your eye cream application. They plump the skin there, often showing a visible reduction in fine lines.
Step 4: Eye Cream
Once your serum has been absorbed, and while the skin is supple and still slightly damp, apply your favourite eye treatment. The delicate, thin skin under the eye is the first area to lose elasticity, requiring a little extra TLC. Please, please, please don’t apply your eye cream last. Eye creams are specifically formulated to absorb into thinner tissue, so don't block its way with an oil or a moisturizer. Eye creams play nicely with serums and fit well into your morning and evening skincare routines.
D.Y.K: Puffy under-eye bags are most often caused by lack of sleep, high-sodium foods, and dehydration. But they can also be from using the wrong eye cream. Which one will work best depends entirely on your skin type.
Step 5: Spot Treatment
These treatments are formulated for deep penetration to target skin concerns such as blemishes, dark spots, age spots, sun spots, and uneven skin tone. A natural and effective acne treatment helps to speed up healing and reduces and eliminates blemishes. Apply only to the spot of concern.
Step 6: Moisturizer
The primary function of a non-toxic moisturizer is to improve skin hydration by sealing in its natural water content. It also locks in your serum ingredients while it's at it. Think of your non-toxic moisturizer as a coat for your skin, providing a layer of protection. We recommend choosing a moisturizer based on your skin type, not your skin condition. People often ask how much they should apply. Your skin should feel bouncy, comfortable, and not ‘wet'.
Step 7: Face Oil
We're big fans of silky-rich facial oils, especially in the colder months. Using a facial oil in the morning helps to compensate for overnight moisture loss, and slathering it on before bed rehydrates your skin and locks in your evening skincare routine. There are benefits to using an oil high in antioxidants in the morning to protect against free radicals and a super hydrating oil in the evening to support collagen production and hydrate skin while you sleep. If you get dry skin in the winter, adding in a facial oil as the last step of your skincare routine is a game changer!
Extra Step - For our slugging fans, swapping petroleum jelly for a clean facial balm is a must. A balm works hard to facilitate maximum cellular hydration and repair vital skin functions. So while you sleep, your skin is plumped, softened, protected, and deeply repaired. Or use it during the day for a dewy, healthy complexion. Especially if you live in a colder/drier climate. Brownie points if you layer a balm over your facial oil.
Step 8: SPF (daytime only)
We know this isn't the first time you've heard us say this, but we really want to drive our point home. SPF. Every single day. 365 days a year. Seriously. You know all those high-performance serums and treatments your skin has been drinking up? You won't see long-term benefits from those products if you're not finishing your skincare routine with daily SPF. We recommend using an effective and gentle mineral sunscreen for added protection against blue light, free radicals, pollution and, other environmental damages.
One Last GK Pro Tip: Along with all of the above, the final step in any good skincare routine involves washing your facecloths and pillowcases regularly. Opt for an artificial fragrance free formula, and one that is more natural than others - we like this one from Nellie's! both being much better for your skin than sleeping on synthetic chemicals every night!
Still with us? Here is the takeaway: The order in which you apply your natural skincare seriously impacts their efficacy! The importance of properly layering your products can't be overstated. Always apply from thinnest to thickest texture. Not all skincare ingredients make their way into the bloodstream and circulate into the lymphatic system, but the toxic body burden is very real. It's a good reminder to be selective with the ingredients in your skincare routine. The healthier the ingredient, the better.
To learn more about skincare layering and build a personalized natural skincare routine for your skin type, reach us here.
This flow chart is fantastic. So informative. Necessary. Thank you.