Prato Botanico hyaluronic skin care line next to aloe vera

The Correct Order for Your Skincare Routine: A Step-By-Step Guide

Some say beauty comes at a price. For American women, that price is $62.46 billion. As the skincare industry continues to grow, it’s no surprise that the market seems saturated with innumerable products. Endorsements from celebrities and influencers also contribute to the plethora of information — and misinformation — about which products are best for your skincare routine and what your skin really needs. Because of this, women spend more on various beauty products without knowing how to use them or what is truly necessary. 

To achieve healthy, beautiful skin, it’s not enough to subscribe to clean beauty. Besides buying skincare products with natural ingredients, it’s also important to build a proper skincare routine. This starts by knowing which organic products to use and in what order. 

Many people may not be aware, but building a proper skincare routine is similar to creating a watercolor painting; you need to layer your products from lightest to heaviest, and your skin must also be given time to absorb each product. It’s also important to know that there’s some variation between your morning skincare routine and the one you do at night. Of course, it goes without saying that your skin type can dictate what products work best. 


Building Your Morning and Evening Skincare Routine 

Often, many women end up abandoning their skincare routine altogether because it’s too complicated. Many are under the impression that the more steps and products in their skincare routine, the better (Korean skincare, anyone?). However, the truth is just the opposite — simple routines can get the job done more effectively, and what’s more important, that simple routine is often more sustainable than one with 10+ steps. And be honest, do you really want a 10-step skincare routine after a late night out? The key is understanding what certain beauty products do, so you’ll know where they belong in your routine. 

For both morning and evening skincare routines, you only need five steps (or even less) to achieve healthy, protected, and youthful skin. Below is the general order in which certain skincare products should be used: 

Step 1: Cleansing (and Make-up Removal)

Using a cleanser should be the first step in any skincare routine. This ensures that your skin is rid of any dirt, grime, and oil that can keep it from absorbing the skincare products you’ll be using later on. Think of it this way: you can’t — and shouldn’t — exercise without warming up, unless you want to risk getting muscle cramps or an injury. Similarly, using a cleanser prepares your skin for the next steps without risking acne breakouts or damage. 

If you’ve worn healthy makeup all day, doing a double cleanse at night is recommended to remove any traces of makeup and oil. We recommend a calming cleanser that can do the job of both makeup removal and cleansing to keep your routine streamlined.

Step 2: Toner 

Did we just cancel skin care toner? Many may be surprised that toning is not actually necessary for your skin! In fact, toners can actually end up causing more problems like redness and irritation. Toners were originally invented in the early 1900s to remove soap residue and help balance skin pH after using harsh lye-based soaps. The toners essentially acted as an additional cleanser to unclog pores and restore the skin's pH. 

However, skincare has now evolved to where toners are no longer needed if you are using a high-quality cleanser. If you are using a lower-quality cleanser, it may leave a residue that requires a toner to remove. We recommend using organic skin care face wash with high-quality, plant-based ingredients that thoroughly cleanse without stripping in order to skip this unnecessary step.

Step 2: Serum 

Skincare serums are nutrient-dense, heavily concentrated treatments meant to penetrate deeper into your skin’s layers. They address specific skin concerns and are primarily used for additional skin repair and hydration. 

Like toners, serums can be optional or used once weekly if you want to keep your skincare routine ultra-simple. On the other hand, if you choose a serum with hyaluronic acid, you can increase your skin’s hydration levels daily which can help relax fine lines and wrinkles for a more rested look. We always recommend an organic serum that includes two different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid for the most effective hydration.

Step 3: Eye Cream

The area around your eyes is where wrinkles can become extremely noticeable as you age. As early as your 20s, use organic under-eye cream to ensure that this area remains smooth and elastic, especially around your brows and eyelids. Remember that your eye area can be sensitive and prone to fine lines. 

For your morning or night skincare routine, the best eye cream for wrinkles will be one with organic skin care ingredients containing vitamin C. For example, strong doses of Vitamin C from pomegranate or grapeseed oil can help repair and protect skin from free radicals that cause the skin to age prematurely.

Step 4: Moisturizer 

Last but not least, apply a moisturizer. This is an essential step even for those who have oily skin. Keep in mind that moisturizers hydrate your skin and lock in all the other ingredients you’ve used thus far. For those with an oily skin type, moisturizing can prevent your skin from producing excess oil because your skin has the proper hydration levels. Again, think of your skincare routine as like a beautiful painting: you need a final protective coat that keeps your paint from being damaged. For best results, apply your moisturizer while your skin is still damp, especially those containing hyaluronic acid. 

During the day, we recommend using a light anti-aging cream with plenty of Vitamin C and Vitamin E to protect the skin from free radicals. You can use a heavier anti-aging cream at night, as this is when your body performs all the needed repairs. 

Step 5: Sunscreen (morning only)

Sunscreen is non-negotiable. Never underestimate the power of a great sunscreen to keep your skin looking youthful and fresh. In fact, much of the work you put into your skin can be undone by one unprotected afternoon in the sun. Use in the morning after your moisturizer as a final step. Your sunscreen provides extra UV protection and doesn’t interfere with the other products you have used. 

That’s it! On a daily basis, these 5 simple steps and products are all you need to create healthy, glowing skin. At Prato Botanico, we believe in natural beauty created by our beautiful Mother Earth. Using organic skin care products is a way to ensure you are using high-quality formulations that your skin will actually recognize and use to regenerate. You don't need synthetic ingredients in your skincare for a natural, healthy-looking glow.

Other Treatment Products 

Because the skin is ever renewing, your skin may look dull or rough at times depending on where your skin is in its cycle. If you need to slough off extra dead skin cells, you can add other natural skin care products and treatments to your routine to create smooth, glowing skin. We advise using these types of products as treatments instead of part of your daily routine, as they can strip skin when used too frequently. These can include the following: 

  • Vitamin C serum: Use in the morning or night after cleansing. Aside from providing extra UV protection, your Vitamin C can protect the skin from free radicals and brighten the skin. However, if you use natural skin care products containing vitamin C from aloe vera, pomegranate, and prickly pear, for example, you may be able to skip a vitamin C serum altogether. 
  • Spot Treatments: If you have acne, use spot treatments just before applying your moisturizer. Ideally, spot treatments should be used at night since this is when the body performs major repairs. With this, you aren’t exposing your acne to sun damage, which can worsen when you’ve used a spot treatment. Avoid using spot treatments if you’ve already applied a toner to avoid irritation and further breakouts. 
  • Facial Mask: For detoxification, exfoliation, and unclogging pores, use a clay mask after you’ve used your cleanser as a once or twice-per-week treatment. Organic skin care masks with fuller's clay work best to unclog pores, slough off dead skin cells and provide a bright, fresh complexion.
  • Simplicity is the New Luxury

    If you are feeling overwhelmed by the thousands of beauty products on the market today, you are certainly not alone. The skin care industry seems like it was designed to confuse, so you spend more on products you don’t actually need. But it doesn’t have to be that way! More than just using certified-organic beauty products or those with natural ingredients, it is important to know what products are necessary and when to use them in your routine. Doing so will help you achieve luxurious, healthy-looking skin in a few simple steps without breaking the bank on dozens of unnecessary products. After all, simplicity is the new luxury. 

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