In what order should I apply skincare products? I use rx retin-a, serum, sunscreen, and night cream in the pm.

Doctor Answers 1

In What Order Should I Apply Skincare Products?

Great question!  “Treatment” products, such as medications, retinoids, or hydroquinone will serve you best as the first product applied after cleansing. This can then be followed by a moisturizer, which hydrate and act as a barrier to keep product in, followed by your last step, sunblock.
Besides “treatment” products, a simple, very general way to approach product application is remembering the idea of “thinnest to thickest,” referring to the consistency of the product. Serums are thinner than creams and lotions. They are made of smaller molecules that enable superior penetration of the skin, and for the most part should be applied before heavier products. Try to wait a minute or two between products to allow for absorption before your next application.
You did not specify what kind of function your serum serves, however in your case, you would likely be applying the serum followed by sunblock in the morning, and the Retin-A followed by the cream at night. Hope that helps!


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