The Real Question: What Order Do You Apply Skin Care?!

Nighttime Routine for Glowing Skin |
Nighttime Routine for Glowing Skin |

Because Who Actually Knows This Stuff??

A few days ago a girlfriend asked me what order she should be applying her skincare products and I looked at her with a blank stare. Seriously. I came up blank.  I think I just assumed what the correct order was and have been winging it for the last decade. Honestly, it was a great question. 

To me, it seemed logical to just slather things on in the order of thickness… meaning serums and oils first, moisturizers last, etc. But since I had no real evidence of this being true I realized that I would need to actually do a little research. 

Well, my research lead me down a rabbit hole of skincare 101s and this is what I’ve officially come up with. So really, this post isn’t for you.  It’s for me! I may just print this whole thing out and tape it on my bathroom mirror. 

Below is the correct order to apply your skincare and the product I currently use for each step! Fingers crossed this is helpful and hopefully I’m not the only one who’s been just winging it! 😉

Before you get overwhelmed, remember…

This is my ideal skincare routine… I put an asterisk * next to the steps that I’m NEVER willing to skip! If I’m in a hurry or flat out too tired I will 1000% just stick to the basics and be done… So please know that this is not an every day, twice a day situation.  It’s my ideal skin-glows-like-a-Disney-Princess-situation!

The Correct Order To Apply Your Skincare:



The best cleanser! I’m just so obsessed. 
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Toner primes your skin for the rest of your routine. Fresh beauty’s rose toner is one of my favorites.
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It’s like vitamins for your skin and it’s magical!

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Eye Cream *

Cannot, will not, go without eye cream. 

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SPF Moisturizer *

SPF is a must and this one is a staple! 

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remove makeup & Cleanse *

I’m just repeating myself here, but honestly, so good.

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Exfoliate (1-3x weekly)

My favorite exfoliator of all time. Works wonders. 

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Same toner I use in the morning! 

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I am totally obsessed with this AmourPacific Essence.

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A $9 Retinol that works?! YES PLEASE.

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Eye Cream*

Another AmourPacific find that I’ve fallen in love with!

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Such a great night time moisturizer! 

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Face Oil / Sleeping Mask (2-3xs weekly)

You know how I feel about Midnight Recovery Oil…

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  1. March 21, 2019 / 4:52 am

    This is SO helpful!! I truly didn’t know how to do this forever and wasn’t willing to go down the internet rabbit hole to find out. Thank you so much for this perfect overview.

    Best, Sally

    • Ashley Brooke
      March 21, 2019 / 1:21 pm

      Sally!! I’m so glad this was so helpful! Makes my day to hear that! 🙂 xx – AB

  2. Dawn
    March 21, 2019 / 11:27 am

    Does the recovery oil go in last only if you didn’t use a moisturizer? If you use both, does the moisturizer go over the oil?

    • Ashley Brooke
      March 21, 2019 / 1:23 pm

      Dawn, okay, so technically from everything I read it goes last. But Honestly I will use it in-place of a moisturizer because my skin is oily. So yes and no… if that makes sense! xx – AB

      • Dawn
        March 22, 2019 / 12:08 pm

        It does make sense! Thank you, Ashley!

        • Ashley Brooke
          March 25, 2019 / 12:33 pm

          Dawn, let me know if you have any further questions! Happy to help! xx

          • Kaija
            April 3, 2019 / 4:43 pm

            Hi Ashley,

            Following up on Dawn’s question, I read on the website that the midnight recovery concentrate is supposed to go under the moisturizer, not over?? I feel like the oil goes a much longer way if I use it on top of the moisturizer because it helps the oil to spread out more evenly. But maybe it doesn’t soak into the skin as thoroughly?! (I don’t have oily skin so I like to use both moisturizer and concentrate. Is that overkill?)

            I haven’t noticed a difference in my skin no matter which order I put them on. But I have always been pretty happy with my skin and never really notice a difference no matter what products I’m using…plus I’m not terribly observant. Just trying to be as good to my face as possible!

            Thank you!!

  3. Jayne
    March 21, 2019 / 10:28 pm

    Hi Ashley!

    This is such a helpful post! Thank you so much! I love your skincare posts, and am just wondering if you have any recommendations for a product to help with under eye puffiness? I’ve been using Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery eye cream, but haven’t really noticed too much of a difference. Thank you so much!

    P. S. I’ve been reading The Royal We for your book club and have really been enjoying it!! 🙂

    • Ashley Brooke
      March 25, 2019 / 12:37 pm

      Hi Jayne!

      Yes, the oil is really for brightening and evening out your skin tone, so hopefully it is doing that! But, try this for puffiness:

      xoxo – Ashley Brooke

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