Experts agree that the skin only needs three to four products—and sometimes zero skincare products—to thrive.
"But you can absolutely overdo it. Too much of a good thing – like over-exfoliating your skin with multiple acids and/or mechanical beads – can result in redness, irritation, dryness, and worsened breakouts.
Three is the magic number. While there is no limit to how many serums you can add to your regimen, esthetician Enrique Ramirez, founder of Face to Face NYC, suggests stopping at three.
In general, a dime- to nickel-sized amount is enough, but if you're using a foam cleanser, one pump should suffice. If you're a heavy makeup wearer, it may be best to double-cleanse with a micellar water and a facial cleanser to get rid of all traces of makeup.
Whether you choose a gel or a cream cleanser, a dime-sized amount is all you need. For foaming cleanser, one pump should get the job done. Miami dermatologist Alicia Barba, MD, suggests washing once in the morning and twice in the evening if you wear makeup, or only once at night if you don't wear makeup.
The reason why people suggest a maximum of two or three serums comes down to layering and penetration. Heaps of brands, salons and experts recommend leaving time between applying your serums and moisturisers, and doing it in a specific order so as to allow all of the ingredients to actually sink into your epidermis.
Limit to Two Serums Per Routine
We recommend you use no more than two face serums per routine. Again, alternating skin care items is a strategy here. If you have many serums that you like, use one or two in your morning routine and two different serums in the evening.
You can mix serums together in the palm of your hand before massaging them into your skin. This works best if all the serums are of the same consistency – otherwise, they won't blend together super smoothly, and you might end up with serums that feel (excuse this word), curdled.
There's no need to wash the face more than twice a day. In fact, doing so may dry out your skin. When this happens, Ivonne says skin “does whatever it needs to do to regain moisture.” This includes “making its sebum production work in overdrive, causing more oil and more acne than there was originally.”
"The fewer products you use on your face, the better," says Michele Green, MD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist. "You don't want to overcomplicate things for your skin, especially since your face is so delicate. Giving your complexion a break from skin-care products will let your skin breathe and rest."
Apply the thinnest facial serum first, or, if serums are the same consistency, start by addressing your primary skin concern. Massage a few drops into the skin, then wait until absorbed before applying your secondary serum.
Increases absorption: Layering skincare products in the right order ensures your products fully absorb into your skin. Helps you combine ingredients safely: When using multiple skincare products, it's essential to understand which active ingredients are safe to use together and which you should not mix.
Alternate your products either every other day or every other week. Give your skin a break from active ingredients. Whether its anti-aging creams or acne treatments, these prodcuts have active ingredients that can be hard on the skin with continued use, sometimes causing undesirable side affects like dryness.
Vitamin C serum benefits
If you're wondering when to apply a vitamin C serum, the answer is both morning and night, after cleansing and toning. One study even recommends applying a vitamin C serum every eight hours, or twice daily for the pinnacle of protection.
In most cases, it makes sense to apply serum before moisturizer. This is because serum is usually more lightweight, whereas moisturizer tends to be thicker. Applying serum first can also give the skin more opportunity to absorb the active ingredients. In many skin care routines, moisturizer is the last step.
A Vitamin C serum should be used in your bedtime routine and a couple of drops of it should suffice. Tap it on your skin using your fingertips and leave it on overnight. Wash your face in the morning and apply SPF to avoid any skin irritation.
You can absolutely use vitamin C and niacinamide together, Singh goes on to emphasize. That said, if you ever have any doubts as to whether it's safe to mix two skin care ingredients, a dermatologist can always offer advice.
"Toners are most helpful and necessary for people with oily or acne-prone skin, or for people who want extra cleansing after wearing makeup or other heavy skin products such as sunscreen," she said. If you're wondering what else face toner does for your skin, King outlined some additional benefits: It shrinks pores.
Daily: Cleanser – No matter how much you skimp on your skin care routine, you should always wash your face at least once a day. Those with oily or combination skin may benefit from twice daily washes (morning and night) while drier skin may be fine with just a nightly wash.
Rose water is, indeed, a natural toner. It comes from the Rosa damascena flower, commonly known as the Damask rose, and is created by distilling rose petals with steam. While it's become more popular in recent years, rose water has actually been used for centuries.