Skincare PSA: You’re Probably Applying Your Products Wrong


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- your skin needs care, not experimentation. But experimenting with different ingredients is usually how we get to know what works for us and what doesn’t, right? Having done it all and more, I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s not my skincare products that need to change, but the order I apply them in. For instance, I thought I needed a less potent retinol to reduce irritation, but the same product worked so well when I used it in the ‘sandwich method’.

Similarly, here are a few tips for you to try and get the maximum benefit out of your skincare products, before switching or abandoning them –

Retinol Sandwich Method


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A post shared by Sarah Palmyra (@sarahpalmyra)

The hype around retinol doesn’t sit well with the sensitive skin type. Moreover, retinol can dry out the skin and therefore, those with dry skin keep a distance from the sought-after ingredient. So for those who are vary of this derm-fav ingredient, the Sandwich Method works wonders. It is a well-liked skincare technique that allows this potent active to be applied onto your skin without causing irritation, in conjunction with a moisturiser. Just sandwich the active ingredient between two layers of the moisturiser to minimise irritation and dryness.

Pilling Skincare

skincare pilling

I’ve you’ve ever noticed your skincare balling up on your face, your skincare is pilling. This is the most unpleasant feeling which can definitely be done away with. Sometimes, this can happen if the product you’re using contains silicone or is not compatible with the rest of your routine. But more often than not, you’re just not allowing your product to penetrate into the skin properly. Rather, it’s just sitting on the surface waiting to be rubbed off with the next step. So, take time with your skincare and wait a minute or two after each application.

The Right Order

skincare order

Skinfluencers take pride in their step-by-step skincare routines with good reason. These steps, or the right order of these steps, are just as important as the products you’re using. For example, if you’re using a face oil (an occlusive) before your moisturiser, the latter won’t be able to penetrate into your skin making it a redundant step. So, a rule to live by is to apply your products from the thinnest formulas to the thickest- cleanser, toner, essence, serum, moisturiser, face oil, and lip treatment. Straying from this order can render your routine ineffective, no matter how effective the product line-up is.

Ingredient Compatibility

skincare ingredient

Mixology is all fun-and-games when it comes to drinks or perfumes. But when it comes to skincare actives, it’s a tricky territory. For example, retinol and any AHA acid when combined together can irritate the skin as both are potent. Retinoids and vitamin C are another unfriendly pair as they work well in different pH levels and using them together reduces their efficacy. Speaking of vitamin C, pairing it with Niacinamide can render both ineffective on your skin. So if you feel that a skincare product isn’t doing it for you, take a closer look at the layering of products. Make sure you get it checked with a dermatologist.

Contaminated Dropper

skincare dropper

Placing the dropper of your favourite serum on your cheek may be aesthetically appealing but can contaminate the product. The dropper that sits in your product should not be touching any surface outside the bottle. Doing so may pick up bacteria and lead to breakouts and irritation. So, hover the dropper over your skin, drop the product and then plop it right back in.

Storing Your Skincare

skincare fridge

It’s the little things like storing the skincare right that could make all the difference. Some skincare ingredients like vitamin C are quite unstable and oxidise when stored in direct sunlight. This is also why these serums come in opaque bottles. Storing them away from the sunlight and closing the lids tightly can prevent oxidation. Also, skincare products are best left at room temperature with minimum fluctuation. But with the days suddenly heating up, some thicker balms and sticks may melt away. So in order to preserve them, storing them in a skincare fridge is a good option. This also makes the experience all the more relaxing!

Beauty Writer

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