How to Set Your Skincare Up for Success

At ICLS we are fans of complex skincare – that is, the kind of skincare products loaded with medicinal ingredients and backed by numerous scientific studies as evidence of their promised results. Regardless of your skincare regime, it can be confusing to know which products to apply first, last and in-between. 

Complex shouldn’t be complicated. While there are some basic rules of thumb to when it comes to applying skincare products, it’s not a really matter of right versus wrong. Rather, a recommended order of application is designed to be strategic. It allows you make the most of the product ingredients, setting them up to work at their maximum strength and, thereby give you the best results.

How to Skincare


  1. Cleanse/Tone
  2. Corrective Serums
  3. Moisturizer
  4. SPF

An important thing to remember is go by molecular weights. Apply the thinnest products first and the thickest last. Vitamin C serums should always go on first, on clean PH-balanced skin. Check out our top picks on The Skin Store.

Apply sunscreen last. Keep in mind it’s just as important to reapply throughout the day. Colorscience Mineral Loose Mineral Sunscreen is great for on-the-go applications.


  1. Cleanse/Tone
  2. Corrective Serums
  3. Retinol
  4. Moisturizer

If you’re using a retinoid, this can be applied either before or after moisturizer. If you are looking for a more brisk reaction, put it before. If you want a barrier, but not as much peeling apply after moisturizer. 

Still have questions? Our skincare experts can answer your questions in a skin analysis consultation. Contact our office to learn more.