A guide to layering skincare

A guide to layering skincare

At some stage in your skincare journey, you may have asked yourself "what order do I need to apply these products in?"... possibly even followed by "does it matter?". 

The answer is YES, it does matter! Especially if you are using active treatments like Retinol or Salicylic Acid, it is important to apply your products in the correct order to ensure your skin receives the full benefits of each ingredient.


An easy rule of thumb to follow is to apply your products from thinnest consistency to thickest, or from liquid to cream. This is recommended because the thin consistency of serums won't be able to penetrate through heavy creams or oils. 

It is also important to consider the ingredients you are applying too, as you will want your more important active ingredients to absorb into the skin first, before emollients or humectants (found in moisturisers) which will seal ingredients into the skin.

Following these steps will allow for optimum absorption of your products, meaning the best possible results! 


1. Cleanser

Using a gentle cleanser in the morning will remove any excess oil or bacteria that may have formed on the skin overnight (you don't want this trapped on your skin throughout the day.) 

2. Tonic/toner or treatment pad

A tonic or treatment pad is the thinnest consistency in a skincare routine, meaning this is the first step directly after cleansing. In the morning, using a brightening product like the NIP+FAB Vitamin C Fix Brightening Pads will smooth and give the skin a glow which is great before makeup application!

3. Serum

Throughout the day, opt for a serum with ingredients like Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, or Mandelic Acid which are gentle and suitable for use in the morning. 

We love: NIP+FAB Vitamin C Fix Serum, NIP+FAB Charcoal + Mandelic Fix Serum

4. Moisturiser/day cream

Everyone needs a moisturiser, even if you have oily skin! Most experts recommend that the best time to apply a moisturiser is while the skin is still damp, so be sure to apply your moisturiser before your serum is completely soaked in.

5. Sunscreen

The best anti-aging product! Use your SPF of choice (preferably 50 or 30+) as the last step in your morning routine to keep sun damage at bay. 


1. Cleanser

Doing a double cleanse at night is an important step to ensure all makeup, sunscreen, and dirt or oils from the day are thoroughly removed - this sets the rest of your routine up for success. 

Important to know: not cleansing effectively can create congestion and texture, and will render your active products ineffective as they will be unable to absorb into the skin. 

We love: NIP+FAB Glycolic Cleansing Fix

2. Tonic/toner or treatment pad

Apply your tonic or treatment pad as you would in the morning. This can be the same product, or you may also choose to have a separate product for your night routine which directly targets any concerns you may have with your skin - NIP+FAB have ranges to suit most skin needs! 

We love: NIP+FAB Charcoal + Mandelic Fix Tonic, NIP+FAB Glycolic Fix Pads Extreme

4. Serum or treatment

Your night routine calls for your Retinol or Glycolic Acid serums or treatments! These ingredients make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it is important to use these at night to give your skin time to recover.  

We love: NIP+FAB Retinol Fix Booster Extreme

3. Eye cream

Dermatologists recommend starting to apply eye cream at least once a day from your mid-twenties. The skin around the eyes is incredibly delicate and a lot thinner than the rest of your face, making it one of the first areas to show signs of aging. Regular use of a suitable eye cream increases skin elasticity which will slow fine lines from forming. Make sure to apply with light pressure in a patting motion to prevent skin tugging. 

We love: NIP+FAB Retinol Fix Eye Cream

5. Moisturiser/night cream

As the final step, lock all your actives in with your moisturiser or night cream. Some people choose to use the same moisturiser for day and night. However, night creams are generally thicker and heavier and designed to be absorbed over the course of several hours. 

Here is a quick guide of when to apply your skincare products:  

1. Cleanser 1. Double cleanse
2. Tonic/toner or treatment pad 2. Tonic/toner or treatment pad
3. Serum 3. Eye cream
4. Moisturiser/day cream 4. Serum or treatment
5. Sunscreen
5. Moisturiser/night cream



If you have multiple actives in your routine, it can be confusing to know which ingredients you can and can't use together. 

Here is a quick guide of when to use ingredients: 

Salicylic Acid Retinol
Hyaluronic Acid Glycolic Acid
Niacinamide Hyaluronic Acid
Vitamin C Niacinamide
Mandelic Acid
Mandelic Acid 

*Please note, some ingredients like Retinol and Glycolic Acid should be not used on the same night. It is best to alternate these to minimise irritation. 


Be sure to reach out to us on Instagram @beautyconnectionsaus if you have questions, we are always happy to help! 

Back to blog