A Dermatologist’s Guide to Layering
Nighttime Skin Care
Every night, no matter what the day has brought—too much sun, too little hydration—we all get the skin-care equivalent of a do-over. That’s because skin naturally goes into regeneration mode overnight. It’s an opportunity to optimize your routine by layering on treatments and hydrators, and getting the order right can make a huge difference. New York dermatologist Whitney Tan is here to show us how. “The general guideline is thinnest to thickest,” she says. “It’s less about the exact products you use and more about their textures. Thinner formulas have smaller molecules, which penetrate more easily if you apply them before thicker ones with larger molecules. There’s no wrong order, but the biggest mistake we can make is that our products don’t absorb properly.”
So start with liquid formulas, like tonics, essences, or toners; move on to serums; then moisturizers if you need more hydration (not everyone’s skin does); and last—this is our favorite new addition—a mask to seal it all in.
TONIC, ESSENCE, OR TONER
Your serum may be enough on its own, but if you want more hydration, put it on here.
This particular mask is meant to go on over everything else, to seal it all in overnight. (We also use it on its own, to great effect.)