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Post in Combination Skin

order and routine of skincare

hi everyone! i'm very new to skincare and have a combo skin type with a very oily T-zone and normal/dryish cheeks. i also have acne mostly on my forehead but a little spread around plus big pores on my nose and cheeks.


i've been looking into the inkey list and la roche posay brands and hope that they could help with all of my skin concerns. however, i have a big question: what order do i use the products in? im pretty sure cleansers go first, and i've heard of thin to thick, but when would i apply the acne treatment, moisturizer, spf, and everything else? 


additionally, i've been thinking about using pimple patches on my acne. do i put them on straight to my face? or should i use a treatment under? if not, would i still go through my skin care routine over it?


thank you for reading through all this, and i hope someone can answer all these questions 😅😅 all replies are much appreciated!! happy november 🙂

Re: order and routine of skincare

Hi @courtneyylols and welcome to the world of skincare! Here's the general order of application: 


  1. Cleanser - gotta remove the day’s crud and cooties before doing anything else to your face. If you wear makeup and your cleanser doesn’t remove it all, use a makeup remover first: can be micellar water, cleansing balm, oil cleanser, etc. Wash your face each night. You might not need to wash it in the morning. If you happen to work nightshift, then opposite applies: wash when you come home in the morning to remove all the crud your skin's picked up. 

  2. Treatments - this is where your leave-on acne treatment gets used. The “thin to thick” method is fine but not necessary. Example: if you have a serum that’s gel-like in texture and another serum that’s a cream texture, this method puts the gel serum before the cream serum. But you can use them in the other order if you want. It depends on your personal preference and possibly what’s in both serums. 

  3. Moisturizer - this should prevent water loss from your skin. Apply to damp (but not soaking wet) skin to seal in hydration instead of dryness. If your skin’s dried down by the time you reach this step, just gently tap or mist a little water over it. 

  4. Sunscreen - should always be the last step of your daytime skincare routine. If your sunscreen contains a good moisturizing ingredient (shea butter, dimethicone, petrolatum, squalane, etc.), you might be able to skip the moisturizer step and let your sunscreen pull double duty. Make sure your sunscreen’s at least SPF 30. Apply it generously: there’s no such thing as “a little goes a long way” with sunscreen. Slather that stuff on ALL skin exposed to sunlight, including eyelids, hairline, ears, behind ears, nape of neck if exposed, etc. And use it all year long, regardless of weather or season. 
Pimple patches: when I use these during the day, I apply them after moisturizer but before sunscreen. At night, I apply them after moisturizer. 

Re: order and routine of skincare

thank you so much @WinglessOne !!

Re: order and routine of skincare

@courtneyylols  No problem! 

Bit more about acne patches: sometimes they have trouble sticking to skin post-moisturizer. In that case, before applying the patch, gently water-wipe a very small area around the acne, about the size of the patch. You’re just trying to remove residual moisturizer from the skin surface. Once that bit of skin’s dried down enough, apply the patch. 

Feel free to ask more questions! There are plenty of helpful folks here. 

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