Reader Question: Serums? Moisturizers? Which comes first?

There are so many facial care brands out there that encourage us to buy their complete line of products so as to maximize/build up on their promised effects. I get a little confused with the order in which I should apply each product. What should come first, so that my skin can absorb them all more effectively?

I know it starts with toner, but what's next? Serum? Spot Corrector? Eye cream? Cream? How confusing.

Oh, and if there are primers (for the face or for the eye area) involved, do I just add it on top of everything or is there a product I can skip and replace with primer instead? - Matromao

Hi Matromao! Thanks for the question. As a general rule (as one of the commenters said in your forum thread), it's best to apply the lightest/runniest-textured product first before sealing everything in with a heavy moisturizer.  I apply my skincare in the following order after toner: serum, moisturizer, and then eye cream. Eye cream is last because I don't want to get any residue of it on the rest of my face.

If I'm using acne-drying products or a separate spot corrector, I just apply that directly on top of skin after the toner, and don't apply anything else on that area afterwards. It's to ensure that the active ingredients in the acne/blemish product will keep their integrity. Piling more stuff on a pimple, unless it's a product specifically for fixing acne, won't help it much. It may even worsen the problem. So if you're trying to heal from acne then just apply your medication and don't put anything else on the spot/s.

As for primer, apply your whole skincare regimen first and allow it to sink in and dry completely. If you mix primer with the still-wet skincare, then the primer's oil-controlling features will be compromised. 

Hope that helps! :)