How to Layer Your AM and PM Skin Care?

Dec 16 , 2022

How to Layer Your AM and PM Skin Care?

“A consistent skincare routine is essential to 

keep your skin looking strong and healthy.”

We all want to have healthy skin that will protect our body from external factors (e.g., bacteria, chemicals, and temperature) and look its best for a long time. When it comes to many important things in life (e.g., health, relationships, personal belongings, and properties), the most beneficial for their good condition is a routine checkup and regular maintenance. The last applies to skin care as well. 

In this article, we will answer a few questions that some of our valuable clients sent to us, such as “How to layer your AM and PM skincare?”, “Can my morning and night skincare be the same?”, “Can I use two different moisturizers in the AM and PM?” and “What should a morning and evening skincare routine be?”


The Best Skin Care Routine

Without a doubt, a skincare routine will help your skin stay healthy and look its best longer. Keeping your routine minimal will help to avoid getting a dilutional effect of the included active ingredients. There are no rules for applying skincare products, but some application principles are helpful.

A simple AM skincare routine should include cleansing, moisturizing, and putting on vitamin C serum and sunscreen. A simple PM skincare routine should include cleansing, moisturizing, and applying retinol.



Step 1: Apply Cleanser(s)

Cleansing should be the first step of your AM and PM skincare routine. Getting all that dirt, makeup, and grime out of your skin is very important. It needs to breathe. There are two main types of cleansers: oil cleansers and water-based cleansers.

Oil-based cleansers are good for removing any makeup or excess oil on the face. It is important to apply your oil cleanser to a dry face. After oil cleansing, you want to go in with your water-based cleanser to eliminate any residue. 

This is a cleanser activated by water, so you need to apply it on damp skin. Do not spend over 60 seconds cleansing your skin because you do not want to overdo it and disrupt your skin barrier.

Step 2: Apply Vitamin C Serum

The second step in an AM routine is applying vitamin C serum evenly on a dry face, neck, and decolletage. 

Vitamin C serum is a potent antioxidant that can stimulate your collagen production, brighten your skin and protect it from environmental aggressors preventing the onset of fine lines and wrinkles at the same time. 

One way to enhance the penetration of a Vitamin C serum is to wash your face with AHA or BHA face cleanser because it lowers the pH of your skin a little bit more and makes the pH closer to the pH of the serum so that you will get better absorption of it.

Step 3: Apply Moisturizer 

After this layer dries, you can add moisturizer. And this will be the third step of your AM skincare routine. Find a moisturizer that works well for your skin. If you have oily skin, it is good to use gel moisturizer; if you have dry skin, it is better to use a cream moisturizer.

Also, it will be beneficial if you have oily, acne-prone skin to use a moisturizer with Salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is well-known for reducing acne by keeping the pores clear. Yes, you can use two different moisturizers in the AM and PM. 

If you have a moisturizer with SPF, you can use it in your AM skincare routine. And for your PM routine, you can use a different moisturizer since you do not need sunscreen at night.

Step 4: Apply Sunscreen 

The final product in your AM skincare routine should be sunscreen, which goes before any makeup. 

After the moisturizer layer dries off, you can apply sunscreen for around 30 min before leaving the house. All four steps are essential for keeping your skin looking radiant and healthy, especially the last one. 

The sunscreen protects your skin from developing signs of premature aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, photodamage, and dryness.


What Does Skincare Layering Includes

The layering of the PM skincare includes:

  1. Cleansing
  2. Applying moisturizer on damp skin 
  3. Applying retinol 


    Retinol is a gold-standard ingredient in skin care because it enhances collagen production, minimizes breakouts, and reduces the appearance of aging, uneven texture, and age spots. 

    It is better at the beginning to add retinol into a nightly routine one or two times per week for the first week and increase it gradually from there, depending on how your skin reacts. It just takes a little time for the skin to adjust.

    It is not advisable to mix different products and apply them simultaneously because there will be a problem with the distribution of the active ingredients in terms of consistency. You can end up with a patchy application. Layer products are much better than mixing them on your own. 

    Every next layer should be applied on clean, dry, moisturized skin. That will give you consistent application and avoid patchy and uneven distribution of active ingredients. Each product is already formulated to be effective on its own, and any mixing could lead to a dilution. 

    Keeping your skincare routine rare and minimal reduces the dilutional effect and the risk of irritation. The more things you put on your skin, the more likely you will experience irritation. 

    Skin Care Steps  

    If you like to add more skincare products to your routine, follow the order below for optimal results: 

    1. Cleanse
    2. Toner, Essence, or Mist
    3. Exfoliate
    4. Face Mask
    5. Serum or Face Oil
    6. Moisturize
    7. Sunscreen (SPF)
    Cleanse - Directions: Twice per day, AM and PM.
    This step prepares your skin for treatment and makes the absorption of beneficial ingredients easier. 

    Toner, Essence, or Mist - Directions: Twice per day, AM and PM.
    Unlike alcohol-based toners in the past, today’s toners, essence, and facial mists deliver instant hydration with replenishing ingredients that support your skin’s health.

    Exfoliate - Directions: Once or twice per week.
    This step encourages healthy cell turnover, eliminates buildup, and relieves pore congestion. 

    Face Mask - Directions: Once or twice per week.
    Face masks have hydrating and firming benefits and make the skin appear healthy and resilient. Masks can be used to help with skin concerns like acne, large pores, and dark spots. Keeping a mask on for the duration advised on the packaging is very important.

    Serum or Face Oil - Directions: Twice per day, AM and PM.
    These potent formulations contain concentrated amounts of active ingredients focused on concerns and neutralize the effect of environmental aggressors (e.g., UV rays, air pollution, blue light).

    Moisturize - Directions: Twice per day, AM and PM.
    This step, together with the cleansing, is essential. The moisturizer keeps skin hydrated, supple, and protected. It provides the necessary support for the skin’s natural lipid barrier.

    Sunscreen (SPF) - Directions: Daily or as required.
    The final and most crucial step in every skincare routine is sunscreen application. Consistent sunscreen use protects the skin against premature aging and the formation of certain skin cancers.