If only one or two skincare products were sufficent to take care of your skin, there’d be little need to worry about the order in which you apply them. But, more often than not, it takes several products to address both your skin type and your range of concerns, from wrinkles to sun damage to clogged pores, dull skin, dehydrated skin, breakouts, redness, and so on. It seems daunting, but once you know which products to use and how and when to apply them, you’ll be amazed at how little time it takes—and how fantastic your skin looks!

Not sure where to begin? That’s why we created our Paula’s Choice Essential Routines: three simple steps for morning and evening. These basic routines will get you started on the path to the best skin of your life.

Or, if you’ve already got the basics covered, you can start with one of our more comprehensive Advanced Routines for better skin. These are designed to address multiple skin concerns such as signs of aging and uneven skin tone, plus provide extra hydration and protection from environmental damage.

How to Apply the Skincare Products You Use

The steps below make it incredibly easy to apply any skincare routine, from basic to advanced. Follow these steps to save time and get better results:

  • If you use an eye or facial makeup remover, you can use it before or after your cleanser. Our GENTLE TOUCH Makeup Remover removes all types of makeup quickly and easily and does not need to be rinsed; it’s actually beneficial to leave on skin.
  • If you’re using a separate scrub for cleansing (and we do hope it is exceedingly gentle and doesn’t damage your skin), use it after the cleanser; you don’t want to scrub makeup debris into your skin. If you prefer to use a scrub in the morning, you can use it instead of your cleanser.
  • After cleansing, apply your toner.
  • Next, apply your leave-on AHA or BHA exfoliant.
  • After cleansing, toning, and exfoliating, apply the rest of your skincare products in order of their texture. That means liquid products first, followed by the thicker products, including boosters, serums, essencestargeted solutions, and moisturizers.
  • The only exception to these steps is during the day, when last product you’ll apply before your makeup is sunscreen, regardless of its texture.

That’s it! Easier than you thought? We hope so.

Why Does It Take So Many Products?

Taking care of your skin can require several products if you have a range of skin concerns like wrinklesacneblackheadsrough skin textureextreme dryness or oilinessuneven skin toneredness, and loss of firmness. One product simply can’t address all these needs.

Think about it like your diet: A great recipe can include many wonderful foods and nutrients, but it cannot contain everything your body needs to be healthy. The same is true for skin—one great product can’t do it all.

Your ideal combination of products, applied in the correct order, will deliver beautiful, vibrant, younger-looking skin. In order to put your own routine together, we’ve created an organized guide to help you navigate the plethora of products we offer.

Alternating Skincare Products

Okay, you’ve chosen the right products for your skin type and concerns, but you’re still wondering if you should use all of them twice a day. The answer is no; you don’t need to use every product twice a day. Rather, you can alternate by using some products in the morning, others in the evening, and others every other day. That way your skin gets everything it needs on a regular basis.

For example, if you’re using more than one of our antioxidant serums or boosters, rather than applying them one after the other day and night, alternate days or combine two in the morning and use a different combination in the evening.

You do not need to apply everything all at once to get the benefits of each product. Alternating products saves time and allows you to customize your morning and evening routines, so you can precisely target your skin’s varying needs.

And of course, our dedicated Client Service Team is here to help if you have any questions; they will patiently walk you through how to apply the products you choose.