Daily Skincare: Are you doing it right?

If you’re reading this article, chances are you care about the health and appearance of your skin.

While skincare was once a simple ‘cleanse, tone and moisturise’ routine, nowadays there’s a dazzling array of high-tech formulations to choose from. You might high-five yourself when you  find a product perfect for your skin type and skin issues, but don’t crack open the bubbly just yet. Unless you know the right order in which to apply your skincare products, those lovely active ingredients and vitamins may be wasted.

We now know it’s important to include sunscreen in our daily routine to prevent UV damage that leads to premature ageing. Applying products in the incorrect order may mean your sun protection is inadequate or that thick or water-repelling formulations prevent your skin from absorbing rejuvenating nutrients from other products.

Basically, chemical sunscreens work by penetrating into your skin and physical sunscreens work by providing a barrier that filters and reflects UV rays. Many sunscreens use a combination of physical and chemical filter ingredients. SPF products should always be applied last in your routine. Talk to our Dermal Team if you are unsure.

Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30+. Sunscreens should be applied in adequate amounts at least 20 minutes before heading out doors. While skincare products such BB creams may contain a sunscreen, it might be difficult to apply them thickly enough to provide a good level of protection. So wearing a dedicated sunscreen daily is also advised. If your skin reacts to sunscreens or you can’t find one that feels comfortable to wear, speak to our Dermal Team.

As a general rule, apply skincare products with the thinnest consistency first and also products you want to penetrate more deeply into the skin, serums containing antioxidants. Apply thicker products that need to sit on top of the skin next, such as moisturisers that contain emollients (that hold water in the skin’s top layer) and humectants (that hydrate the skin by attracting water molecules). Lastly, apply a sunscreen before foundation.

Timing matters too. Some formulations require you to wait a specified time for the product to absorb into the skin before applying the next product. Having a pared down routine is important if you are time poor. Try to wait a minute or two between products, unless otherwise specified.

So, how do you pull together your very own customised morning and evening skincare routine? It can be confusing. To help, we’ve put the correct order to apply products in a graphic which you can print out and keep with your skincare products for reference. Of course omit any steps not relevant to your skin type or requirements. If in doubt, talk to our Dermal Team.

Cleansers: Many people use a 2-step system: first, an oil-based cleanser/makeup remover to dissolve makeup and sunscreen followed by a gentle water-based cleanser to cleanse away remaining oil and impurities. We love RATIONALE’s Double Cleanse Duo: ProCeramide PreCleanse Oil + ProCeramide Cleanser.

Chemical Sunscreens: sometimes called organic sunscreens. They often contain a combination of ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octyl salicylate and octinoxate. They are designed to absorb UV rays and prevent skin damage. Chemical sunscreens can be a good option if you don’t like the feel of a heavy, physical-barrier sunscreen. We love RATIONALE’s Beautiful Skin Superfluid SPF 50 and B3T superfluid SPF50.

Physical/Barrier Sunscreens: sometimes called mineral, natural or inorganic sunscreens. They protect your skin by providing a physical filter on the top of your skin, reflecting UV rays. They contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Follow product instructions to ensure you apply an adequate amount and reapply as directed.

Skin Soother/Immunity Booster: Few people use a traditional toner these days. Instead, there are new products that gently deliver antioxidants and vitamin B derivatives to boost skin’s immune and barrier function. Some products contain antioxidants, vitamins and lipids (fats) designed to rejuvenate, firm and improve skin texture. We recommend RATIONALE’s Immunologist serum in the morning.

Spot treatments: Special prescription medications and acne serums need to be applied close to your skin to work effectively. They may also require a specified amount of time to work, before coming into contact with any creams. Follow product instructions or speak to your doctor about how best to apply the treatment.

Antioxidant Serum: contains active ingredients to protect skin from damaging molecules and improve texture and firmness. We love RATIONALE’s Super Antioxidant serum.

Day Eye Cream: to hydrate, soothe, nourish, protect and rejuvenate the delicate area around your eye. Apply by dabbing gently with your ring finger. We recommend RATIONALE’s PhotoDynamic Eye Cream SPF 15.

Day Moisturiser: to soothe, protect and hydrate your skin. Moisturisers act to aid your body’s natural lubricating system by replenishing moisture lost due to the sun exposure and wind. RATIONALE has a range of excellent products. Speak to our Dermal Team to find one that’s right for your skin.

Treatments/Serums: (such as Spot Treatments, Retinol, Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), Anti-Ageing Serums)
While you sleep, your body works hard regenerating, repairing and restoring your skin. Most targeted treatments, such as prescription medications, masks, retinol creams, anti-ageing serums, exfoliative treatments, peptides, growth-factor serums and other active ingredients are best used at night. To avoid stressing your skin with too many treatments at once, speak to our Dermal Team about the results you wish to achieve. We can help you work out a regimen that is not too much for your skin. How would you feel if you did a week’s worth of exercise all at once? Sometimes your skin needs to rest and some treatments may work best once a week or every other day.

Hydrating Mist/Oil/Serum: If you have dry skin you might prefer extra hydration at night. Apply before your moisturiser.


Night Eye Cream: The skin around the eye is very delicate and a night eye cream will help nourish and hydrate the skin to retain its elasticity. Applying this cream before treatments can help protect your delicate eye area from ingredients that might irritate.

Night Moisturiser: Look for a night moisturiser that will hydrate and rejuvenate your skin and that contains active ingredients to repair sun damage, reduce the signs of ageing and help skin strength and elasticity.


Your morning and night skincare routines should now be a breeze. Speak to our Dermal Team if you still have questions or concerns. tel: 1300 502 732