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When you've invested hours of research into setting up an effective skincare routine, you want to make the most of every step.
As it turns out, even your skin needs to take breathers. Rather than overwhelming your complexion with all of your products at once, here's how long to wait between skincare steps.
Before we get into the actual application process and how long to wait between skincare steps, it's important to cover the absorption rate of different types of skincare products.
Some products absorb more readily than others — for instance, occlusive ingredients such as butters and beeswax sit on top of the skin, forming a barrier against moisture release. However, other factors also influence the rate of absorption: your skin type and age, the duration of exposure (products that are rinsed off, like cleansers, have less time to absorb into the skin) and the order of your skincare routine can all make a difference.
How long does it take for serum to absorb? It typically depends on whether it's oil- or gel-based, but most serums start absorbing immediately. Some skincare formulas can take up to 30 minutes to fully absorb — but that doesn't mean you have to wait that long between skincare steps. Most skincare products are designed to begin absorbing right away.
Some ingredients may take longer to fully absorb than others, but the key is to layer them in the right order. A good rule of thumb is to apply the most lightweight formulas first (think toners and serums) and work your way up to thicker, heavier-weight products (oils and creams). Using a skin balm under a serum will prevent that topmost product from being absorbed.
Also consider which products you want closest to the skin: For instance, if your focus is dealing with breakouts, apply an acne-fighting product as one of the first steps in your lineup. No matter how you order your regimen, though, consistency is key. Sticking to a regular skincare routine will provide the biggest benefits for your skin.
It's also helpful to make sure you use skincare products that work together cohesively. For example, layering up too many acne products can irritate skin. Also check that your choice of sunscreen doesn't pill on top of your other products, making its coverage less effective.
Although there are no strict guidelines here, here's how to schedule wait times in your skincare routine for best results.
That's it. No more wondering how long to wait between skincare steps. Perfect your routine and enjoy glowing skin, every single day.