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Here's Exactly How to Layer Your Skin Care Products

Here's Exactly How to Layer Your Skin Care Products
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Layering is in, and we’re not just talking about cute jackets and blazers.

As you may already know, layering your daily skin care products can have some major benefits for your complexion. By combining a multitude of essential ingredients, you’ll improve efficacy, yielding more impressive results and a healthier glow. But in a world filled with endless amounts of moisturizers, serums, and anti-wrinkle creams, knowing exactly what to use and more importantly, in what order to use them, can be downright confusing, even for us.

To officially clear our minds (and our complexions), we quizzed Dr. Craig Kraffert, dermatologist and president of Amarte Skin Care on the art of layering. Here, he breaks down the products you should be using, and exactly when to use them, in 7 steps.

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Step 1: Cleanser

A.M. and P.M.: "You gain quite a lot from cleansing as opposed to just splashing water on your face in the mornings. It’s important to cleanse twice daily (in the morning, you are cleansing away the dead skin cells your retinoid or other nighttime products have exfoliated from skin)."

Step 2: Exfoliator

A.M. or P.M.: "Both cleansing and exfoliating are essential for keeping skin youthful and fresh, but in many cases, you can combine cleansing/exfoliating into one step. Save time by using a daily exfoliating powdered cleanser, which offer just a touch of gentle manual exfoliation, while also cleansing and removing makeup."

Step 3: Toner

A.M. and P.M.: "Toners are wonderful products to use, and while not everyone needs to use them, everyone can use them. They’re calming and provide an additional layer of hydration to prep the skin for makeup. Those with true acne-prone skin and oily skin tend to reap the most benefits from toner, because they’re formulated to remove sebum, oil and dirt from the pores."

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Step 4: Serum

A.M.: "Your serum should be full of botanical extracts and antioxidants, and feature lightweight yet powerful hydration properties as a primary benefit. Think water-based serums, like Aqua Veil Pure Hydration Serum ($57; amarteskincare.com)."

Step 5: Moisturizer

A.M.: "You want your lotion or moisturizing cream to have some brightening or retinol properties---yes, it’s OK for daytime, too!---and then follow that with a light formulation of SPF coverage."

P.M.: "Skin does its reparative work at night, so now’s the time to zero in on specific concerns with powerful anti-aging creams, and/or sleeping masks."

Step 6: Eye Cream

A.M. and P.M.: "Always the last step in your regular routine and twice a day is ideal. It is very important to keep the skin around your eyes moisturized."

Step 7: SPF

A.M.: "Apply SPF over your moisturizer and under your makeup, because, by nature, SPF products sit on the skin and shields skin absorption. So an SPF will block any anti-aging cream placed on top of it from absorbing into the skin, compromising the benefits."

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