Should You Wait for Skincare Products to Absorb?

Whether your skincare routine is a 10-step process that involves endless layers of serums and toners or more of a wash-moisturize-and-go regimen, you’ve probably wondered if you’re getting the most out of your beauty products. Should you wait for your vitamin C serum to soak in before applying the next step? Or does it not matter as long as you’re using quality ingredients? 

We already know the order you should be layering your skincare products and how your skin absorbs the good (and bad) stuff. But let’s take a look at the relationship between proper absorption and the effectiveness of your skin care — and how to maximize your current routine.

How long should you wait between applying skincare products?

The long version: According to dermatologists, it’s best to let each product dry and absorb before the next one is applied. This will vary from product to product — a toner may take mere seconds to dry, while a serum or thick nighttime eye cream could take a minute, or even a few minutes to dry and be properly absorbed. A good rule to follow to simplify things? Wait about one minute between applying each skincare product. This will allow for each one to soak into your skin and to penetrate the pores more thoroughly, leading to more flawless skin.

There are a few exceptions to this loose rule: Those who use prescription acne medication or other topical medications should follow the instructions listed on the medication and allow for more time for the medication(s) to absorb, and secondly, sunscreen should be applied last. If you get your UV protection from a tinted moisturizer, foundation or moisturizer, apply this at the very end for best results. Again, every product is different, and you’ll be able to feel and tell when it’s dry.

Higher quality skincare products tend to soak in more quickly because they aren’t usually packed with chemicals or inexpensive fillers. However, you’ll want to give each product time to soak in for optimal results, whether you’re using a luxury product or a drug-store alternative.

The short version:

Your skincare products will be more effective if you wait for a little bit of time in between adding each layer. How long? Each product is different, but wait until the tackiness of the product has subsided. A good rule of thumb is to wait about one minute in between each product. Apply your SPF last, as this takes the longest to absorb and also, of course, is acting as a shield from the sun for your gorgeous skin!

Here’s to taking (a little bit) more time caring for our skin!

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