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Confused about the correct order to layer your skincare products in?


Don’t be. 


Here’s how to layer products like a K-Beauty pro! 


Where Do I Start?

If you’ve ever looked at a heap of new Korean Beauty products on your bathroom shelf and wondered where to start, you’re not alone. Knowing which products to apply in what order can be confusing, especially given the various different names the products go by.

The simplest rule of all to remember? Start with the product that is the lightest in consistency and work your way up to the heaviest.




1 Start from the lightest first 

The lightest products go first, so that they can sink into your skin before you apply your next layer of skincare. If you’re ever wondering which product to apply next, simply go by the weight and absorbency level of it.


A typical Korean routine involves  Cleansing > Toner > Essence > Mask > Serum > Lotion > Eye Cream > Moisturiser > Sleeping Mask (for Night) / Sunscreen (for Day) 


2 Don’t get too caught up on the names of the products 

The naming convention for K-Beauty products is unfortunately anything but uniform. There’s “first treatment” essences, regular essences, toners and even “Skins” (say whaaat?!)

Don’t get too caught up on the names; if the Essence you are using feels more light and watery than your Toner, whack the Essence on first, and then follow up with the thicker Toner.

Remember – Korean toners aren’t like Western Toners; they are actually designed to treat and hydrate, so it’s okay if you don’t use them exactly like you would with a regular Western one.


3. Don’t apply your products all at once

You don’t need to give them too long, but try to give each product some time to actually sink into your skin and dry first before you put the next one on, to make sure you are maximising each product. Don’t feel the need to hang around in the bathroom while you wait either; you can get chores done or have dinner in between.


4. Watch your Acids

If you’re incorporating acids like BHAs or AHAs into your routine, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a pH balanced Toner first, and that you leave enough time before applying each product.




Because the pH levels of your products matter, as do the absorption periods for actives.

If you’re using multiple different actives in your routine, put them on in order of the lowest pH to highest pH.

Try: Cleansing > Vitamin C Serum > BHA > AHA > Other Treatments


Make sure you leave at least 20 minutes between each of your active layers so that your products have time to absorb without interference.


5. Don’t feel obliged to do all the steps 

There’s no need to use every product every day; do what feels right for your skin and fits in best with your lifestyle and routine.

On busy nights, if you manage to cleanse, tone and moisturise you’re doing better than most!



Got more questions about how to layer products like a K-Beauty pro? Drop them in the comments!



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