Environmental Detox

Product Layering
Your Step-by-step guide

The order you apply your skincare products affects the performance of each one. Follow our Beauty Experts' layering tips to incorporate pollution-defending products into your routine for maximum results!

Order of Application

  1. Cleanse

    Darphin Intral Air Mousse Cleanser with Chamomile

    Darphin Intral Air Mousse Cleanser with Chamomile

    Air Pollution Protection

    Starting with clean skin is essential for helping ingredients seep into pores more effectively. Begin with an oil-based cleanser to dissolve any makeup residue, then follow with your regular cleanser to rid your skin of remaining oils and impurities.

    Expert Tip

    Add an exfoliator into your routine after your cleanser at least once a week to remove the buildup of dead skin cells for a more thorough clean.

  2. Mask

    Kiehl’s Cilantro & orange extract pollutant purifying masque

    Kiehl’s Cilantro & orange extract pollutant purifying masque

    Air Pollution Protection

    Masks are perfect for targeting specific skincare concerns. Choose a mask for your unique needs, like hydrating, soothing, detoxing or nourishing. Apply to clean skin, after cleansing (and exfoliating, if you are including in your routine).

    Expert Tip

    Make sure to follow directions on the packaging. Some masks can be used up to three times per week while others are recommended to use only once.

  3. Toner or Essence

    SKII Facial Treatment Essence

    SKII Facial Treatment Essence

    These products help to balance and hydrate the skin's moisture level and are great for prepping the skin for spot treatments and serums.

    Expert Tip

    Choosing a toner or essence with active ingredients can limit what you use later in your routine since they are more potent and can irritate skin if too many are added at once.

  4. Serum

    M-61 Vitablast C Serum 2.0

    M-61 Vitablast C Serum 2.0

    Air Pollution Protection

    Serums are among the thinnest products and penetrate the skin deeply, especially without the barrier of a moisturizer or thicker product. To layer your serums, apply your lightest first and finish with your thickest.

    Expert Tip

    Use serums with antioxidants like vitamin C in the morning to ward off the effects of pollution. Use serums with retinol in the evening to stimulate collagen production so you can wake up with a glowing complexion.

  5. Moisturizer

    Chantecaille Anti-Pollution Mattifying Cream

    Chantecaille Anti-Pollution Mattifying Cream

    Air Pollution Protection

    Moisturizers hydrate your skin and have the added benefit of sealing in all the ingredients you've applied prior.

    Expert Tip

    During the day opt for a lightweight lotion for normal to oily skin and a heavier formula for drier skin.

  6. Eye Serum/Gel/Cream

    Skinceuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex

    Skinceuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex

    Blue Light Protection

    The skin around the eyes is very thin and delicate, making it the first area to show signs of aging. Eye treatments can help promote elasticity and thickness, fending away fine line and wrinkles.

    Expert Tip

    Some products are only for under the eyes while others can go on the eyelids.
    Apply with a gentle tapping motion with ring fingers and don't pull skin.

  7. SPF

    Supergoop! Smooth Matte Sunscreen

    Supergoop! Smooth Matte Sunscreen

    Sun Damage Protection

    SPF is designed to sit on top of your skin to block UV rays, so this is an important last step before applying makeup.

    Expert Tip

    You can touch up during the day with an SPF translucent powder if you need to extend your protection.

  8. Mist

    This Works In Transit Pollution Shield

    This Works In Transit Pollution Shield

    Air Pollution Protection

    Face mists give the skin an instant refresh and are a great way to boost hydration throughout the day.

    Expert Tip

    Keep in convenient places like your gym bag or glove compartment for a quick refresh on the go.

  9. Supplement

    Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti Pollution Food

    Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti Pollution Food

    Air Pollution Protection

    Supplements are a great way to give your skincare regimen an extra boost by treating from within.

    Expert Tip

    Choosing a targeted formula can reduce the effects of your most troublesome concerns.

  10. Lip Protection

    Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15

    Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15

    Sun Damage Protection

    The skin on our lips is extremely thin and prone to damage, making it crucial to use a formula that nourishes and protects.

    Expert Tip

    Try a formula with SPF to protect against UV damage, year round!

Mixing Active Ingredients

Everyone's skin reacts differently to products, so use your best judgment when layering products with these particular ingredients.

Ingredients that mix well Ingredients that do not mix
  • Retinol & Hydroxy Acids (AHAs & BHAs)

    Why: Both are powerful anti-aging ingredients that accelerate cell turnover. Combined they are extremely potent and can irritate the skin.

  • Retinol & Benzoyl Peroxide

    Why: Benzoyl Peroxide is a common acne treatment and retinol is a potent anti-wrinkle ingredient. Used together, they can cause peeling, dryness and redness.

  • Vitamin C & Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

    Why: AHA's change the pH of vitamin C, destabilizing it and making its antioxidant properties ineffective. If you are using a serum with salicylic acid or glycolic acid, pair it with an antioxidant serum with green tea or resveratrol instead of vitamin C.

  • Retinol & Hyaluronic Acid

    Why: Retinol is a highly effective anti-aging ingredient but can be intensely drying and cause irritation. Pair with hydrating hyaluronic acid to balance moisture levels. For best results, apply the retinol nightly and the hyaluronic acid every morning and evening. Always follow with an SPF.

  • Vitamin C & Peptides

    Why: When paired together, vitamin C works to brighten and peptides work to firm skin making this a dynamic anti-aging duo.

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) & Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)

    Why: Acids like Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy work well together to treat uneven pigment, dullness and acne.

General Rules

  • Layer by weight, starting with the thinnest formula working your way to the thickest. Thinner products tend to have smaller particles that penetrate more deeply into your skin when applied directly to the surface with no existing products to block their entry. Types of thin formulas include toners, essences and serums.

  • Give your skin time to absorb each layer of product. Our experts recommend one minute between serums and two to three minutes for moisturizers to soak in before applying makeup.

  • If you have sensitive skin that reacts to powerful ingredients like retinol, apply at the last step in your routine over your moisturizer. The effects are muted as less of the product will penetrate the skin. You can also test on another part of your body before you apply to your face.

  • Introduce new products slowly to see how your skin reacts before adding a new product or ingredient into your routine.

Environmental Detox Guide