I feel my education in such matters growing up, teamed with years writing about the latest product launches and access to an overflowing beauty cupboard has equipped me with more knowledge than most.
And yet, when I stand in front of the bathroom cabinet every morning and evening, I’m still hesitant about what to apply first.
Of course, I have the basics down pat: cleanser, toner, serum and so on, but what about multiple serums? Which ones don’t mix? Which should be applied at night and which in the morning?
I’ve read plenty of instructional articles in my time but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon the holy grail of breakdowns by beauty brand The Inkey List that it really became clear – and has since lived in my Instagram saved folder to be called on when needed. I'm even considering framing it for my bathroom.
Scroll on for the most comprehensive and only guide, you'll ever need.
This is a no brainer, but for full clarity I'm listing it here.
We love: La Roche-Posay Toleriane dermo-cleanser make-up remover and facial cleanser, $27.95, from La Roche-Posay
Glycolic Acid falls into this category and Inkey List suggests you use it “in the evenings as it can increase your sun sensitivity.”
3. Hydrating Serum
“Hyaluronic Acid works as a magnet for moisture beneath the surface of the skin, helping skin appear hydrated plump and healthy. Use as your first serum AM and PM,” The Inkey Lists writes.
We love: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2%, $12.90, shop from AdoreBeauty
4. Exfoliating serums:
These include Lactic Acid, AHAs and BHA which work “to brighten and even skin-tone. We suggest using one exfoliating acid at a time once a day.”
We love: Asap radiance serum with aha/bha, $99, from AdoreBeauty
5. Treatment Product
“For treatments you have a few options…Vitamin C, Collagen, Q10 and Retinol. It’s best to use Vitamin C in the morning and Retinol in the evening. Collagen and Q10 can be used alongside any other product AM and PM.”
We love: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum, $228, shop from AdoreBeauty
6. Eye Cream
The first signs of aging usually show around the eyes and mouth. You can use an eye cream on both areas to help fight wrinkles.
We love: Caffeine under-eye serum, $15, shop from Sephora
Take the time to look at the ingredients in your moisturiser to ensure they don’t clash with the serums you’re already using.
We love: The Inkey List Peptide moisturiser, $23, shop from Sephora
8. Face oil:
Lock in all your serums, lotions and creams so far with a face oil.
We love: Go-To Face hero face oil, $45, shop from Mecca
All your hard work will be for nothing if you don’t protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Use as the final step in your morning skin care routine.
We love: Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF 50+ Luminising Sun Serum, $47, shop from AdoreBeauty