How do you layer your skincare products?


When it comes to skincare, it seems like almost every question has been answered these days. The one query that still keeps us up at night is the holy grail for anyone with a multi-step skincare routine.

“How do you layer your products to get the most out of them?”

This question is tricky because skincare is a unique art and every beauty editor, cosmetician, and makeup artist will give you slightly different answers, however, there is a golden rule.


*When layering multiple products aim to start with the thinnest and finish with the thickest *


Keeping this golden rule in mind, here is a little cheat sheet we’ve created for you that will take you through the order of operations from start to finish. Feel free to screenshot this and save it as your phone wallpaper, write it on post-it notes all over your house, or even write it directly on your bathroom mirror so you’ll never forget!


How to layer products:


  1. Cleanse
  2. Tone/Chemical Exfoliant
  3. Face Mist
  4. Vitamin C/Q10/retinol reface™ – Antioxidants and retinol need to contact skin directly
  5. Boosters
  6. Serums
  7. Moisturiser/Oils – Oils are always applied as your last skincare step before SPF
  8. Sunscreen


Once you’ve sufficiently repeated your new mantra of “thin to thick” in your head enough times for it to stick – congrats you’ve made it to the next level! In this fine art that is product layering, there are a few key rules that will help you harness the full benefits of your skincare products (and achieve the skin of your dreams)!


  1. Antioxidants like vitamin C, Q10, and retinol should be applied first (right after cleansing) because they need to contact your skin directly to work the best.
  2. Boosters should be applied next. These products are the thinnest (but still pack a punch) and will layer well underneath the remaining products in your skincare routine.
  3. Serums can be applied before or added to moisturisers.
  4. Moisturisers or oils should be applied last right before an SPF/sunscreen to “seal” your serums and boosters.
  5. SPF/sunscreen should always be the last step in your skincare routine. Sunscreen needs to remain at the surface of your skin to function properly – if not, it will prevent other actives from penetrating your skin if it is applied before your boosters, serums, moisturisers, oils, etc.


Now, remember: this is only a guide and you by no means need to go through an 8-step routine every single day (unless you want to: then you do you!). These steps are here as a gentle reminder to help you get the most out of your skincare products!


Our final rule of thumb is to “listen to your skin” and take your routine day-by-day depending on what your skin is telling you it needs. Don’t be scared to have fun with it and mix up your routine! Everyone’s skin is different and you are the best judge of what works best for you.


Think you’ve mastered the art of product layering? We would love for you to share your Indeed Labs™ routine with us in the comments below, and as always, we’re here to help if you have any questions!


  • natalieholm says:

    Can retinol reface and snoxin II be combined? or would it be better to alternate use, like one in the am and one in the pm?

    My current routine is:
    – cleanse
    – gluconolactone 10%
    – Retinol Reface and/or Snoxin
    – Squalene and/or moisturizer cream
    – and some days: cc cream (containing SPF) and makeup

    • Indeed Labs says:

      Hi Natalie!

      You can definitely use them together in the same routine! We do suggest using Retinol Reface at night, and you could apply Snoxin II before hand or mix it with the retinol. In the morning, you can just apply Snoxin II.
      We also suggest conducting a patch test, with the Snoxin II and Retinol Reface before applying both to the face.

  • Karen says:

    Hello, are there any of your product that are not recommended to be used together? And if used together, best if one used at night, other in morning instead? I have ordered the retinol reface, and peptabright. I already use snoxinII and a different brands product that has vitamin C. Thanks!

    • Indeed Labs says:

      Hi Karen!

      We recommend avoiding mixing retinol with vitamin c and salicylic acid. You can use Vitamin C in the morning and Retinol in the evening. Pepta-bright can be used alongside vitamin c, but we do suggest conducting a patch test to ensure the skin can tolerate both at once. You can also use Pepta-bright at night, on the days you do not use Retinol, with Vitamin C in the morning. Snoxin II can be used alongside all of these products, both day and night.

  • Veronica Muir says:

    PRODUCT MIXING : what products can be mixed together to SAVE time in my routine?.

    • Indeed Labs says:

      Hi Veronica!

      We do not recommend mixing serums or creams, as they all have different textures, and therefore penetrate the skin at different levels, so mixing would lead to less noticeable results (i.e. a thicker cream mixed with a thinner serum can stop the serum from penetrating as deeply as it would if applied alone). However, you can mix Retinol Reface or Vitamin C24 with a moisturizer or serum, in order to dilute the strength of the retinol and vitamin c upon application, if you find your skin is very sensitive.

  • Angel says:

    I was curious is it OK to use the peptide with a BHA? Will that damage the skin or is it safe to layer?

    • Hi Angel! Peptides do many different things, so it all depends on what the peptide is targeting. If the peptide is targeting fine lines or hydration, then they can work very will along side BHAs. If the peptide is targeting pigmentation, it may be too harsh alongside BHAs. The best way to see if your skin will react is to perform a patch test.

  • Barbara says:

    Is the Retinol Reface meant to be worn with moisturizer? Doe s it provide enough hydration to be worn on its own?

    • Indeed Labs says:

      Hi Barbara! Thank you for this question. Our retinol reface skin resurfacer is a serum-lotion, so depending on your skin type, you may prefer to use it alone or add a moisturizer on top. Don’t forget an SPF!

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