Skincare Routine Order: Know What To Use First & What's Next

Your ideal skincare routine will meet your specific skincare needs and help keep your skin healthy for years to come. 

Understanding how to create an effective skincare routine can make it easier to pick out the right products for you. It all depends on your skin type: do you have oily skin? Do you need extra hydration? Anti-aging? A sensitive skin formula? The result that you're looking to achieve will play a role as well. 

At Journ, we’re dedicated to providing you with the resources you need to protect your skin and feel your best. All that begins with a skincare routine you can rely on. Here’s what you’ll want to know about skincare routines and the best products to add to yours. 

Skincare Routine Order 

Once you are familiar with the different steps and products that go into a skincare routine, you can experiment with various products and steps to find what works best for your lifestyle and goals. However, everyone needs to start somewhere. 

When you’re just getting started, these are the steps you’ll want to incorporate into your skincare routine, from the first step (daytime) to the last step (nighttime). 


A carefully-chosen cleanser is essential for your skin’s health. Acne-prone skin develops when our pores become clogged with sebum, the oily secretion produced by the skin, along with makeup, sweat, and dirt

By washing your face twice a day with a lightweight cleanser, you can help cleanse your pores and reduce the likelihood of a pimple. Washing your face morning and night also helps give you that fresh, clean feeling on your entire face.  


If you want to take the cleansing process to the next level, a toner is the way to go. Toners have a bad reputation, and in the past, many included ingredients like alcohol that can dry out the skin. Today, however, you can find toners produced with gentler ingredients that still penetrate deep into the pores to catch what regular cleansers miss. Consider it a double cleansing

It’s also helpful to use toner before applying makeup. Clean, fresh pores make it easier for the makeup to adhere effectively to the skin, which means your makeup look will last longer and stay fresh. 


If you’re looking to level up your skincare routine, serums are the way to go. 

It’s important to find the right serum for your personal needs. Some serums, especially those containing AHAs and BHAs, can be drying if overused, so it’s important to maintain good moisturizing habits if you’re managing the effects of dry skin. As with any product, if you notice that serums are causing more irritation than benefit, remove them from your routine. 

Vitamin C serum is great if you want to brighten the appearance of your skin, and hyaluronic acid is fantastic if you need hydration.

You may not need to use a serum every day, especially if you’re just integrating them into your routine. However, serums offer a boost of helpful nutrients and vitamins to the skin, which can add smoothness, softness, and a wonderful glow to your complexion. Serums can also help smooth the skin, especially if there is discoloration. 

Our Alpenglow Color Corrector also works to even out skin tone and can help brighten the appearance of dull and sallow skin over time with active ingredients such as Grapefruit and Daisy. 

Eye Cream 

The skin around the eye is thinner than on other parts of the body. That’s why cream specific for the eye area can be so helpful, even if you apply regular moisturizer later on. 

There are different eye cream options for different skincare needs, so seek out one that’s in line with your goals. Since these are highly concentrated, begin with a light touch and apply more cream as needed. Eye cream shouldn’t feel heavy. Rather, it should give you a feeling of hydration, freshness, and rejuvenation. 

Spot Treatment 

If you’re managing the effects of blemishes or acne scars, the next step in your routine will be spot treatment. A proper skincare routine with cleansing and moisturizing can help reduce your risk of breakouts, but spot treatment can be helpful for everything from helping manage your acne to minimizing the appearance of scars. 

For the highest level of effectiveness, it’s better to apply spot treatments before you sleep at night. That’s when your skin is most capable of refreshing itself. 


Moisturizer is one of the most important products in your routine. It helps keep your skin nourished and protected from elements like extreme cold. It’s also essential if you’re planning to follow a makeup routine, as moisturizer creates a smooth canvas for makeup products

There are many moisturizer options to pick from, so look for one that provides protection and hydration all day long. Explore different moisturizer options for your morning and evening skincare routines, as well. For example, you may want a slightly richer moisturizer at night than in the morning. 


Retinol is incredibly effective for reducing the appearance of dark spots, wrinkles, and pigmentation on the skin. If you have scars from acne, retinol can help reduce their appearance and give your skin a smoother texture.  

You definitely don’t need to use retinol every day. If you do add it to your routine, you’ll also only use a little bit at a time—a pea size amount goes a long way.


If you’re going to add a single product to your skincare routine, choose sunscreen. Excessive sun exposure can affect both the surface of the skin and your overall health. It can be helpful to pick a moisturizer with a high SPF so you know you’ve got this step covered. 

In Summary 

Every person’s skincare needs are unique, which means every skincare routine is going to be different. That’s why we carry several products here at Journ, designed for managing the effects of hyperpigmentation, redness, spots, and more. 

Most skincare routines include products like cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens. All of these products work together to contribute to the appearance of smooth and healthy skin.  

When it comes to your skincare routine, trust the team here at Journ. Explore our growing inventory of good-for-you products with ingredients like Jasmine and Eucalyptus, and check out our library to take the next step on your skincare journey.


What is Toner, Anyway? Our Guide to the Benefits of Toner in Your Skin-Care Routine | Allure

 Here’s Why You Should Never Skip Eye Cream, According to Dermatologists | Forbes

 Sun Safety | John Hopkins