What’s the right order to put on sunscreen, moisturizer, makeup, etc., am and pm? —@EmmaStarks
A: Dear Emma,
Dermatologists say to put the sunscreen on first. Despite this clear directive, I start with a vitamin C/E–ferulic gel from Skinceuticals (it brightens, and the vitamin C helps screen the sun a bit) and a bit of face oil (it plumps up my skin and feels so nice) when I first wake up. I run around making coffee, etc., letting it all sink in. Then I do the sunscreen, physical not chemical—physical sunscreens seem to last longer on your skin, plus they contain soothing ingredients, and I feel like they’re a little more moisturizing.
Next, especially in summer, goes on the world’s greatest self-tanner, Lancôme Flash Bronzer Leg Gel—which I put on my face. Yes, Leg Gel on my face. It’s the best. I wouldn’t have to do it every day if I didn’t use a retinoid at night, by the way. (If you’re not exfoliating all the time, you don’t need new self-tanner every day.) Let the self-tanner sit for a minute; if I want a little tinted moisturizer, I put that on next. Then, in order of appearance, eye-brightening tint all around the eyes, mascara and, super-last, concealer.
At night, I wash my face with an oil cleanser that takes everything off, then put on a retinoid—in my case the ultra-potent Tazorac. I do it while my face is still damp, making the Tazorac even more powerful (step up effectiveness of any product by applying it to wet skin, and limit irritation by applying it to completely dry skin). A little Latisse to keep my lashes in shape and a little lip balm, and c’est ça.
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