How long should you wait between layering skincare products?

If you love all things beauty related as much as we do, this question might have crossed your mind at one point or another.

Today we are finally answering the question. How long should you wait between applying skin-care products? We understand that there is a correct order to apply our skincare products. But is there a time we need to wait before applying the next product?

If the most relaxing part of your day is your skincare ritual, you have probably at some point wondered what the best possible ways are to maximise the efficiency of each product that you layer. As you slather on your favourite toner, serum and moisturisers you have probably wondered if there is a certain period of time to wait between each step to allow the products to soak in. I, myself have pondered on this question many times before.

You’ve probably asked Google, but if you haven’t yet found the answer, here goes…

How long should you wait between layering skincare products?

Unfortunately there is no magic number. The absorption rate of each product will depend on the formula, product type and quality.

There is very little research on this topic, with no proven research that shows what the ideal waiting times should be.

To ensure each product in your skincare routine is working effectively, right from toner to serum and oil to sunscreen, experts suggest waiting for the product to absorb completely before applying the next one. Allow your skin to soak up all the benefits from each product. 

The good news, you don’t have to have a timer as part of your skincare routine.

We know that this isn’t exactly the best answer, so we have gone a little further into putting together a quick timeframe guide for each skincare product.

Your estimate skincare step waiting times

Acne Treatment: 1 minute

Topical prescription medication will require some waiting time. It is best to allow them to fully penetrate into the skin before applying serums and moisturisers.

Retinol: 0 seconds

The better the quality of a product is the quicker it will absorb into the skin. Retinol is a good example of a high grade product. The waiting time will be less because it will be rapidly absorbed into the skin.

Serum & Moisturiser: 1 minute

Give or take, 60 seconds is sufficient time to allow the products to fully absorb into your pores.

Sunscreen: 1 minute

Sunscreen needs time on its own to be as powerful as possible. When sunscreen is mixed with other products it becomes diluted and thus will be less effective.

Notes to Note:

Most guidelines always have a few reminders, luckily these are minor.

      • When you experience that you products ten to roll p when you apply one product after the other, it is best to then allow some time for the first product to penetrate before applying the second.
      • Sunscreen has to always be the last step in your skincare routine. Ensure you allow sufficient time for it to settle before applying your makeup.

Correct layering is the key to success

The order in which you apply your skincare products is the most important. A quick guide: A good rule of thumb to follow is to start with the lightest product and end with the thicker & heavier product. Remember to allow anything from 30 – 60 seconds between products. The quality of the product will affect the absorption rate. It is wise to use good quality gentle products and layer them in the correct order to get the best results.

Read our blog how to determine your skin type at home.