What order should you apply anti-aging products?

Do you ever wonder if people who #wokeuplikethis actually woke up like that? Or how that woman on social media looks so good? Why do some people seem to age slower than others? Of course, it has a lot to do with the genes you inherit, but there are some choices you can make when it comes to what you put in and on your body. In fact, you can even optimize the effectiveness of those anti-aging products if you apply the serums, creams, and lotions in a certain order.

What order should you apply anti aging products

Anti-aging products affect the skin in different ways, and some anti-aging ingredients may interact with others if they’re not entirely absorbed into the skin on your face first. Sometimes the sun or extreme temperatures can affect products, so you’ll want to be aware of that as well.

As mentioned above, it’s not only the products you put on your skin, but what you consume to keep your whole body healthy. Having a well-balanced diet is a very important part of maintaining healthy skin and kicking it up a notch for your complexion. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and mackerel, work wonders for maintaining that fresh face of yours. They help skin stay supple and also reduce inflammation, which in turn improves a number of other skin conditions, such as acne. Omega-3 fatty acids may even make skin less sensitive to harmful UV rays from the sun.

And here’s some good news for most of us: healthy fats like those found in avocados have been associated with more springy skin. They are also a great source of vitamin E, which protects skin from oxidative stress (because it’s an antioxidant). When combined with vitamin C, it’s even more effective. So have some orange juice with that avocado toast and say “you’re welcome” to your skin.

Now let’s get back to what you can apply to your skin, and the order in which you should do it to achieve maximum beauty-boosting results. A couple guidelines can give you an idea of how to determine this order:

  • Thin to thick: In general, you want to apply products that are more thin first, and then follow that with thicker products. You want to use toners and serums before creams and oils.
  • Water before oil: Since oil can get in the way of water-based products penetrating your skin, you should opt to apply anti-aging water-based products prior to anti-aging oil-based products.

It may not seem so important, but if you go in the right order, you’re more likely to protect your skin from sun damage (knowing when to insert sunscreen in your routine is key), and make sure products are absorbed and doing what they’re designed to do. We’ll go into more detail below, and highlight some of the most effective anti-aging skincare products out there.

1. Cleanser comes first

You always want to start with a clean face. Whether you’re waking up in the morning and just need a quick refresher, or it’s the end of the day and you need to remove make-up and go in for a deeper clean, you should start your skincare routine with a clean surface. The dirt and oils that have camped out on your face overnight need to be dealt with. And if we’re talking about daytime, and you wore makeup that day, then you may need to use a makeup remover prior to your regular cleanser.


2. Exfoliate and ditch that dead skin

Our skin goes through its own little circle of life, and as Mufasa mentioned to Simba in that father-son speech, death is a necessary part of life. Of course, in this case we’re just talking about skin cells. Skin undergoes constant change and regenerates itself regularly. As the top layers of skin die and are sloughed off, new and younger skin cells start to take their place.

Clearing out the old can often make way for the new, and so it is with skin cells. If we help nudge mother nature along, we can keep our faces looking fresh. A product like Viviane Woodward’s Natural Exfoliator SkinOdyssey with Glycolic Acid gently removes those dead skin cells that can cause skin to look dull.

SkinOdyssey has glycolic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). AHA helps speed up skin cell regeneration as it aids in exfoliation and skin cell production. With the use of AHA there is an increased production of collagen and elastin. This product will lead to an improvement in skin tone and texture if used regularly.

3. Time to tone

After exfoliating, and before applying creams and serums, you’ll want to take the time to use a toner. This step helps prepare your skin for maximum absorption of all that follows. It’s the often-forgotten element in skincare, but don’t overlook it if you can help it. Put it on and prep those pores for the next steps in your anti-aging skincare routine.

4. Serum to save the day

Serums like secret weapons to keep some of that wear and tear at bay (for just a bit longer, anyway). Viviane Woodard has one of the best options if you want to boost collagen production, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation, and spoiler alert: you want all of the above.

The Best Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer: Vitamin C Restoring Serum is an anti-aging miracle worker. It does everything that was just mentioned, and also harnesses the free-radical fighting powers of vitamin C. Antioxidants like these reduce premature aging, especially when used regularly.

The hyaluronic acid (or HA) in this product is a humectant, which means it draws water to the epidermis (aka the top layer of our skin) and helps skin to maintain moisture. In effect, it plumps skin up, filling in those fine lines and leading to a healthier, more youthful look.

5. We all scream for eye cream

Though wrinkles might give us an air of wisdom, we can opt to keep our smarts and still ditch the fine lines. While it’s pretty hard to erase all signs of aging, there are creams that can help.

Because there aren’t oil glands around the eyes like there are on the rest of your face, it’s extra important to hydrate and moisturize that area. Otherwise, the wrinkles and sagging will suck the life right out. Okay, that may be overstating things a bit, but that’s how it can feel when our eyes look and feel tired and dry.

Luckily, Viviane Woodard’s EyeRenue Complex Anti-Aging Eye Cream is a product packed with herbal extracts, vitamin A, and sodium hyaluronic – a super hydrating ingredient. If you gently glide this gel under your eyes at night and let your skin absorb its awesomeness, you’ll notice that you have a more refreshed-looking face when you wake. You can also layer it under your moisturizer in the morning, just dab it on lightly so you can move along to your next step.

6. Moisturizer

Now it’s time to smooth moisturizer on the rest of your face. If you’re following these steps in the morning, this is when you can choose something a little lighter, or a moisturizer that makes your makeup spread on nice and smooth. You want to make sure your face and neck are nourished with a cream or lotion that contain good-for-you ingredients. Hydration is key, so hyaluronic acid and other humectants are important, as are skin-softening emollients like glycerin or aloe vera.

When it comes time to close out the day and you’ve followed all the steps above, you can treat yourself to something like Viviane Woodard’s Advanced Anti Aging Night Cream & Moisturizer. This cream works well with all skin types and may end up being your new best friend every night.

This amazing moisturizer contains the powerful peptides Argireline and Matrixyl 3000. Peptides are amino acids, which are akin to the building blocks of proteins like collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are – as you may already know – critical for firm and smooth skin. They even help skin heal faster. This means less scarring if you’re also dealing with skin issues like acne. The Shea Butter in this anti-aging cream is so hydrating for the skin. And if you suffer from dry skin it’s an absolute dream.

7. Face oil

A lot of folks love their face oils, and if you use one, it should be the last of the moisturizing products you apply. Since face oils generally contain occlusives that lock in the moisture, it makes it harder for subsequent products to be absorbed into the skin afterward. A light application should do the job, as you don’t need to smother your skin with it to see the effects. It’s a nice addition to any skincare regimen.

8. Let’s get physical, sunscreen that is

We really can’t recommend wearing sunscreen enough. Even though it allows life on earth and we all need it to survive, the sun has a downside when it comes to our skin. In addition to smoking, overexposure to the sun is one of the most harmful things that does damage to our bodies. Though we do require a certain amount of vitamin D, too much sunshine can cause disease and premature aging. So when you’re concerned about an anti-aging skincare routine, you want to do what you can to reduce the risks.

A physical sunscreen, as opposed to chemical sunscreen, sits on the surface of our skin and reflects away the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. This is why it’s one of the last steps. If you layer too much on top, it won’t be able to do its job and send that sunshine heading in the other direction.

So make sure to spread on a layer of physical (also called mineral) sunscreen to the areas of skin that will be exposed to the sun. Make other sun-safe decisions as well. Reapply as directed, spend some time in the shade, and use a day outside as an excuse to wear an extravagant oversized hat.

Here’s Dr. V to explain the difference between chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen:

9. Lip balm

Since we’re on the subject of sun protection, remember to swipe some SPF protection on your pout as well. Anti-aging products are made for all parts of your face. A lot of times the lines around your lips make you look older than you are, so if you’re applying lip balm or a lip mask overnight, feel free to draw outside the lines. Almost always, the nourishing ingredients in a balm also work well for skin in general

If you’re following these steps for your daytime routine, it’s always good to make sure your lips are moisturized before you begin to apply lipstick. And if you’re going for a matte look it’s absolutely essential to make sure lips are exfoliated and well-moisturized before you move on to the next step. Whatever time of day it may be, bringing moisture to your lips is one of the most important anti-aging beauty tips.

10. Makeup

Now that you’ve cleaned and exfoliated and layered on all your serums, creams, moisturizers, and more, you can finish up with makeup. Your soft and supple skin has been primed for perfection. Start with problem areas that may need a little extra concealer, then continue on with your BB cream or whatever foundation is your favorite.

As you apply, just remember to use a gentle hand so you don’t stretch your skin, or swipe away what’s underneath. You don’t want to do away with the sunscreen, for example, if you need to wipe off some misplaced foundation or blush.

Be careful to keep your hands clean throughout the entire process. If you’re moving between bottles and brushes, just make sure things are nice and tidy and you’re not transferring unwanted germs between your products. A clean skincare and beauty workspace is always best. Remember to wash brushes and wipe off products so you can return to a nice and organized area later on.

If you’re in a rush, no worries. There’s always time to straighten up later. And you definitely don’t want to stress about it because stress can add to additional signs of aging, and that’s what we just got through addressing! So don’t undo it all. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy your fresh and youthful face.


For over 60 years, Viviane Woodard has represented “The Purity of Skincare”. We are the leading beauty brand for water-based skin care products and promote the importance of good skin hydration. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for skin care tips, product discounts and more.