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How Long You Should Wait Between Applying Your Skincare Products

You might be the kind of person that looks forward to the mindful ritual and relaxation that comes with your skincare routine, but what’s the best way to maximize the efficiency and benefit of each layer? 

After you’ve slathered your skin with your favourite products, you’ve probably wondered if you should be waiting a certain amount of time between each step to let every product have time to absorb…we’ve wondered the same thing. 

So, how long should you wait between applying each skincare product?

Sadly, there’s really no magic number because each product varies but you should let each product “settle” into your skin before moving onto the next. Certain products can pill if you apply them immediately after one another. This also allows target specific products such as spot treatments or undereye cream to absorb without being disturbed. The general rule is to wait until the previous product feels ‘dry’ to the touch before applying the next product. 

Other factors that can vary the time it takes for a product to absorb:

  • How thick you apply the product
  • How you apply — patting or massaging in
  • Your skin type (oily, dry or combination)
  • Season — drier winter months or warmer months
  • If the product is water or oil based + ingredients (skin mimicking ingredients will absorb faster, ie: squalane and jojoba). 

The better quality a product is, the better (and faster) your skin will soak it up. When it comes to serums and oils (or moisturizers), we recommend waiting about a minute between each application. 60 seconds — give or take, gives each product a little time to delve into your skin. 

Another product that needs a little time to itself is SPF. When sunscreen is mixed with other products, it becomes diluted and less effective. Because of this, SPF should be the last layer of your morning skincare routine. Wait a minute between your oils and sunscreen steps to allow each product to penetrate the skin and dry down. Once you’ve applied your sunscreen, give it a couple minutes to fully sink in and dry before moving onto your makeup routine. 

When it comes down to it, applying your skincare products in the correct order is more important than timing. In case you need a refresh, always layer your products from thinnest to thickest, allowing each layer to fully absorb. For correct layering order, read our blog post on how to properly layer your skincare here

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