Beauty Basics: How to Layer Skin Care Products


If you’re like me, your college years of using hand soap to remove make up and habits of baking in the sun have been left behind and you’re spending your 20’s prioritizing a skin care routine. At this age, we are looking for products that address our current skin types and trouble areas, while also adding in some anti-aging TLC.

But skin care is overwhelming, right?

Why use a toner when they have always dried me out? What ingredients make up a great moisturizer? When do I apply a serum?

All of those thoughts, and many more, have crossed my mind in the last five years while on this skin care learning train. Before accumulating a bunch of products, knowing when to apply what and why is so important. So today we will chat about the order or application for each of our skin care products! 🙂

Our skin’s job is to keep things out of our bodies, but our skin care products have ingredients and nutrients we want to get in. Getting the most product into our skin comes down to two things:

1. Application: the order in which we apply our skin care products is vital. More on that in a minute..
2. Microneedling: in my opinion, if you’re investing in and applying great skin care products without microneedling, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. This process uses small needles to puncture itty bitty holes in the skin which amp up collagen production and allows your skin products to reach down deeper into the second layer of skin, known as the dermis layer. Without microneedling, you can’t reach the dermis layer, but it’s vital to get your products there because it’s the key to reducing acne scares, dulling dark spots and reducing/preventing wrinkles. More details on microneedling here.

Okay, I’m obvi passionate about microneedling, but let’s move onto how to layer skin care products!


In the morning, you’ll want to use a gentle cleanser to remove oil and sweat from the night and start the day off with a clean slate.

Avoid any exfoliating cleansers in the morning as treating skin is better saved for the evening so it can rejuvenate while you catch those Zzz’s.

This is my all time favorite cleanser and it’s great for all skin types because it:

  • Has probiotics that work to balance your skin’s pH. Whether you are oily, normal or dry this can work for you. Probiotics also lock in moisture.
  • Contains turmeric root which is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce signs of inflammation.
  • Is a gel cleanser, but you still get a nice foam when lathering it on.
  • Doesn’t leave your skin feelings tight or stripped.
  • Lasts a long time. I’d say a dime size amount gets my face super clean. I’ve converted my husband, hehe, so we use one bottle per month between the two of us using it morning and night. That’s around 120 uses from one bottle!

Use code MINDY for 20% off

Toner’s have a bad rap. We all probably used some sort of alcohol-filled toner in our teenage years to blast blemishes. Due to this, toner’s have a bad reputation of being too harsh and super drying. Neither of these results lead to a glowing complexion.

Due to this, many of us have deemed toner’s as unnecessary, but guys.. toners have changed! The old alcohol heavy toners are a thing of the past. The newest generation of toners have healthier properties and can address many skin care concerns, rather than just acne or oil.

This is my favorite toner because

  • Probiotics and glycolic acid tone and exfoliate skin and removes excess oil and debris
  • It hydrates skin and locks in moisture with natural mushroom and beet extract
  • It reduces inflammation with turmeric extract

Apply toner right after cleansing while pores are still open from the warm water which will help get the product into your skin. You can apply via your fingers tips [since this one is a gel] or a cotton ball.

Use code MINDY for 20% off

I like to think of serums as your skin’s daily multivitamin!

Just like your daily chewable, serums are very dense in nutrients and the real goal is preventative maintenance. With daily use, you’ll prevent against wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. If you currently have either three of these skin issues, over time a great serum will aid in reducing the appearance.

Due to the nature of serums, they require patience and consistency.

Patience because just with any preventative maintenance, the results aren’t overnight. They are to be shown in the years to come.

Consistency because we live in a generation where if we don’t see some mind blowing, amazing results after 14 uses, we stop.

I tell S that Imma be lookin’ 25 at 45 due to this product hehe.

Serums are expensive, so to get your money’s worth, allow them to get into your skin by applying right after you microneedle!

I tone, microneedle then serum so that while those channels are open, I get more bang for my buck by loading in that serum 😉 Also, the purpose of toning is to clean and exfoliate the surface of the skin.

Use code MINDY for 20% off



After allowing your serum to absorb into the skin, it’s time to add a boost of moisture. Even if you have naturally oily skin, moisturizing should never be forgotten!

In addition to hydration, applying a layer of moisturizer will act as a protective barrier for your skin, help to repair any damage caused by the sun or environment and provide additional nutrients.

I’ve tested a couple other moisturizers over the last six months [some by Drunk Elephant and Charlotte Tilsbury] and my pretty calm skin REVOLTED. Sometimes it takes you testing a new product that’s a serious flop to know that you had it good!

I have two moisturizers below that don’t make me break out, are super soothing and chalk-full of great nutrients.

Tula’s Hydrating Day and Night Cream has been my tried and true moisturizer for four years because:

  • It’s light enough to wear under make up, but thick enough to actually hydrate.. the perfect consistency!
  • It soaks into skin super quickly
  • It has retinol (Vitamin A) built in which helps improve tone & texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles
  • It has chicory root which is a natural anti-inflammatory prebiotic that helps boost the appearance of firmer skin
  • Inside you’ll find Watermelon Fruit Extract which is rich in antioxidants and is deeply hydrating

I’ve also found a clean beauty moisturizer that lives up to the same hydrating standards as my holy grail Tula Day + Night Cream. It’s the Beautycounter Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream. I’ve been applying this one at night lately and it’s super hydrating [and free of over 1,500 toxic ingredients!]. Some other reasons it’s a keeper:

  • Contains Tara Gum which is a Peruvian plant nutrient which helps effectively revitalize skin while you sleep.
  • Has two forms of Hyaluronic Acid which is one of the most effective hydrating ingredients. It delivers moisture without clogging pores.
  • Has a pump release so your product is always free of bacteria.

To amp up your moisturizer with even more nutrients and preventative qualities, add in two drops of a face oil! I simply take my dab of moisturizer, add in the face oil drops, mix them together and gently press the combo onto my face.

When it comes to face oil, I have tried a few and my favorite so far is Beautycounter’s #1 Brightening and Vitamin C facial oil. It’s the best I’ve tried because:

  • The ingredients are 100% clean [join my clean beauty list here]
  • The consistency is very light. Some facial oils are so heavy that they never soak into the skin, yuck!
  • It’s chalk full of antioxidents which boost collagen production and strengthen skin elasticity, thus reducing fine lines
  • You’ll literally glow. Like literally, my skin has never been healthier and I attribute a chunk of that due to adding in facial oil.

Use code ‘MINDY’ for 20% off!


Join my clean beauty mailing list here! You’ll receive a quick guide to six toxic ingredients to remove from your skin care routine. 

Now moving onto hydrating those under eyes. I’ve tested so many under eye creams. If you’ve been a long time reader, you know that my skin care journey started five years ago when I had super painful dry patches around my eyes. This eye cream is what helped me heal so I have an attachment to it. I need to have three in my backstock at all times, lol. And don’t just believe me. Tula’s case studies speak for themselves. 95% of women say an improvement in the texture of their under eye skin.

  •  Contains natural olive oil squalene hydrates the skin and provides antioxidant protection.
  • Has natural shea butter helps boost the appearance of firm skin.
  • Includes Vitamin C is a powerful anti-aging ingredient that helps protect the skin from damaging free radicals.

With that said, my job as a blogger is to test products. I have tested six eye creams over the last year [one month testing, one month going back to my Tula to heal back up, then testing again]. Most all were flops and super drying, but this one by Beautycounter worked to the same level to my Tula! I’ve been testing out clean beauty products slowly, but I have to tell you that I’m shocked at how they out perform most standard brands on Sephora’s shelves.

This is a great option for anyone that was to prevent under eye aging and heal dryness with a 100% clean eye cream. I was blown away that it stood up against my #1 eye cream after so many flopping! Also 100% of women said that they noticed their undereyes were brighter and fine lines reduced. Uh, 100%?!

  • Contains Squalane which is derived from olives and draws moisture into the skin and visibly restores elasticity.
  • Includes Betaine which is derived from sugar beets and increases oxygenation to help reduce the appearance of shadows.
  • Contains Phytic Acid which stimulates oxygenation to help awaken tired eyes

Use code ‘MINDY’ for 20% off.


Uh – can you tell by the length of this blog post that I love chatting skin care and products?! Haha! In case you’re a spark notes kinda gal, here is the summary:


Tell me, what are your favorite skin care products or brands?! Let me know in the comments. Xo Mindy

PS – if you’re just starting out with a skin regimen, check out Tula’s kits! You can add my 20% off code [MINDY] on TOP of the discounted rate of the kit bundle. Woop!


  1. Marissa Smith says:

    Your microneedling posts that are linked are not pulling up. Would love to Know which one you use!

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Servello & Co. Interiors

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I'm a Maine native residing in the Boston 'burbs sharing my love of interiors through decorating my husband and I's first home.

Through this experience, I discovered I have a knack for curating spaces that feel warm, cohesive and inviting. That passion turned into friends and family asking for interiors help and now we are here! 

Home should be a place you love to be. I'm here to help you achieve that!