Paul M. Graham, D.O.
This week’s tip pertains to a question that my patients always ask me on a weekly basis, “What order do I apply topical products? My recommendation always remains the same, let me explain.
Many of you have meticulously designed your very own personalized skin care regimen and have perfected the art of buying products to use, but often neglect to use them on a daily basis. Therefore, I am here to explain the proper way to apply topical skin care products
- Use face wash prior to applying any other skin care products
- This should already be well known, but I have had some patients tell me that they use their face wash after applying other skin care products.
- Apply medicated products second
- For example, if you are using prescription products such as a topical antibiotic for acne or a bleaching cream for dark spots make sure you always apply medicated product first. Anytime you apply an OTC product to the face first, it may act as a barrier, preventing the absorption of some prescription medications.
- Keep in mind that Topical vitamin A products (Retin-A, Tazorac, tretinoin, and retinol) should be applied in the evening as sunlight may deactivate the product making it less effective.
- Apply over-the-counter products third
- Topical antioxidants should be used in the morning as they provide protection against sun-induced damage. Moisturizers can be applied if the skin becomes excessively dry. Make sure to use facial or non-comedogenic moisturizers.
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen last
- This is the most important part of your skin care regimen. By applying a sunscreen last, you decrease the possibility of product dilution.
Check out our other articles pertaining to sunscreen for more information on what we recommend:
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