Dr. Ryan's Mailbag: What Order Do I Apply My Skincare? Plus More...

Apr 11, 2024
Dr. Ryan's Mailbag: What Order Do I Apply My Skincare? Plus More...


Hello, and welcome to another Mailbag Friday! For all my first-timers - the Mailbag is a weekly ritual where I answer skincare questions from customers who have reached out with their burning questions about how to get the most out of their skincare products. First up today, we have Claire from Washington, DC.

Q: Hi Dr. Ryan! How do I know which order to apply my skincare products?

Skincare products

A: Hi Claire! This is a question that often comes up, especially with so many different skincare products available on the market. No matter which products you have in your routine, I’ll give you some tips to help you decide the best order to apply your skincare. Let’s get started…

The general rule of thumb is to layer your skincare products from thinnest to thickest consistency, ensuring each product has the opportunity to soak into your skin effectively before you add anything on top.

So using that logic, here's a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:

First things first, make sure you get your skin nice and clean before applying anything else.

Use a gentle cleanser like my Lavender Oil Cleanser to help purify and clean the skin of dirt and impurities. Once that’s done, we’re ready to get started!

Next up is your toner, if you use one. Apply it after cleansing to help rebalance your skin's pH levels and prepare it to better absorb what comes next…

After this step, it’s time to apply your serums or spot treatments. These products typically contain active ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, or Niacinamide and are designed to address specific skincare concerns.

Some examples of serums and spot treatments are my Retinol PM BoosterEye Recovery Serum, and Dark Spot Corrector.

Follow up with a moisturizer to hydrate and seal in moisture. If you use my Repair and Release Cream or my Retinol Defense Cream, this is when you’d apply it!

Last but certainly not least, apply sunscreen as the final step in your daytime skincare routine. Sunscreen is essential for protecting your skin from harmful UV rays and preventing premature aging and sun damage, so don’t miss this step!

I hope you find this information useful, Claire! It should help you no matter what products you have in your vanity!

Our next question comes from Linda in Arvada, CO.

Q: Hello Dr. Shelton. I have a lot of wrinkles on my neck and chest. What's the best way to get rid of them?

wrinkles on neck skin

A: Hi Linda! The delicate skin on our neck is often vulnerable to the effects of aging, including loss of elasticity and collagen, resulting in wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging. Luckily, I have some amazing tips to address these concerns and help you improve the appearance of your neck area…

First and foremost, your top priority should be moisturizing.

Hydration is key to maintaining the skin's elasticity and preventing wrinkles caused by dehydration. When the skin is dry, these wrinkles come out to play and can be very noticeable!

Ingredients like phospholipids and sodium hyaluronate are wonderful at holding on to moisture and helping to keep the skin plump and hydrated.

Once you’ve got hydration taken care of, you can start focusing on using ingredients that help the skin on a structural level.

Ingredients like Essenskin, for example, which is a powerful peptide that helps to restore structure and firmness to the skin.

This ingredient is important because the cause of wrinkles and sagging skin in the neck area is a loss of collagen and elastin.

As you probably know, collagen and elastin are responsible for giving our skin its shape and resilience. Without it, our skin sags and gets more wrinkled.

After a certain age, we need to start using ingredients - like Essenskin - to help boost collagen and elastin, which will help give our complexion a firmer, more sculpted look.

My Neck Firming Cream uses Essenskin (and also phospholipids and sodium hyaluronate, which I mentioned earlier) to help provide your skin with exactly what it needs to rebuild itself and become stronger and healthier.

Before I wrap up, I want to emphasize the importance of using SPF daily. Protecting your neck from harmful UV rays is essential for preventing premature aging and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles.

Apply sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 to your neck area daily, and reapply as needed, especially if you spend extended periods outdoors.

Consistency is key when it comes to skincare, so stick to your routine and be patient with the results. With time and dedication, you'll notice improvements in wrinkles and sagging skin in your neck area.

Good luck, Linda!