How Long Should I Wait Before Applying The Next Skincare Product?

Most of us use several skincare products on our faces every day: sunscreens to protect it from the sun rays and avoid premature aging, moisturizers to add moisture and keep skin in good condition, antiaging serums to prevent the first signs of aging, products with retinoids to fight wrinkles, exfoliants to remove dead skin cells and reveal the brighter skin underneath, treatments for acne and other skin conditions we may have… Using so many products can be really confusing and we often wonder if we are applying them in the right way. We have already discussed what is the right order to apply multiple skincare products but, after we’ve applied one product, how long should we wait before slathering on the next?

When to apply the next skincare product

I often read in magazines and hear people say that we should wait about 5 minutes after we’ve applied one product before we slather on the next, but is that really true? If we’re using several products, we certainly don’t have the time to wait that long when getting ready in the morning! On the other end, if we wait too little, we risk that our skincare products won’t be well absorbed by the skin and thus, be less effective. So, how long should we wait? Well, there really isn’t any fixed amount of time to wait, it simply depends on the products you use and the amount you apply.

Once we’ve applied a skincare product, we simply need to wait until it is absorbed into the skin. When our skin is dry again, then we can proceed with the next product. That’s because if skin is still a bit tacky, it means that not all the product has sunk in yet and so it may prevent whatever we’re using next from being properly absorbed too. Of course, the more amount of product we apply, the more time it will take for it to sink in. If it’s taking more than a minute, then we simply used too much and need to remember to use less next time. Luckily, a small amount is enough to provide benefits for the skin so there really is no need to slather on a lot as you’ll just be wasting product. The only exception is sunscreen, which should be applied liberally and generously.

How long do you wait before applying the next skincare product?

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    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Vonvon, I agree with you. I don’t think there is an exact waiting time. As soon as skin is dry, you can apply the next product. :)

  1. Amy says

    Thank you so much for this post! I’ve always wondered what the rule of thumb is, but it sounds like I’ve been following it, so that’s a relief!

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Amy, you’re welcome. I’m glad you found this post useful and that you’ve been doing it right. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Ling, you’re welcome. I know it can be annoying to wait until skin is fully dry, especially when you’re very tired, but you risk to compromise the efficacy of a product if you don’t. :( If it’s taking too long, you may have used too much product though so you can try to apply less next time. It’ll dry sooner and you’ll still have the same benefits. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      herroyalbleakness, I completely agree with you. :) If a product is taking more than a couple of minutes to sink it, you might be using too much though. You’ll have the same benefits if you apply less and those bottles will last longer (sunscreen is the only exception). :)

  2. Rachel says

    Professionally speaking, as long as you go thinnest to thickest an gel-est to creamiest, you’re doing okay. The reality is you want those products on your face while your skin is still most receptive to them and if you find yourself needing to wait a while then you can probably cut down on how much you’re slathering on. Thirty second should do, when I’m giving a fcaial the massaging in of the product takes no longer thn 60 seconds per product.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Rachel, thank you for your comment. I agree with you that if it’s taking too long, then you should just apply less product. It should really take less than a minute for a product to sink in.

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