Dark Mode On / Off
skin care routine

Skin Care Routine Steps for Dry Skin

Need more inspiration? Sign up for our newsletter for success and to change your life.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission should you come to make a purchase using my links.

May we all agree that your morning begins well before you head into your bathroom to start your day?

Waking up can set the mood for what is to follow so make sure you wake up feeling refreshed from the night before.

 In this article, you will learn:

  • How to properly apply your skin care products morning & night.
  • Which stage is best to apply your products to help for penetration?
  • Tips on how to apply your products.
  • Recommend products to use that have great reviews.  

Steps the experts say to apply your skin care products

Begin your morning with a great positive vibe and energy despite that crazy weird awkward dream you just woke up from.
For beginners, we recommend starting with a basic three-step routine— The three basic steps of a skin-care routine are cleansing, moisturizing, and applying sunscreen (at least SPF 30 and broad spectrum).
Application order dictates how various products are absorbed, and therefore, the efficacy.
Of course, this can be modified, which we will include in this article if you are looking to advance to more than the three steps.
  • Step 1: Cleanser. Used to remove grime and residue that’s built up overnight.

  • Step 2: Moisturizer. Hydrates the skin and can come in the form of creams, gels, or balms.

  • Step 3: Sunscreen. Essential for protecting the skin against the damaging effects of the sun.

You do not need an eight-step skincare routine. Most faces do far better with fewer products, so if you’re just starting out, keep it simple: cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen. And that’s it.
Add on a retinoid and vitamin c serum or an acne toner if your skin is acne prone. Go slow, keep it simple, and you’ll be golden.

How To Properly Apply Your Morning/Night Skin Care Routine Steps for Dry Skin

Step 1: Cleanser

Day & Night

A great cleanser is a foundation for your skincare routine. Which cleanser is right for you?

Cleansers come in two forms: water-based and oil-based.
  • Water-based cleansers

Better for oily or acne-prone skin types

  • Oil-based

The idea of using oil to degrease your skin at the end of the day seems contradictory. Excess oil is what you are trying to remove, after all

Micellar Water

Using micellar water to cleanse the skin can be a nice middle ground. Micelles are attracted to dirt and oil, so they are able to thoroughly cleanse the skin and draw out impurities without drying it out. Cleans skin without stripping it.


If you wear heavy makeup or sunscreen during the day, you may find that your cleanser doesn’t get all your makeup off or still leaves you feeling kind of greasy at night.
In that case, you might benefit from double cleansing, a process in which you wash first with an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser or micellar water on a cotton pad to remove anything left behind. But double cleansing is not a requirement.
Step 2: Exfoliator

Day & Night

Exfoliating once or twice weekly helps to tackle dirt and oil buildup and if you have oilier skin. Exfoliating in the morning would be best to provide your skin with a fresh glow to start your day.

Paulas Choice–Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant

Exfoliating at night would help remove makeup particles from your skin and open up your pores to more of a cleansing.
By using a cleanser first you help remove dirt, sweat, and makeup off the skin’s surface to reduce dullness, and sweep away dead skin cells (which promotes healthy cell turnover).
Since exfoliating can make your complexion sun-sensitive. Stick with gel or foaming cleansers rather than oils and balms, which leave a residue that can prevent toners from absorbing.

Step 3: Toners/Astringent or Hydrating Mist

Day & Night

Toners were originally used to pH balance the skin after using a cleanser. However, you can get pH-balanced cleansers which can reduce your need for a toner.
Used regularly, it can have a major positive impact on the appearance and tightness of your pores

Step 4: Eye cream

Day & Night

Generally, you’d want to apply your eye cream before your treatments to protect your eye area against potent chemicals.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Anti-Aging Eye Gel for Dark Circles, Fine Lines & Wrinkles

According to Dr. Annie Chiu, a board-certified dermatologist, it’s vital to apply an eye cream at least every night—if not twice a day—starting in your 20s.
Pat on lightly around your orbital bone. Step Six: Make sure you also apply eye cream above your eye, too, especially if it is a lifting cream. The skin above your eye is just as delicate

Step 5: Serums / Mask

Day & Night

If you apply your serum after a thicker formulation, the active ingredients may not penetrate as well.

Chooses serum with peptides and growth factors to repair skin and with antioxidants that protect skin from daytime stressors like free radicals (caused by UV rays), pollutants, and blue light. The most popular ingredient for this is vitamin C
The general list of ingredients to look for: Niacinamide to reduce redness, hyaluronic acid to pull moisture into your skin, and alpha and beta hydroxy acids (AHAs and BHAs), which help boost collagen and even out skin pigmentation
Helps Improve Appearance of Dark Spots & Scarring

Step 6: Spot treatments

Day & Night

The most common over-the-counter ingredients for spot treatments are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting BHA 9 Spot Treatment 9% Salicylic Acid Exfoliant for Large Pores

Apply a leave-on spot treatment both morning and night to speed up its healing cycle. You should spot-treat after you’ve applied your moisturizer, not before.

If possible, avoid applying any other product directly on top of it to prevent it from getting diluted or moving around your face.

Step 7: Moisturizer

Day & Night

Moisturizers are there to simultaneously hydrate and seal in hydration, which is why these formulas tend to be heavier than the layers that go underneath.

“You should use moisturizers with humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which pull in water


Step 8: Retinol


Proceed with caution and start slowly with this step.

Tree of Life Anti-Aging Complete Regimen 3-Pack Vitamin C, Retinol, and Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Vitamin A derivative boosts collagen production and increases the rate of cellular turnover. “Retinol reduces fine lines, reduces pore size, increases collagen and elastin production, takes off dead skin, reduces oil production, unclogs pores, and evens out skin tone

Step 8: Face Oils

Day & Night

Allow the oil to fully absorb before applying your makeup for a natural, hydrated glow. seal in all the ingredients and moisture you just applied to your face to keep them from evaporating as quickly. Oils can easily penetrate moisturizers, serums, and treatments

Step 9: Sunscreen


Face Sunscreen & Makeup Primer Weightless, Invisible, Oil Free & Scent Free
Sunscreen is there to protect your face and act as armor against the outside world.
This is protecting your skin. The absolute bare minimum SPF you need on your face is SPF 30.
Which one of these products is on your list? Like this column? Leave us a comment and stay notified for monthly articles.

Recommended Articles