Cosmetic Layering Tips from Asian Women


Asian beauties are considered recognized masters in this matter. Not so long ago, Europeans and Americans discovered the famous Korean system of facial care. It includes up to 17 steps, and almost as many layers of different products. According to Korean aestheticians, the main secret is not only what you apply on your face, but also the order in which you do it.


So, let us reveal the famous secrets of Layering. We will not scare you with a 17-step system; instead, let’s look at an affordable option of makeup layering.

These are the general rules for cosmetic layering:

  • Always start with a lighter consistency product. For example, serum always comes at the beginning because it has a light texture and delivers the active ingredients into the skin more effectively.
  • Between the layers (products) make a small pause: it is necessary to give the products some time to soak in and start working.
  • Observe not only the rule of light and heavy textures, going from the lighter texture to the heavier one. It is important that the water-based products should precede oil-based products.
  • After active serums, use a moisturizer, which helps you seal moisture. This allows you to keep the skin moisturized and lets the serum keep working.
    Add oil for the treatment of specific areas. This is the heaviest product according to its consistency, so it is applied after the cream.
  • Protection from the sun. SPF products cannot be missed, especially in the summer. This should be the lightest layer at the beginning of the day, if you resort to a multi-layer system of care.
  • Do not act thoughtlessly. There are some ingredients which should not be combined. For example, beta- and alpha- hydroxide acids should not be mixed with retinoids as they may cause redness and scaling of the skin. Furthermore, these acids neutralize the effect of antioxidant agents. Note also that retinoids and benzoyl peroxide are mutually exclusive and will deactivate each other.
  • Always “listen” to your skin. The skin may be “tired” of the abundance of different products. Try to exclude various care steps to find your own optimal way of skin care.

And now have a look at the layering rules for specific cases.

Morning layers

  • Step 1: Washing. Clean your face with a detergent or just water alone. Massage the face lightly, without moving the skin. Gently pat your face with a towel to dry it.
  • Step 2: Tonic. This product is designed to soften the top layer of skin and remove the remaining detergent – all this contributes to a better absorption of moisture and other active cosmetic ingredients. By the way, in Japan, women often use a method called lotion mask or tonic mask. Japanese aestheticians moisten wipes in tonic and put them on the face for 3 minutes.
  • Step 3: Serum (or essence). Serum molecules are much smaller than those of the moisturizer because serum is created to deal with specific problems in the deep layers of the skin. These problems include wrinkles or dark spots.
  • Step 4: Medicinal products. After serum, you can add special medical products, such as temporary fillers (fillers for wrinkles) or the products for the treatment of acne or dark pigment spots.
  • Step 5: Moisturizer. Asian beauticians call this step “locking moisture.” For oily skin, use an emulsion; for other types of skin – creams. Preheat the product in your hands before applying it onto the face; this will improve its absorption into the skin. Once the moisturizer is distributed on the face, rub your hands and, as long as they are warm, put the palms and fingers on the face: heat helps to absorb nutrient substances.
  • Step 6: Gentle massage. After applying a moisturizing serum or emulsion, tap your fingers on the face, as if playing the piano. But the face skin should not turn red!
  • Step 7: Products with a solar filter. Asian beauticians believe that it is important not only in the summer, but throughout the year.

Evening layers

Night time is the period for nourishing and treating your skin, so night care can significantly affect the condition of the skin.

  • Step 1: Double cleansing. First use a makeup remover, and then a cleanser (in the form of a cream or foam).
  • Step 2: Scrub. This step is not for everyday use; Japanese women and Korean women are not fond of this product, so they use scrub for their skin not more than once in 7-10 days, after cleansing in the evening.
  • Step 3: Serum. Do not forget to massage the skin when applying serum. It stimulates blood circulation, reduces and prevents the appearance of wrinkles, provides the skin with medical treatment, and minimizes the aging process.
  • Step 4: Medicinal products. These are the products for local application to treat acne, pigmentation, wrinkles, dryness, etc.
  • Step 5: A moisturizing cream. Remember the advice about warming the product, though now you can massage the face with your fingers more intensely.

It is important to use a night product not to overload the skin with unnecessary ingredients, for example, such as a solar filter.