Best Skin Care Routine Order for Your Skin Type

Smiling woman applying face cream sitting on bed

A skin care routine is a personal thing; in addition to helping us wake up and feel ready for the day or wind down and feel ready for bed, it’s become a way we care for and dedicate time to ourselves. If you haven’t indulged in your skin care routine a little, be it with a moisturizing mask or by giving yourself a facial massage, we highly encourage you to do so. Try our skincare quiz for personalized picks based on your skin type.

Of course, skin care is about more than just the experience, it’s about results. When you find the optimal clean skincare routine order for your skin type, your skin will respond. If you have dry skin, it can feel more moisturized; if you have oily skin, it can feel more balanced; if you have aging skin, it can feel more youthful.

That’s the power of learning how to layer skincare products the right way and using the right products for your skin type. So wake up and wind down with these routines, developed for every skin type.

This Applies to Everyone

While everyone may have similar steps in their skincare routine, not everyone will use the same products during those steps, but there is one product that applies to everyone and that’s sunscreen. Regardless of your skin type, applying SPF in the morning is essential to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays. It should be the final step in your AM skin care routine, regardless of the other products you’re using.

With that out of the way, here is the order you should be applying your skin care products in for oily, dry, and combination skin types.

Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, your skin naturally produces more oil than other skin types. It is possible, however, to control oil production and experience an oil-free looking complexion for more than a few hours with the right skin care routine. Here are the products you should be applying and the order you should be applying them for best results:


Oily skin is often more blemish-prone because oil can breed bacteria. Cleanser is a crucial first step in every skin care routine, but if your skin is oily and you experience breakouts often, it’s particularly important to cleanse both morning and night and after a workout. Ensure you don’t strip the skin of moisture with constant cleansing by selecting a a gentle cleanser free of any harsh cleansing agents. A gel formula, such as Clarimatte™ T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel, which helps to mattify oily areas, will leave the skin feeling decongested, without feeling dry or tight.


While not an everyday product, a mask can be a great addition to an oily skin care routine on a weekly, every other day, or whenever-you-need-it basis. Always apply a mask on freshly-cleansed, dry skin. If your skin appears congested or your pores appear more noticeable, reach for Clearcalm Invisible Pores Detox Mask, which works to minimize the appearance of pores, help remove excess sebum, and fight congestion.


Toning the skin can help remove any dirt left behind, provide hydration, and even exfoliate. For oily skin, a toner that contains alpha-hydroxy acids will also help reduce the appearance of pores. To check all of these boxes, reach for Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic. Swipe it on morning or night after cleanser and before any serums or moisturizers.


Many people with oily skin won’t touch moisturizer with a 10-foot pole, especially if they’re mid-breakout, but maintaining proper moisture levels is key to helping your skin produce less oil. If you are experiencing blemishes, calm the skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes by using Clearcalm Replenishing Gel Cream. Morning and night, apply onto freshly cleansed face and neck until absorbed. Don’t forget to follow with a mattifying sunscreen in the morning.

Dry Skin

Those with dry skin should be on the lookout for products with moisturizing and hydrating ingredients like fruit-derived oils and hyaluronic acid that nourish the skin and help support its natural moisture barrier. Especially around the eye area which has a very thin layer of skin so incorporating an eye cream might be best if you have dry skin. Because the optimal skin care routine for dry skin involves reaching for thicker formulas and rich creams, the order you layer them is especially important, especially if you have dry sensitive skin. When in doubt, apply products from thinnest to thickest consistency to ensure each one is absorbed by the skin.


If you’ve been using the same cleanser for a while now, you likely haven’t experienced the wonder that is a cleansing milk, and for dry skin, it’s a must. Cleansing milks, such as Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk, are gentle and hydrating, which is just what dry skin needs. Use it both morning and night.


Dry skin can often feel rough or appear dull, but a toner can help with that. After cleansing, reach for Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, which gently exfoliates the skin, helping to remove dead skin cells that could be clogging your pores and keeping hydrating ingredients from penetrating the skin.


You can think of serum as your personal hero skin care product. If you have dry skin, your serum should provide hydration and antioxidants to protect against the environmental factors that are stripping your skin of moisture in the first place. Insert the deeply hydrating Everhydrate Marine Moisture-Restore Serum. Apply it morning and evening to freshly toned skin, under your moisturizer.


Morning and night, moisturize, but… with a different skincare product. At night, you want a thick moisturizing night cream that will sink in and support your skin when it’s undergoing its natural reparative process while you sleep. This Evercalm Overnight Recovery Balm is rich in oils that mimic your skin’s natural lipids, which are essential to its moisture barrier. During the day, you’ll want something lighter, such as Global Protection Day Cream, which protects against moisture loss, pollution, and external aggressors you encounter out in the world. After that, apply sunscreen.

Combination Skin

If you identify with having oily skin some of the time and dry skin at other times or feel as though your skin is slick and oily in certain areas and flaky and rough in others, you likely have combination skin. Skincare for combination skin can feel tricky because you don’t want to slather a thick moisturizer over your T-zone but also don’t want to live with chapped cheeks and fine lines. You may have to have a few more products in your beauty toolkit than other skin types and switch off as needed. The key is to assess what your skin needs on a daily or weekly basis.


Start with a gel cleanser, ideally one with hydrating ingredients such as this Rosa Centifolia™ Cleansing Gel. It’s a non-drying formula that helps keep the skin’s moisture level and protective barrier intact while washing away daily impurities like sweat, dirt and excess oil. Use it morning and night to cleanse combination skin.


Masking is a great option for those with combination skin because there’s no rule that a mask has to be applied all over. Target an oily T-zone by applying an oil-reducing mask, such as Clarimatte™ Invisible Pores Detox Mask only on those areas. Meanwhile, target dry areas with Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask to calm, soothe, and moisturize the spots that need it. Grab this mask trio to be prepared for whatever your skin needs.


With combination skin, you don’t need multiple products to tone. With a hydrating, exfoliating, and brightening toner, you can achieve balanced skin in one fell swoop. The Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic contains Lactic Acid, which effectively exfoliates the skin surface, breaking up dead cells and replacing moisture, while limiting irritation. It also contains Salicin from Willow Bark, which helps dissolve in-pore build-up, helping pores appear tighter and skin appear smoother. Apply it every day after cleansing or masking.


On the days or months when your skin is on the drier side, a hydrating serum can help revive it. After applying toner, slightly wet your fingertips with water and massage Flash Hydro-Boost Instant Plumping Emulsion into the skin until fully absorbed to super-charge skin with moisture and reveal a softer, smoother complexion. You can use it daily, as a part of your regular routine, before moisturizer.


Continue your skin care routine with moisturizer in both the AM and the PM to prevent moisture from escaping and to provide ample hydration. This way, you’ll prevent oily areas from over-producing oil to combat dryness, and you’ll prevent dry areas from becoming drier. Try Clearcalm Replenishing Gel Cream, a light gel moisturizer formulated for combination skin to help minimize oiliness and leave skin mattified, rebalanced, and hydrated. At night, this is the final step of your routine, and in the morning, follow with sunscreen before you start your day.

Looking for more information on skin care ingredients? Check out our latest blog Can You Use Niacinamide and Vitamin C Together?




About the Author

Camille Poggi is a doctor in Pharmacy (PharmD.) and is passionate about skincare and how the skin works in general. She specializes in the cosmetic industry and worked for renowned companies in France like L’Oréal and Chanel before moving to London. After being a training manager for 4 years, Camille is at ease with explaining how products work in the skin and how to adapt her speech according to the audience.

She joined REN in January 2020 as International Training Manager and moved to the Research & Development team earlier this year to be the new Scientific Education Manager. A tailored-made role where she assesses and leads all technical communication and ensures scientific compliance is always met. She’s also involved in new product development from the earliest stages. Finding a way to create sustainable skincare products and making sure the message is properly delivered and understood is definitely a big challenge but also her favorite part working for REN.