If you love skin care as much as we do, or you just want to get the most out of the products in your beauty arsenal, you've probably wondered once or twice about the timing of your routine. Especially with the ever-increasing number of steps in today's trending skin-care routines, it's a valid question. To maximize the efficacy of each product (moisturizer, serum, oil, sunscreen, etc.), do you need to wait a certain amount of time in between applying each one? You've already got the correct layering order down, but should you apply your products immediately after one another, or give each one some time to soak in?
There's no one-size-fits-all answer, but...
Here's the majority verdict: Research is pretty limited here, but experts seem to agree that waiting for each product to fully dry before reaching for the next is your best bet, whether that takes a few seconds or a full minute.
"There is no evidence that waiting a certain period of time makes the products more effective," explains Kristina Goldenberg, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. "I usually recommend waiting about a minute between your serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen to give it a moment to get absorbed before applying the next product."
Kim Nichols, a board-certified dermatologist in Greenwich, Connecticut, agrees that you want to let each product "settle into the skin" before applying the next in line. "This is because certain product textures can roll up if you apply them immediately after one another," she explains. "A waiting time can [also] help to penetrate a product that is designed for a specific place, such as a spot treatment on a blemish or an undereye cream."
An exact time frame is hard to pinpoint, but you want to wait until each product feels like it's been absorbed into the skin. "Current formulations are made for layering, so you don't need to wait a specific amount of time between each step, [but you should] wait for one step to be absorbed and then move on to another," advises Dendy Engelman, a board-certified New York dermatologist in New York City.
In other words, you don't need to set a timer in between applying products, or even count in your head, but you should wait until each product dries before reaching for the next — about 30 to 60 seconds. There's no magic number because the time it takes for a certain product to penetrate the skin (and feel dry) varies, depending on the product type and quality.
There are exceptions.
The skin is very good at absorbing multiple products at once, but there are certain exceptions to the 30-to-60-second rule: sunscreen and acne treatments. "When sunscreen is mixed with other products, it becomes diluted and less effective," explains Sejal Shah, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Because of this, and because it's your last layer of defense against UV rays, you always want to apply sunscreen as your very last step, after all your other skin-care products have had at least a minute to penetrate and dry. Post SPF-application, before reaching for your makeup, you'll want to also wait a couple of minutes to ensure that the sunscreen is properly absorbed.
Shah says the second exception is "prescription topical medications, such as acne medications, [which] need to be fully absorbed before other products are applied on top for maximal efficacy." Engelman agrees, saying that with acne treatments, you need to "let the active ingredients sit for a minute before applying creams over them."
Quality matters, too.
Other experts contest that the better quality a product, the better (and quicker) it will absorb into the skin. Harold Lancer, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills, says that when using high-quality products, such as retinol, the wait time is even less — possibly nonexistent — because "high-quality products are of a different chemistry and will mix and absorb more rapidly" into the skin.
The bottom line.
Though the type and quality of your skin-care products can affect absorption rates, the best general rule is to wait until each product feels dry before moving on to the next one. Moreover, all of the experts agree that the layering order in which you're applying products is more important than timing.
Source : https://www.allure.com/story/how-long-time-between-skin-care-products