Master the Art of Skincare Layering: How to Use 111SKIN's Products for Maximum Efficacy

Master the Art of Skincare Layering: How to Use 111SKIN's Products for Maximum Efficacy

Taking inspiration from 111SKIN’s signature facial techniques, this article explains how to layer skincare in order to optimise the benefits of each step.

Words: Chloe Alexandrou

You’ve just hopped out of the shower with freshly cleansed skin and you’re perusing your products wondering which to apply first...

“Serum or moisturiser? When should I use my eye cream? And what is an essence for?”

Sound familiar? You might even be wondering whether the order of application even matters. (Spoiler alert: Yes... yes it does!)

Truth is, you could have a beauty cabinet bursting with the best skincare on the market, but unless you’re applying them in the right order your skin is unlikely to receive the maximum benefits. This is because skincare needs to be layered correctly in order to optimise the delivery and bioavailability of actives in each product.

Having developed industry-leading facials for some of the world’s most prestigious spas, we know a thing or two about the science of skincare layering. However, whether you’re in a five-star hotel, or at home in your bathroom, the rules remain the same. Below, you’ll find our tried-and-tested five-step guide to layering skincare. Plus, if you keep reading to the end, we’ll share our aesthetician-approved tips and tricks on how to incorporate more bespoke products like boosters, masks, and concentrates into your routine...




“A comprehensive skincare routine revolves around five fundamental steps, each playing a crucial role in nurturing and maintaining healthy skin,” explains 111SKIN’s International Training Manager, Clara Anderson. “Cleansing lays the foundation by effectively removing impurities, oils, and makeup, ensuring a clean canvas for subsequent products,” she adds.

This is why cleansing should always be your first port of call. Even if you don’t have makeup on, environmental impurities, dead skin cells, and excess sebum can build up on your skin and block active ingredients from getting where they need to go.

We advise using 2-3 pumps of our cleansers and massaging them in thoroughly, paying close attention to your nose, forehead and chin, to ensure a deep cleanse. If you’re a fan of double cleansing, use an oil-based cleanser first to remove makeup and SPF, followed by a water-based cleanser to flush out pores and polish skin.





Your skin is more receptive to active ingredients when it is calm, and hydrated. However, the movement involved in cleansing your skin can sometimes leave it a little irritated. Depending on your skin type , you might also find that your skin feels tight and dry after cleansing. This is where essences come in.

“Using an essence provides a lightweight, hydrating layer that soothes and preps the skin, enhancing its ability to absorb anything layered on top,” explains Clara. 

Our essences are designed to deliver an immediate hit of hydration while feeling light and refreshing on your skin. Distribute 5-7 drops evenly between the palms of your hands and gently pat onto a freshly cleansed complexion. This will leave your skin perfectly primed for the steps to follow.






Treating the delicate eye area comes next and it’s always best to use precisely blended products that have been purposely formulated to addresses concerns like puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines around the eyes.

“When you apply skincare products, they spread across your skin. The skin around your eyes is the thinnest and most fragile, so we recommend applying eye treatments – that are specifically formulated to protect the area – first,” explains Clara.

Our eye treatments are designed to be suitable for even the most sensitive skin, but they still pack plenty of potent actives so a little goes a long way. Half a pump is all you need for both eyes.

"When applying products to the delicate skin around your eyes, we recommend using your ring finger because it’s the weakest and therefore exerts the lightest touch. This reduces the risk of applying excessive pressure or pulling on the skin,” reveals Clara.

To see what we mean, place your hand flat on a table (palm down) and tap each of your fingers one by one. You’ll notice it’s considerably harder to tap your ring finger with the same kind of force as the others.





Next up is the heavy-hitter – serum. “Serums are rich in potent active ingredients and can reach the deeper layers of your skin to tackle specific concerns such as brightening, firming, or addressing hyperpigmentation,” Clara explains.

These products tend to boast higher concentrations of active ingredients. In order to make the most of their power, it’s best to use them before moisturisers as the smaller molecules can penetrate deeper into your skin for optimum efficacy and longer lasting benefits.

Our serums are packed with advanced active ingredients and have been formulated to optimise delivery so you only need 1-2 pumps. Distribute the product evenly between your finger tips and apply to skin using upward, circular motions. Finish by fluttering your fingers across skin to encourage absorption of actives and boost circulation.






Finish your routine with a hydrating layer of moisturiser. This will leave your skin plumper, firmer, and encourage a healthy glow.

“Moisturisers help to seal in all the actives you’ve applied, protect against external aggressors, and lock in hydration.” explains Clara. “They work to fortify the skin barrier, creating a protective layer that’s essential for maintaining a youthful and radiant complexion,” she adds.

Each of our moisturisers is formulated to deliver intense hydration while providing your skin with a final layer of actives to really strengthen the skin barrier and target any concerns you might have. We also offer lighter versions of our cream formulas to suit different skin types and texture preferences.

Whichever you choose, simply distribute a pea-sized amount between your fingertips and massage into skin using upward, circular movements.




Extra steps to elevate your routine...

We’ve outlined the basics above, but there are of course extra products you can include in your routine for even better results. Masks, boosters, and concentrates might not be products you use every day, but these advanced treatments allow you to target specific concerns with speed and superior efficacy, so they’re certainly worth using 2-3 times per week. Keep reading to find out the best way to layer them into your regular routine...




Our award-winning masks are made from either hydrogel, or bio cellulose and drenched in potent, targeted serums. Using these innovative materials means each mask wraps closely around the contours of the face, locking in moisture and acting as a second skin to ensure deep delivery of actives.

Formulated to deliver immediate results, our masks get to work in a mere 20 minutes so you’ll notice the difference after just one application. Simply remove the protective film from both sides, apply to skin, sit back, and relax.

If you’re working masks into your regular routine, the ideal place to use them is after you’ve applied your essence but before you apply eye cream. This allows the actives in the masks to penetrate deep into your skin and optimises their benefits.



If you want to pay more attention to a particular concern – like dullness, fine lines, or blemishes – our boosters and ampoules are a great way to level up your daily routine. Packed with high concentrations of advanced actives, these targeted treatments are tailored to treat specific skin bugbears.

Concentrates are like a seven-day bootcamp for your skin, whereby you use one full ampoule per day over the course of a week. Simply empty the contents of one ampoule into the palm of your hand and apply the product directly to your skin using gentle patting motions. These formulas are best applied after eye cream, but before serum.

Boosters are a great way to turn up the volume of your skincare routine. You only need 2-4 drops per application and you can mix and match the formulas to target whatever skin concerns are bothering you at the time. Like concentrates, boosters can be applied directly to skin after eye cream and before serum. This is how we use them in our 111SKIN facial treatments as it ensures maximum efficacy. However, you can also use boosters to amplify the benefits of your other products by mixing 2-4 drops into your serum or moisturiser in the palm of your hand.


The last word...

Remember to always start with a freshly cleansed complexion – even if you’ve not been wearing makeup – and use an essence to rehydrate and calm your skin before applying the rest of your routine. Don’t skip eye care and make sure to apply it before your serum or moisturiser as this protects the delicate skin around your eyes. Follow with a serum which will penetrate deeper into your skin and seal everything in with a moisturiser that fortifies the upper layers of the epidermis.

Now that you’re well-acquainted with science of skincare layering, we hope you can approach your daily routine with confidence, knowing that you’re getting the most out of each product.


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