What Order To Apply Your Skincare Products

Good morning friends! Welcome back to my blog!  I’m super pumped for today’s post because it involves one of my passions – skincare!  I truly believe that how our skin looks affects more than just our appearance, it can affect how we feel about ourselves.

When my face was breaking out and I had a lot of hyperpigmentation, I felt very self conscious.  Once my acne cleared up and my dark spots faded, I felt so much more confident in my skin!  And trust me, I didn’t really start taking good care of my skin until I turned 40, so there is still hope for you, even if you’re older than me.


I hope today’s post will be super informative because it answers a question I’ve gotten often about skincare and again just last week!

Linsday sent me a DM and said, “I enjoy following you and seeing your sweet family on Instagram!  After hearing about your experience with Colleen Rothschild skincare products, I’m ready to invest in them for myself.  I have a question though, what order do you apply the products?  I’m not sure if I should apply my eye cream before or after the serum and also when do you apply sunscreen?” 

What Order to Apply Skincare Products

Such a good question, right?!  I started out slowly with just a couple of skincare products, but over the years, my lineup has evolved to include several products.  Even I found myself confused on what order to apply the products and I especially had to figure out which products to apply in the morning and at night.

PRO TIP : Label your products in the order you apply them or with “AM” & “PM”.  I put my morning and night products in two separate collections so it’s easy to see which are to be applied in the morning and at night.  

You may not use every product every day, it often depends on what your skin needs or what season you’re in (i.e. more moisture in winter), but if you can get the gist down with labels or by how you organize your products, you won’t be overwhelmed when you go to use them.  And who can read that tiny print?!

I’ve touched on this very topic in this skincare post, but I wanted to elaborate on it here.  I also went straight to the source, Colleen Rothschild, to see what she recommended. Her mantra is : When in doubt, keep it simple: Cleanse > Treat > Moisturize


Starting today, Colleen Rothschild’s Christmas in July Sale starts today with the following products up to 50% off + everything else 20% off.

Mini Radiant Cleansing Balm – was $24, now $15

Restorative Hand Cream – was $28, now $14

Cocoa Bean Cleansing Balm – was $65, now $32

Discovery Collection – $150 Value, was $95, now $69

Intense Hydrating Mask – was $45, now $34

Complete Eye Cream – was $65, now $46

I’ll share what I use often and explain the order in which to use them.


Step 1 – Cleanser

One of the ways to maintain healthy, beautiful skin is to begin the day by washing your face. A morning wash removes treatments from the night before and gets your skin balanced and prepped for the serum and makeup to come.  The Balancing Gel Cleanser leaves skin feeling clean, fresh, and comfortable – not dry and tight. It refreshes and bathes the senses with its aromatic blend of sage and seagrass.

I used to wake up in the morning and just splash water on my face before heading to the gym because I knew I would be washing my face when I got home and I was afraid that was too much cleansing.  Now, I always wash my face first thing because I don’t want to have a sweaty workout with my night oils preventing my skin from breathing during the work out.

Because the Radiant Cleansing Balm is gentle and I moisturize after, I’m not worried about my skin drying out.  It’s a balm cleanser you apply with your clean fingers to your dry face.  Then, you wet the muslin cloth with warm water that it comes with and gently wipe off the balm.  The combination of the textured cloth and the Radiant Cleansing Balm act as an exfoliant to gently remove impurities.  I finish by splashing cold water onto my skin to help close my pores, then pat dry. My skin is left feeling soft and clean, but not tight.  Plus, it smells amazing and leaves you feeling like you just left a spa after every use.

Over 40 skincare routine

If you’ve been wanting to try Colleen Rothschild products, I recommend starting with the Radiant Cleansing Balm especially since the Mini Radiant Cleansing Balm is on sale for just $15!

Step 2 –  Serum

Once your skin is thoroughly cleansed and prepped, it’s time to treat! I ALWAYS use the Vitamin C Treatment Complex next.  It’s anti-aging, damage-repairing and UV-protecting powers make it a must-have product in your skincare arsenal. Use it consistently and over time to see the best results, including reducing hyperpigmentation and increasing cell turnover.  My skin is more radiant and even toned since I started using it with my dark spots diminished.

It’s formulated to help treat and defend against pollution, stress, and sun damage. This potent anti-oxidant formula helps reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation and helps promote collagen production for the look of absolute radiance.

Step 3 – Eye Treatment

The delicate skin around the eyes needs special care to maintain its elasticity and brightness. I find that most of my wrinkles are now around my eyes. The Complete Eye Cream helps smooth wrinkles and fine lines, and offers skin plumping properties under eye circles, puffiness and loss of elasticity.   It’s very gentle and a little goes a long way.  Use your ring finger to tap the product around your eyes.

Step 4 – Moisturizer  

I used to be afraid that moisturizer would break my sensitive skin out, but I’ve been able to use the Sheer Renewal Cream without any issues. This oil free, lightweight moisturizer is weightless and hydrating.  It also promotes new cell turnover to help minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles.  I like that it has the added benefit of being a primer for your makeup.

I also use and love the Extreme Recovery Cream and I don’t feel it’s too heavy for my skin- but a tiny dab goes a long way!

Step 5 – SPF

I’m bad about this doing this daily, but it’s definitely recommended to use a broad spectrum SPF to protect your skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays.  And don’t forget to give your hands some love too.  Opinions differ on which step you should apply sunscreen, but Colleen and I agree, it’s the last step before makeup.


Step 1 – Cleanser

It’s the end of your day and time to give your skin some love. ♥ Taking special care of your skin at night is key to a more youthful appearance and the long term health of your skin. Removing makeup and the day’s dirt and pollutants allows skin the opportunity to rejuvenate and repair itself, which is the secret to maintaining beautiful skin.

Step 2 – Mask 

Colleen recommends using the Clarifying Detox Mask 2-3 times a week just after cleansing. Activated charcoal and French Kaolin clay go straight to work detoxing pores and leaving behind a more balanced complexion, while pure micronized silver helps keep bacteria at bay. A blend of vitamin C and Willowherb extract brighten and soothe inflamed skin.

I usually use it once a week – typically on Sunday evening.  You can find me folding and putting away laundry while slightly scaring my children!

nighttime skincare routine Colleen Rothschild Clarifying Mask

Step 3 – Serum

Adding a serum to your evening routine can help combat your particular skin concerns.  This is where you can have fun experimenting with different products for your particular skin needs.

If you’re seeing signs of aging –  the Age Renewal Super Serum is infused with more than 20 potent ingredients, including peptides, collagen boosters, amino acids, vitamins, and plant extracts to restore the skin’s complexion to its most youthful radiance and texture.

If your concern is texture or uneven skin tone – the Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum combines exfoliating mandelic, lactic, and salicylic acid for refined skin.

Step 4 – Moisturizer

Moisturizing your skin at night is crucial for rehydrating. Locking in hydration can give skin a more youthful appearance. The Extreme Recovery Cream works wonders for improving your stressed out skin while providing high levels of continuous moisture.

Over 40 nighttime skincare routine

Step 5 – Oil

For me, an oil is a must-have in any nightly skincare routine. (Even if you’re prone to oily skin, give it a try!)

The Retinol Supreme Night Oil combines the regenerative benefits of retinol and a potent dose of vitamin C with the highly moisturizing properties of plant-based essential oils.

I also love the Face Oil No. 9 with nine transformative oils that provide an intense moisture boost, deeply nourish thirsty skin, and leave your complexion radiant after the first application. The active combination of precious oils and vitamins offers protection from oxidative stress that results in the appearance of spots and wrinkles. This formula also improves the skin’s moisture barrier for enhanced cellular function and hydration, leaving no greasy residue.

Step 6  – Eye Treatment

To finish your evening routine, apply the Retinol Supreme Eye Serum every night to reverse the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and puffiness. The supremely rich blend of retinol and vitamin C helps revitalize the delicate area around the eyes.

Radiant Cleansing Balm • Retinol Supreme Eye Serum (not pictured) • Age Renewal Super Serum • Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum • Extreme Recovery Cream • Retinol Supreme Night Oil or Face Oil No. 9

I’m honestly thankful that I found these products and I’m pretty biased with them because once I found a good thing, I don’t want to mess with it – especially since I have skin that breaks out easily.

I’m also prone to hyperpigmentation and I’ve never found anything over the counter that has worked so well.  If you struggle with that too, definitely use the Vitamin C Treatment Complex every morning and the Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum every evening. If you do it religiously, after a few weeks, you should see visible improvement!

The Discovery Collection is also a great way to get started and its on sale for $69 (a $150 value).  The 7 piece kit contains:

  • Radiant Cleansing Balm, 30 ml (1 fl oz)
  • Dual Enzyme Polish, 15 ml (0.5 fl oz)
  • Clarifying Detox Mask, 15 ml (0.5 fl oz)
  • Sheer Renewal Cream, 30 ml (1 fl oz)
  • Extreme Recovery Cream, 15 ml (0.5 fl oz)
  • Face Oil N°9, 4 ml (0.14 fl oz)
  • Muslin Cleansing Cloth
  • And a newly redesigned exclusive CR Travel Bag


I hope this post was helpful for you!  Have a great day friends!

*Affiliate links used in collaboration with Colleen Rothschild

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. This is great info but I doubt that most people can afford ALL of these products daily. As a 60 year old I would love to know what the top most effective treatments would be, morning and night.

  2. Your skin looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to try these products for a long time and am now ready after using up most of my current skincare….but…worried about shipping and delivery in this Houston heat! Do they usually leave the package on front porch? Just worried about it sitting in a hot mailbox for hours.

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