How Long Should You Wait Between Each Step of Your Skincare Routine?

Whether you’re a skincare minimalist or a beauty fanatic – you need to hear this.


Amidst applying our various serums, creams and moisturizers, there comes the agile question: how much time should you leave between each skincare step? Some insist that these formulas can be slathered on one after the other, while others claim that you can only reap the benefits of these products if you allow them to soak into the skin properly first. 

Essentially, layering your products on top of each other won’t do you any harm, but to maximize the results from your routine, you should wait a little while between each step. 

Here is our quick guide guaranteed to help you achieve that post-lockdown glow! 

Acne Treatments

Prescription-based topical treatments, especially for treating your acne, require some waiting time. For the active ingredients in these products to work, you should let the treatment sit on the skin for one minute or so before applying anything else. 


A good quality retinol or anti-aging product needs relatively no time at all to sink in. They are rapid absorbers which means that you can apply your luscious creams almost immediately after use! When you use an anti-aging cream filled with retinoids, you receive all the collagen boosting benefits of vitamin A and the moisture locking positives of lotion at the same time. This can save you time between skincare steps.

Serums and Moisturisers 

The go-to recommendation for timing between serums and moisturizers is one minute. However, the time it takes will vary depending on the type and quality of the product. Lightweight serums could take seconds to dry while a night-time moisturizer may need a few minutes to really penetrate those pores.


As a rule of thumb, be sure to apply your SPF last. For it to be as effective as possible, your sunscreen should not be diluted by other products. Dermatologists suggest waiting a minute between your moisturizer and sunscreen step to ensure that each is fully absorbed into the skin. 
Remember, every skincare product is different, and some will need more time to work their magic than others. 


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