Why It's So Crucial To Apply Skincare Products Quickly After Cleansing

All of us have our own skincare tips and tricks up our sleeves. Some we may have been taught, others we may just have picked up over time. One part of your routine you may not actually have thought about, though? How quickly you apply you start applying your skincare products after cleansing. Some of us may wash our faces and reach straight for our moisturizers and other serums, while others might hit the faucet and then wait another five to 10 minutes before applying anything else (hey, we totally get it when life gets in the way and distractions arise).

Well, it turns out there's such a thing as the "Golden Minute Rule," as coined by celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau. Rouleau explained to Who What Wear that this very special 60 seconds is the optimum time in between cleansing and applying your skincare for the best results. But why so fast? Well, it turns out there can be some big benefits from getting straight in there with your skincare.

You can't go wrong applying your hydrating products right after cleansing

The main reason why hitting that skincare within the first minute is because of the hydration benefits it can bring to the skin. As Renée Rouleau put it to Who What Wear, "In those 60 seconds, your bare skin is vulnerable to dehydration due to transepidermal water loss, so it's crucial to start applying products in that window to prevent water loss and lock in hydration." So, essentially, you want to get your hydration products onto your skin as quickly as possible to really see the big benefits.

One of the best products to get straight onto the skin? Serums. Particularly hyaluronic acid-based ones. As Dr. Kaywaan Khan, medical doctor and aesthetician at Hannah London Medispa, told Glamour, "[They] benefit from application on slightly damp skin straight after cleansing/toning as they draw in moisture like a sponge." As for what's to apply after that? "In general, you want to apply your products [after cleansing] from lightest to heaviest," Dr. Nkem Ugonabo, a dermatologist at Union Derm, suggested to Reader's Digest. "That means lighter serums first, then heavier creams or moisturizers and then sunscreen last."

But the Golden Minute Rule doesn't mean all your skincare has to be applied so quickly

While there are certain ingredients that require you to apply them immediately after cleansing, that doesn't necessarily mean you need to pile on every single one of your skincare products within that minute. In fact, if you do that, you run the risk of not letting each product have enough time to absorb. As Dr. Kaywaan Khan told Glamour, that can lead to pilling on the skin, which is when little balls or rolls of product appear because the serum or cream wasn't properly absorbed.

However, keep in mind that stronger actives like retinol need more time to sit before applying something over the top of it. "It is important to leave a 10-20 minute wait time before applying the next product. Retinols are powerful antioxidants and it is important to allow it to fully absorb if you want to avoid your skin becoming sensitive," Medical Director at Vie Aesthetics, Dr. Ioannis Liakas, shared. So always check the instructions of your products.

However, when time's of the essence, it's probably better to get all your skincare on rather than miss a product out because you're in a rush. "If you don't have the time, it won't harm the skin by applying products directly after each other," facialist Chelseé Lewis admitted. "However, I do always recommend massaging the face to allow products to fully absorb."