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Your Skincare Routine Is All About Timing - How Long Each Step Should Take And Why
Some experts insist on actively washing the face for a full minute for it to be clean, calling it the 60-second rule. However, times can vary depending on skin type.
Cleanse Time
While there's no complete consensus, most experts agree the sweet spot is a minimum of 30 seconds. If your makeup is heavy, you might need to wash your face twice.
Chemical exfoliants use ingredients like acids to remove the surface layer of dead skin. They are preferred because they don't require intense rubbing.
Chemical Exfoliant
Since there are so many different acid types, the general rule for how long they take in your routine is to follow whatever the package instructions say.
To prevent redness and swelling when finishing your skincare routine, use toner. Apply it to a cotton pad and apply it gently for about a minute to ensure it spreads evenly.
Generally, you can apply serum as soon as you feel the toner is dry. However, if your toner contains an exfoliant, wait a few minutes before applying another active like retinol.
Applying other products too soon can prevent your SPF from doing its job. Wait at least two minutes before applying other products to ensure the sunscreen fully absorbs.
The American Academy of Dermatology states that sunscreen can take as long as 15 minutes to fully absorb into your skin. Make sure to always cover the neck, ears, and decolletage.
Apply serums and moisturizers for at least a minute or two to properly hydrate the skin. Mix a hydrating serum with moisturizer and apply it to the face and the neck.
Dermatologist Dendy Engelman told Allure to "start with the lightest product and finish with the thickest, allowing each layer to be fully absorbed by the skin."