Starting a career in the beauty industry requires know-how and an in-depth understanding of the different tools needed for the job. You can’t be a full-fledged beautician if you don’t know how to work salon equipment, after all. The same goes for beauty products. With so many options offered by aesthetic products distributors to your salon or spa, you need to know the best ones to use and recommend to your customers. It also helps to learn the proper application methods and understand what applying each product aims to achieve. To make sure you perform your role well, this article will teach you all about the different types of products used and the correct order of their application.

6 Skincare Product Types and Their Uses

Skincare always comes with several steps. These steps involved may also require different products. If you need help making a decision, below is a practical guide you can use:

1. Cleansers

Cleansers come in many different forms while serving the same purpose: to remove substances, products, and particles that aren’t naturally present in the skin.

This type of skincare product can come in the following forms:

  • Cream – gentle and hydrating; ideal for dry and sensitive skin types.
  • Gel – made for deep-cleansing and decongesting clogged pores; perfect for acne-ridden or oily skin types.
  • Foam – the in-between of cream and gel cleansers; a good choice for combination skin types.
  • Oil – cleanses and balances the skin at the same time; great for removing waterproof makeup.

2. Toners

Toners can be applied after cleansing in the morning or evening. They help remove any remaining makeup and dirt residues, shrink the pores and restore the skin’s natural pH level to prevent acne breakouts.

When recommending toners for sensitive skin, remind them to look for alcohol-free ones to avoid irritation.

3. Treatment

Treatment products – or spot treatment – are those that address specific concerns, like dark spots, acne, hyperpigmentation, inflammation, and fine lines.

The type of treatment necessary and its effects on the skin largely depends on the specific concern being treated. Below are some examples of active ingredients in skincare treatment products:

  • Retinoids – improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Vitamin C – reverses signs of premature aging.
  • Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid – prevent and treat acne.
  • Topical steroids – used for skin inflammation and allergies.

4. Serum

Serums replenish antioxidants in the skin to help fight free radicals. Some of these products also contain anti-aging ingredients like peptides and retinol to promote collagen production.

Serums are also excellent for hydration because of their capacity to penetrate deeper into the skin.

5. Moisturizers

Moisturizers also supplement fluids in the skin, especially when they contain hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

Different kinds of moisturizers are specifically tailored for various skin types, as follows:

  • Normal skin – products with as few ingredients as possible.
  • Dry skin – requires thicker cream moisturizers because they are oil-based.
  • Oily skin – moisturizers should contain non-comedogenic ingredients.
  • Sensitive skin – moisturizers should be recommended by a dermatologist after assessing sensitivity triggers to make sure the product acts as a barrier against those irritants.
  • Combination skin – offers balanced moisturization to give the skin what it needs.

6. Sunscreen

Sunscreen protects the skin from the damaging radiation from the sun.

Recommend broad-spectrum sunscreens to shield against both UVA (long-term damage) and UVB (short-term damage, e.g., sunburn) rays. Consistency also matters as some may be too greasy and may clog the pores.

Sunscreen protection can also be achieved from certain moisturizing products that contain SPF 30 or higher.

Product Application: The Correct Order

Now that you understand what the different types of products are and their specific purposes, it’s time for you to learn their correct order of application:

Step #1: Cleanser

Removing makeup is imperative in face care. Cleansing helps the skin better absorb active ingredients from other skincare products because it eliminates the oil and grime that may block the path.

Suggest a two-step cleansing routine to your clients:

When cleansing makeup, use cleansing oils that dissolve the product without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. Then, follow it up with a gentler cleanser with a creamy consistency for good measure, especially for skin that is prone to acne.

Step #2a: Toner (optional)

Toners are products that prime the skin for better absorption of ingredients in subsequent products. You should also let your clients know that toners are totally optional, though they offer many perks.

Apply an acid-based toner every other night. Other products following the toner should be applied after five minutes or once the toner dries. This will ensure that you don’t neutralize the acids before they can restore the natural pH of the skin.

Step #2b: Serum (optional)

Serums offer additional moisture to the skin. They are applied after the toners to improve the absorption rate of the active ingredients they contain.

Vitamin C serums help defend the skin against environmental damage and inflammation. They also have a brightening effect on the skin and may even lighten dark spots over time.

Step #2c: Spot treatment

Spot treatments for acne, dark spots, and scars are usually applied in the evening since it is when the body is most focused on repairing itself.

However, if acne-fighting toners or retinol is already used at night, recommend this step to be done in the morning instead. This way, the skin doesn’t get irritated with too many products applied at once.

Whatever the case, spot treatments should be applied prior to moisturizers. This will ensure that the product and its active ingredients penetrate the skin and work their magic without any barrier making the job more difficult.

Step #3: Moisturizer

People with dry skin need moisturizer to reduce fine lines and enhance the skin’s overall appearance over time. Heavy cream products should do the trick since they take only a minute to get absorbed into the skin.

For those with oily skin, recommend gel moisturizers that only add water to the skin without the unnecessary oil.

People with normal skin can choose between light creams or lotions.

Combination skin requires moisturizing along with the dry parts of the face. However, the T-zone (which is usually the oilier part) should be avoided.

Step 4: Sunscreen

Unlike the other products, sunscreens aren’t adding anything to the skin — they are applied for protection.

Remind your clients to go for sunscreens with a minimum of SPF 30.

If they have normal skin, a lotion or light cream consistency should do the trick. However, for dry skin, a richer cream would be a better choice. Meanwhile, sunscreens made for oily skin come in powder or very light lotion form.

Offer Professional Skincare

Offering the best professional skin care to customers is a job that requires a thorough understanding of how the products work. 

Learn more about each product and the role it plays to offer expert advice that works.