Q: You are recommending lots of anti-aging ingredients. Is it OK to combine so many on my skin? I’m confused about what should go on first, second, etc. Do you have any general tips about layering skin care products?

Experts Birnur K. Aral, Ph.D, Health, Beauty & Environmental Sciences Director, GHRI & Nina Judar, Beauty Director, Good Housekeeping explain best practices for anti-aging products.

recommended product combination

Birnur says: Certain top-notch anti-agers, such s retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), can increase skin sensitivity. To minimize the risk of irritation, try introducing one such product into your routine for a period of weeks to see how your skin adjusts. If there’s no sign of sensitivity, you can add another. However, if your skin reacts with redness, flaking, or irritation, dial back. Sometimes using a product only every second or third night can solve the problem. Or you can opt to use less sensitizing anti-agers, like peptides.


Nina Says: In general, you should put on the lighter layers first – serum, then moisturizer, because a serum won’t be able to penetrate through the thicker moisturizer. One way to keep things simple is to use fewer products. In the morning, use a moisturizer with SPF. If you’d like to step it up, apply a serum with antioxidants and then put on the moisturizer. At night, after cleansing, apply a night cream or nighttime treatment (see below. Again, if you’d like to step it up, first use a serum. You can add an eye cream at night, if needed.