Following a skin care routine can be overwhelming without the guidance of an expert. While we offer advice to the clients at our Santa Monica medical skin spa, not everyone is able to get expertise. Once you determine the products you need, it’s just as important to apply them in the correct order. Below is a guide for applying your daytime skin care regimen.

Step 1

Cleanse your face. It’s essential to remove any oil and debris from the skin before you apply your other products. If you have oily skin, be sure to use a cleanser. In the morning, those with drier skin may be able to get away with washing with water only. Speak to an expert to determine what is best for your skin.

Step 2

Now that your skin is clean, you can begin with any treatments that have been prescribed. While we recommend using retinol at night, some dermatologists may prescribe a retinoid for daytime use. If so, be sure to wear sunscreen, as retinoids are photosensitive and will lose their effectiveness if exposed to light.

Santa Monica medical skin spa

Step 3

Your next step is to apply a serum for extra hydration. If you have oily skin, you may want to skip to step 4, though serums deliver concentrated hydration that you may not get with moisturizer alone. Most serums also contain antioxidants that fight free radical damage and brighten the skin. If you use a special serum for the eye area, apply it now.

Step 4

Seal in hydration with moisturizer and eye cream. Use your favorite moisturizer cream or facial oil to lock in the hydration from the serum. If you use both, apply the oil last. For an added boost, store your eye cream and moisturizer in the refrigerator. It will feel spa-like and enhance the effects.

Santa Monica medical skin spa

Step 5

This is your final and most important step: protection. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to your face, neck, décolletage and anywhere else you want to fight the signs of aging.

By carefully following these steps, you’ll get your skin in its best condition possible. You’ll also increase the effects of the anti-aging treatments you receive at our Santa Monica medical skin spa.


Dr. Ryan Stanton is a fully credentialed board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon focusing on cosmetic plastic surgery in Beverly Hills, California. He has been featured in national and international media, including: TLC’s “Plastic Wives”, The Doctors Show, Discovery Channel, Montel Williams, Women’s Entertainment Network, CBS, Fox, & KTLA News, Fitness, In, Star and Gala Magazines.