What Is Reverse Skincare (And Does it Work?)

woman doing her skincare routine in the mirror

Forget everything you thought you knew about skincare routines (well, for a few moments, anyway!) The latest trend that's making waves on social media is shaking things up, throwing the traditional application order of your skincare products out the window. Today we're talking about reverse skincare: a method that flips the script on the usual cleanse-tone-moisturise sequence we're used to. But does reverse skincare work?

Intrigued? Skeptical? You're not alone! Let's take a look at whether reverse skincare is a revolutionary approach to your routine or just a passing fad...

What Is Reverse Skincare?

Reverse skincare is a trending skincare routine that flips the traditional order of the application of your skincare products. The classic routine that we're usually taught involves cleansing, toning, and then moisturising, (not forgetting that vital SPF if its morning time!) But reverse skincare suggests doing the opposite: applying moisturiser first (after cleansing), followed by toner and other thinner consistency products, like serums and mists.

Popularised by beauty influencers on social media, particularly over on TikTok, reverse skincare challenges the long-held belief of applying products from thinnest to thickest consistency. The proponents of reverse skincare claim it offers benefits, like increased hydration and a plumper appearance to your skin.

Does Reverse Skincare Work?

Despite its popularity on our social channels, dermatologists and skincare experts aren't convinced on its effectiveness. So while it might not be harmful to your skin, there's actually limited scientific evidence to support its claims, which include:

Enhanced Hydration
Claims surround the notion that applying your moisturiser first creates a barrier to trap water-based products, like toners and serums closer to your skin, potentially helping to boost hydration.

Plumping Effect
Due to the occlusive nature of moisturiser, applying this first might temporarily plump your skin's surface, leading to a dewier appearance. However, this effect is likely temporary and wouldn't work to address any deeper skin concerns that you might have. 

As you'll probably know if you're interested in skincare, dermatologists have long advised applying your products from thinnest to thickest consistency to ensure that the formulas can penetrate more deeply and be more effective. So blocking absorption with a heavy moisturiser first actually hinders the efficacy of your products. Also, those with oily or acne-prone skin may find that layering a heavy moisturiser first may potentially cause issues with clogged pores, further exacerbating breakouts. 

Woman applying serum to her face

How To Hydrate Your Skin

If you're looking for that temporary glow that reverse skincare can give, but on a more permanent basis, there are lots of ways that you can make sure your skin is getting the health-boosting hydration it needs. 

Drink More Water
We're sure you've heard it all before, but drinking enough water is not only great for your skin, but it's also essential for healthy bodily functions, too. If you're looking to boost your hydration from within even further, try out a daily supplement like Rejuvenated H3O Night Repair that contains a potent blend of herbs, antioxidants, vitamins, and hyaluronic acid. It helps to nourish your cells, reduce tiredness, and support healthy skin by boosting hydration - all whilst you sleep! 

Pay Attention To Your Diet 
Fruits and vegetables like leaf greens, cucumber, and watermelon are packed water and essential vitamins for healthy skin. Foods with healthy fats, like fatty fish, avocado, and nuts, are also essentials for maintaining a strong skin barrier.

Avoid Dehydration
We know this goes without saying, but consuming lots of caffeine or alcohol has a diuretic effect which flushes fluids out of your body and leaves your skin parched. Even as skincare devotees, our FTF team still love a glass of wine or a cocktail (or three), but we'll make sure to take our skin supplements, stick to our skincare routine, and most important of all, we'll make sure to drink a few glasses of water between those alcoholic drinks. 

Use A Gentle Cleanser
You may have heard that clean skin is healthy skin, which is absolutely true, but it's important that you don't strip your skin in the cleansing process. Avoid harsh soaps that strip away your skin's natural oils, and instead, opt for a gentle cleanser that removes dirt and impurities without compromising your skin's barrier. We like Elemis Pro-Collagen Green Fig Cleansing Balm that contains¬†three indulgent formulas wrapped up in one. Full of nourishing plant oils including elderberry, optimega‚ĄĘ, bee friendly starflower oil, and the Elemis superhero ingredient, algae padina pavonica, it gives your skin a luxurious but gentle cleanse.

Moisturise Every Day
Choose a moisturiser that's suitable for your skin type and ensure to apply it twice daily: morning and evening. Moisturisers act to lock in essential moisture and also give a plumping effect to your skin. We love Institut Esthederm Intensive Pro-Collagen+ Cream that's specially designed to stimulate five types of collagen in all three layers of your skin t give you a youthful, lifted V-shape effect. 

Use Serums 
Hyaluronic acid serums are popular for their intense hydrating properties. They attract and hold moisture in the skin, leaving it plump and dewy. Apply this before your moisturiser for the best results. We recommend PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum that's formulated with various forms of hyaluronic acid to give a three-tier approach to hydrating your skin. 

Don't Forget Your SPF
Sun exposure is a major cause of skin dehydration -- not to mention a leading accelerator for premature ageing, and even skin cancer. Protect your skin with a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen every single day - even on cloudy days. We recommend Bondi Sands Sun Lotion Face SPF50+ that has added aloe vera and vitamin E to nourish your skin. Plus, it's super gentle which means its suitable for even sensitive skin. Even better? There's 20% of all Bondi Sands sunscreens through April to help you shield your skin for less. 

Shop The Post

Rejuvenated H3O Night RepairRejuvenated H3O Night Repair
Rejuvenated H3O Night Repair

A potent blend of herbs, antioxidants, vitamins and more reduces tiredness, provides hydration while you sleep and supports healthy skin.

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PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting SerumPCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum
PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum

Formulated with various forms of hyaluronic acid, this powerful serum takes a three-tier approach to skin hydration.

Bondi Sands Sun Lotion Face SPF50+ 75mlBondi Sands Sun Lotion Face SPF50+ 75ml
Bondi Sands Sun Lotion Face SPF50+ 75ml

¬£5.59 ¬£7.99 30% offsaving

Enjoyed our post and fancy reading another? Great! We think you'll enjoy¬†Unlocking The Power Of Plants: Unveiling Vegan Supplements With DR.VEGAN¬ģ Co-Founder, Gordon Lott.

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