After cleansing and toning, your skin is perfectly prepared to have treatment products applied. These products are the workhorses of your routine, and are designed to address any issues you have.
Below is a useful quick introduction to the different product types you can apply at this stage. As ever, it's vital you choose treatment products that are formulated for your skin type.
Serums + Essences
Serums are one of most explosively growing skincare product categories, and for good reason. They are formulated - using small molecules, helping them to sink in deeply - to deliver powerful active ingredients directly into the skin for maximum effectiveness.
Essences are very similar to serums, and there's a degree of overlap between the two, but essences tend have a more 'watery' consistency. If you're using an essence, as they're lighter and thinner, they should be applied before serums.
Like many skincare innovations in recent years, we have South Korea to thank for the sheet mask. They're a thin, usually cotton, face-shaped sheet that's soaked in active ingredients. Typically they're primary function is to deliver intense hydration to the skin, but more and more are hitting the market with other ingredients to target more complex skin concerns.
Top tip: these are awesome to use when flying to help prevent your skin becoming overly dehydrated. Trust us, this is becoming a thing.
As the name suggests, these products are to be applied to the face and neck, left for a short while (read the individual product's label for the manufacturer's recommendation), then washed off with lukewarm water. Some are made ready-to-apply as a cream, while others are supplied as a powder, for you to add your preferred liquid to make a mask - all are designed to work with water, but can provide slightly different effects if mixed with milk, yoghurt etc.
These products are designed to be applied only to the specific area where you have a spot, or where you can see or feel one coming. They are loaded with spot fighting active ingredients and are a real must-have in anyone's bathroom or travel bag.
The skin around the eye is extremely delicate and can benefit from some dedicated products. Moreover, the eye area is often the first to show signs of tiredness (we've all been there...) and the early stages of ageing. Eye creams and treatments provide active ingredients to help give the area a more radiant appearance.
Top tip: for an extra refreshing experience, store your product in the fridge so you're applying a cool product around your eyes.