The Organic Esthetician Blog

How To Layer Your Skincare For Best Results

You’ve made it to the end of your Spa Worthy At-Home Facial. Congratulations! And congrats to me too for actually writing this many posts. You’ve learned how to properly cleanse your skin, gave yourself some deep exfoliation, applied a mask or two, and added in some anti-aging devices. Now it’s time to finish up your treatment with your regular skincare. I’m sure you’ve been doing this correctly, but just to be sure, I’ll be giving you the run-down on how to apply your skincare so that it is most effective.

Luzern Labs

To celebrate my new DISCOUNT CODE over at Luzern Labs, I’ll be showing you how to properly layer skincare using all my favorite Luzern products! This is a fantastic way to show all my non-clients the benefits of the brand I use on myself and in my signature facials here in LA.


Get 10% off when you purchase anything at and use code OrganicKatie. Simply add my code at checkout.

Previously, I had a Gift With Purchase available for use of this code but supplies ran out so fast. Sorry!

In the spirit of full disclosure, some of the links are affiliate links.  Meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you purchase items from clicking these links.  I only ever suggest products I love and use myself. Thank you in advance for your support!


I retail Luzern products at my skincare studio here in Los Angeles. I’ve been offering a Small Business Appreciation Discount to clients wanting to purchase directly from me and safely delivering orders to their door-step. Conveniently, all my clients live on the eastside. So if you live in Santa Monica and are wanting to support me, we might need to have a conversation first.


If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably caught on that this often skipped step is one of the most important. Using a Toner or Essence will not only add hydration but, by balancing the skin’s pH, will make everything else you put on your skin work more effectively.

Proper pH helps products absorb through the skin’s barrier. When active ingredients, meant to dive deep into the skin, are stuck on the surface, they cause irritation. Prepping the skin with a pH balancing tonic helps products slip seamlessly into its layers. Hydrated skin also makes it easy to use less product, allowing serums, oils, and creams to glide easily during application.

L’essentials Hydrating Essence does all this and more. Organic Swiss Alpine extracts and organic green tea nourish and soothe to reduce inflammation and environmental stress. Natural moisture factors and Hyaluronic Acid boost hydration and elasticity. Willow Bark extract increases cell turnover and ingredient delivery. But the hero ingredient, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, enhances anti-aging benefits by increasing cellular activity and oxygenating the skin. This nourishing solution is ideal for all skin types.

To apply, shake a few drops into the palm of your hand and gently press the Essence into your skin.

Pro Tip: Try the Korean Seven Layer Method. One of the few times more is actually better. Simply repeat the above application up to seven times. Each time you press more hydration into your skin. It seems too easy to be true, but I challenge you to try this at home and watch your skin change before your eyes!


Now that your skin is hydrated and at the proper pH, it’s time to apply your serums. Serums are high doses of concentrated actives that target specific skin concerns. They come in all shapes and sizes but can often be broken down into two categories, water-based and oil-based.

Water-based serums are a blend of actives in either a water or aloe base. They are light-weight and absorb quickly into the skin. Oil-based serums use oil instead of water or aloe as their base, tend to be slightly thicker and more viscus and leave the skin with a dewy glow.

When it comes to layering products, the golden rule is to layer lightest to heaviest. In the case of serums, apply water-based then oil-based serums. Often, a little bit goes a long way, especially if the skin is hydrated and slightly damp from the toner you just applied.

Pro Tip: Spot treat! I use somewhere between two to four serums most evenings, but I don’t apply them all to my entire face, rather I apply them to zones. See the images below. The picture in the middle shows the zone; the picture on the end shows the treatment.

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The skin on your forehead responds differently than the skin on your chin and is often afflicted by different concerns. Maybe your chin is dry and needs hydration, while your cheeks are prone to breakout. Whatever your specific concern might be, use this guide to treat concentrated areas, maximizing your results when using serums.

My Favorite Water-Based Serums

The great thing about water-based serums is they compliment all skin types. So whether you have mature, dry skin or are oily and acne-prone, water-based serums work for you. Therefore, focus on skin concerns and not skin type when choosing your serum. Here are a few of my favorite.

Serum Absolute Rehydrate

This synergistic blend of hydrators (two forms of Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, and Panthenol) works to deeply hydrate, plump the skin, and replenish vital moisture. Great for all skin types, even oily, because everyone suffers from dehydration. Apply it all over your face, even eyelids and lips, to reduce crepiness and plump your pout.

Serum Absolute Firming Collagen Booster

This serum offers some serious protection for your collagen. Signaling Peptides send signals to your skin to produce more collagen while protecting the collagen you already have, Orange Stem Cells help to increase skin density keeping it plump and juicy, and Pullulan and Polyose lift and firm the surface. Use this serum preemptively to prevent aging or as a corrective to address loss of volume and elasticity. Great for anyone wanting firm, bouncy skin.

Serum Absolute Clarify

This serum is truly a can’t-live-without product! Probiotics, plant-derived salicylic, 5% Niacinamide, and organic swiss alpine extracts make this non-drying serum incredibly useful at more than just treating breakouts. It reduces inflammation, it balances sebum, and it neutralizes bacterial overgrowth. Use it as a spot treatment for breakouts and redness or, for oilier skin types, use it all over your face to balance sebum.

Serum Absolute V15

Meet the anti-aging serum everyone should be using. V15 is not your average vitamin C. Firstly; this serum is fermented. It’s effervescence not only naturally preserves the formulation but intensifies the nutrient density of every ingredient in its blend. 15% L Ascorbic acid partners with zinc, copper, calcium, iron, and silicon co-factors, essential nutrients for healthy skin function.

I could write an entire blog post on vitamin c, which at some point, I definitely will. Vitamin C increases collagen and elastin production, neutralizes age-inducing free radicals, protects against UV damage, brightens the skin, and even prevents breakouts. Topical application is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion. But as with everything, delivery is incredibly important. For vitamin C to properly absorb into the skin, it needs to have a pH of 3.5. V15 is formulated at a pH of 3.2 to achieve maximum skin absorption.

I know it’s common to apply vitamin C in the morning for protection throughout the day. However, studies have shown that L ascorbic acid applied topically at a percentage of 15-20% stays in the skin up to 24 hrs or, as this study shows when used consistently for five consecutive days, will reduce to half that amount four days later. Ultimately this means, you can apply vitamin C at night and still reap all its benefits during the day. Additionally, I prefer using V15 at night because of the low pH.


Pro Tip: Use your actives at night! During the day, your skin is on defense. Its barrier is working hard to lock in moisture and keep out pollution, which means the product does not penetrate as deep. At night, your skin lets its guard down and puts its energy toward renewal.  While you sleep, every cell in your body regenerates, and your skin is more permeable, allowing for better absorption of actives.

Keep this in mind when you choose to apply certain products. Use hydrating, protective, antioxidant serums in the morning and use active anti-aging serums at night.

Oil Based Serums & facial oils

Because oils absorb differently into the skin than water-based products, it makes sense to apply oil-based products last. This prevents oils blocking lighter actives from diving deep into the skin.

Luzern makes two nourishing and protective oil serums. Oil-based serums, layered after your water-based options, lock in actives, add moisture, and protect the skin’s barrier function. This makes them beneficial for all skin types, even oily. Three small drops is all you need to help protect your skin and leave it glowing.

A quick note - These are some very luxurious oils and have a price point to match. I felt I should explain a little more in-depth about their amazing ingredients, so I included some clinical results for each blends key ingredients. Each serum is ECOCERT and NATURE organic certified. Ultimately, they are worth every penny!

Sublime Oil

Antioxidant organic Jojoba Oil balances and nourishes the skin. Sugar cane derived Squalane protects the skin’s lipid layers and, as you’ll see below, offers amazing anti-aging action. Chilean high elevation grown Rosehip Seed Oil increases cell turn over. Rosemary Leaf Extract boosts elastin and hyaluronic acid production. What makes this oil blend special are the organic Swiss actives included in the formulation. The synergistic blend of antioxidant Edelweiss, Thyme, and Butterfly Bush, fight free radicals, brighten the skin and help prevent age-inducing photodamage.

The clinicals on these ingredients are too insane not to share!

Sugar Cane Derived Squalane

• 51.4% wrinkle reduction • 28.3% decrease in skin roughness • 10.1% increase elasticity • 18.8% decrease in Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) • 33.77% increase in cell turnover

Rosehip Seed Oil


Rosemary Leaf Extract

  • 89% increase in elasticity • 109% increase in Hyaluronic Acid production

This protective anti-aging dry oil is non-comedogenic and can be used by all skin types. I love using it for daytime protection on all my clients. It works well in hot, humid climates since it is so lightweight and is fantastic at balancing oilier skin.

Replenishing Oil

This is my go-to for dry, sensitive, and inflamed skin. Slightly richer than the Sublime Oil yet still lightweight, it’s blend of Sugar Cane derived Squalene, and Chilean Rosehip Seed Oil are paired with Sweet Almond and healing Evening Primrose.

Evening Primrose Oil

  • improved skin barrier function after five weeks, on patients with atopic dermatitis

  • inhibits the production of melanin - ideal for helping to reduce hyperpigmentation

  • inhibits molecules associated with inflammation

  • inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Propionibacterium acnes, both bacteria are found in stressed, inflamed and troubled skin

This serum is great for all skin types experiencing dryness, sensitivity, or inflammation.

Eye Cream

The tissue around the eye is delicate and thinly covers the multitude of blood vessels underneath, making it susceptible to darkness. The under-eye is also prone to a build-up of lymphatic fluid, causing puffiness and bags. Using under eye-specific products in this area will more acutely address this area’s unique needs.

There is also room for personal preference. Maybe you hate the feel of a heavy product under the eye and are looking for a light-weight water-based option. Maybe you are dying for moisture and want something rich and emollient. Whatever your needs, you’ll treat the eye area the same as the rest of the face if using multiple products, layering lightest to heaviest.

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Serum Absolute Luminous

This light-weight under eye serum comes with a roller-ball applicator to drain stagnant fluid as you apply your product. Specifically beneficial for addressing darkness under the eye, Luminous uses a blend of beta-aescin, peptides, and niacinamide to reduce darkness, strengthen blood vessels, and de-puff.

Force de Vie Eye Contour Creme

Packed with oxygenating actives and powerful vitamins, Eye Contour Creme offers moisture and daytime protection against age-inducing irritants, all while minimizing fine lines around the eye.

Nuit Eye Masque

Less of a mask and more of a moisture-rich brightening treatment, the Nuit Eye Masque, helps to soften the appearance of darkness, lines, and puffiness while you sleep.


You are well on your way to finishing your daily skincare routine. One of the final steps is applying your moisturizer. These products should contain humectants to lock in moisture, emollients to soften skin and ceramides that help protect the skin’s lipid barrier.

During the day, your moisturizer should be full of antioxidants and should work to protect your skin from UV and environmental damage. At night, your moisturizer should help promote your skin’s regenerative processes and protect against dehydration (as noted above, the skin acts differently during the day than at night).

Not everyone loves to use moisturizers. If you fall into this camp and opt to use a facial oil instead, make sure your oil blend has ingredients that protect your skin’s barrier, such as the Sublime and Replenishing Oil’s Squalane.

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My all-time favorite daytime facial moisturizers are the Force de Vie Cremes, which come in three variations distinctive by each cremes percentage of Hyaluronic Acid. Force de Vie Pure Oxygen Lotion has 5% HA, Force de Vie Creme Luxe has 7.5% HA, and Force de Vie Creme Intensive has 10% HA, giving each moisturizer a more luxurious feel as the percentage of Hyaluronic Acid increases. Aside from hyaluronic acid, these moisturizers have a blend of antioxidant CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C, and Edelweiss, that work to increase the health of the skin. However, the hero ingredient, Biodyne TRF, improves cellular respiration oxygenating the tissue, creating the “force de vie,” or “life force” of the skin.


In the evening, when cells regenerate is a fantastic time to add in a product with Retinol, such as the Nuit Retinol Creme Luxe. This moisturizer uses vitamins, peptides, and a Retinol complex, blending .15% Retinol with .5% Bakuchiol, a plant alternative to Retinol. Together these ingredients create a complex stronger than the sum of their parts. When Retinol and Bakuchiol are used together, Bakuchiol increases the effects of retinol while decreasing unwanted sensitivity, making them a perfect pair.

For more sensitive skin types, try Nuit Retinol Creme Intensive, which has the same Retinol Complex but the addition of Borage Seed Oil, which provides relief to those suffering from skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.

Both the Retinol Luxe and Intensive reduce pigmentation, due to a brightening complex of Swiss Actives and Vitamin C, leaving skin glowing in the morning.


Fun Fact: Your lips are made from the only skin on your face that does not have its own sebaceous glands. Which means it’s up to you to keep them moisturized.

L’essential Lip Enhancing Treatment

Packed with a lot of the same ingredients found in the Force de Vie moisturizers, this hydrating and anti-aging formula minimizes wrinkles, increases collagen and plumps your pout with organic oils and lipo-amino acids. Use it morning and night as part of your skincare routine or pop this sleek tube in your purse and use it on-the-go as the ultimate anti-aging lip gloss.


Rain or shine, every day-time skincare routine needs to end with an SPF. UV induced damage is the leading cause of premature aging and can happen on even the cloudiest days. For anyone looking to learn all there is to know about SPFs, make sure you read this blog post.

If layering multiple products is just not for you, I highly recommend the La defense Mineral Sunscreen, who’s emollient formula protects against UV damage with SPF30 and environmental damage with a blend of potent antioxidants. Applied over a facial oil, such as the Sublime Oil, this SPF provides protection and enough moisture to cover you throughout the day.

I know that was a lot of information. I’m nothing if not thorough. Hopefully, you learned a new trick or two to optimize the skincare routine you already had, and maybe you found your new can’t-live-without product from Luzern Labs. Either way, you have the tools for healthy, happy skin.

Let’s do a quick recap to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

How To Properly Layer Skincare For Best Results

  1. Apply a pH balancing hydrating toner after cleansing, no matter what your skin type.

  2. Apply water-based serums as needed. Feel free to apply serums to areas of concern, or zones, instead of all over your face.

  3. Apply oil-based serums or facial oils. Less is more, 3-4 drops is all you need.

  4. Apply an eye serum or eye cream, or both lightest to heaviest.

  5. Apply a moisturizer if desired. Look for protective and antioxidant products for day and active restorative products at night.

  6. Don’t forget to use a lip product!

  7. Always apply an SPF every morning, rain or shine.


Sending you all lots of love. Stay Safe ❤️

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.  This post does contain some affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.