Reverse Skincare: What Is It and How's It Done?

Reverse skincare is a viral facial cleansing method on social networks. It's all about modifying the order in which cosmetics are applied. Learn all about it here!
Reverse Skincare: What Is It and How's It Done?

Last update: 12 May, 2023

There’s often a specific order when it comes to applying products to your skin. The essence of this is to cleanse, then tone, and then moisturize. But the reverse skincare technique has questioned this. Now there are those who prefer to moisturize before toning in order to get better effects.

This method is popular on social networks, as several bloggers have shown a step-by-step guide to the reverse way of pampering the face. The best part? It doesn’t involve any extra costs, since what it proposes is to try out a new structure. How effective is the procedure? What are its advantages? Here are all of the details!

What is reverse skincare?

Reverse skincare refers to changing the order in which you normally apply substances to cleanse and care for your skin, departing from the theory that suggests starting with the thinnest consistencies until you reach the thickest.

According to this premise, the first thing you would apply to your face would be creams, while you would spray toner last. This is how this beauty trick from TikTok, a network where reverse care is trending, explains out.

The idea came from Ava Lee, a Korean content creator, who spread the reverse tutorials until she got the acceptance of thousands of users on the platform. Lee’s argument is that this reverse follow-up is efficient for healing skin damaged by the cold.

Those in favor of this method highlight the benefits that, when you start with lotions and not toners, you provide the facial skin with a moisture lock and fulfill topical hydration.

It’s said that this method of skincare achieves immediate effects. However, the dermatological recommendation is to wait at least 10 minutes for the hydration to sink in, because only when the dermis absorbs the product well does it better assimilate the rest of the substances.

Moreover, as a treatment whose origin is social networks and anecdotal experiences, doctors don’t fully support this method yet, as studies are needed.

Reverse skincare: en qué consiste y cómo implementarla
This technique proposes the use of facial care products in reverse.

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This is how reverse skincare works

Common skincare routines start with the application of toner, as it’s the lightest formula of the group. They continue with heavy blends such as serums and moisturizers. On the other hand, moisturizing becomes more important as a remedy against the ravages of the weather and as a preparation for what follows.

An Offarm publication points out that if the epidermis reduces its water retention capacity, the following signs of skin dryness appear on the skin:

  • Wrinkles
  • Peeling
  • Flaccidity
  • A withered appearance

Avoiding these situations is what’s sought by reversing the order of hygiene. There are three basic steps to do this.

1. Moisturize with cream

The first thing to do is to spread a layer of moisturizing cream on your face until it forms a mask. According to the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, doing this daily preserves the right level of hydration and restores the barrier function of the stratum corneum.

They add that it’s a good idea to choose a moisturizer that contains sunscreen or put a filter after the cream, since UV radiation is a powerful skin dehydrator. The texture of the substance has to match your skin type and the current climate.

2. Apply your facial toner

Once the cream has been absorbed, move on to your toner. These are reconstituting agents with multiple advantages, among them the elimination of impurities and dead cells, as well as an extra touch of hydration.

Although there are many brands of facial toners on the market, if you wish, you should use those prepared with strictly natural compounds. Those without alcohol, fragrance, or active ingredients are better for your skin.

As a review on skin products, published by Ars Pharmaceutica points out, vegetable derivatives are safe for health and represent a great source of secondary metabolites used as raw material in the elaboration of cosmetics for the skin.

The methodology is to soak cotton discs with the liquid and impregnate the face with gentle strokes. Then, wait 15 minutes for it to penetrate.

3. Re-moisturize your skin

The last procedure is to repeat the moisturizing cream, but on the cheeks. Some people opt for moisturizers because they have the ability to integrate the skin’s surface and restore the skin’s acid mantle.

Remember to apply sunscreen before applying makeup, especially if the moisturizing formula does not include any protection factor.

Like this article? You may also like to read: Do You Know How to Remove Sunscreen from Your Skin Correctly?

Are there any contraindications to reverse skincare?

In theory, followers of this routine emphasize its repairing power in cases of dry skin. On the other hand, some comment that preferring heavy formulas first and then light ones will prevent the latter from doing their job well.

This doesn’t mean that there will be no effect, but that it will be difficult for toners and serums to reach deep into the dermis if they have to go through a film of cream. In its favor, reverse skincare advocates deep hydration and superficial hydration, as it evidences the fresh finish.

Crema facial
For now, there’s no scientific evidence of the benefits of reserve skincare. Its effects are based on anecdotal data.

How to make your reverse skincare routine safer

Regardless of whether you maintain the traditional routine or the other way around, skin safety is guaranteed as long as you put quality products on your face that are relevant to your needs. These must be dermatologically approved.

Therefore, it’s essential to know your skin type and the ingredients of the cosmetics. It’s also necessary to be constant and rigorous with your skincare routine so that your face retains its healthy appearance.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.



This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.