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The pro secret to applying products


We all know how important it is to use the right products to keep your skin clear, healthy and younger-looking. But what skin care professionals know is that it’s just as important to use products in the right order, to ensure your skin receives the best penetration of key ingredients. The correct “layering” of products can make all the difference between skin that’s hydrated, smooth and protected, and skin that’s dull, lifeless and aging before its time.

Here’s your essential order of what products to use, and when to use them:


1. Cleanse

Cleansing removes dirt, oils and dead cells that can clog pores. It’s an important first step (especially at night – never go to bed without cleansing your skin!)

2. Tone

Next, generously spritz with a Toner to help rehydrate and rebalance skin, and boost moisture. This saturation will also help skin to absorb key ingredients in the products you’ll apply next.

3. Skin Serums & Treatment Creams

Now you have a clean, well-prepped face. The order of products you apply from this point forward is important. The one you apply first will penetrate the most – so choose and apply the products that target your biggest concerns (like age-fighting Advanced VitaMineral C Complex or acne-fighting Breakout Control).

Have more than one concern you want to target? Apply one product during the day, then switch to the other at night so you can get the greatest penetration of ingredients from each.


4. Moisturize/Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

Next, apply your moisturizer or broad spectrum sunscreen over face and neck. If you use both, apply your SPF last.



Exfoliate (1-3 x a week) after cleansing/toning

Proper exfoliation will rid skin of dead surface cells. Without it, a build up of cells can act as a barrier – preventing beneficial from getting in, leading to congestion and dullness.

Mask (as needed)

Follow exfoliation with a 10-minute Mask designed for your skin type or needs. It will deliver a surge of beneficial ingredients to just-exfoliated skin.

Nighttime Anti-Aging, Smoothing + Brightening

Swap your SPF with a nighttime anti-aging creme formulated with retinol (always use retinols at night, as the sun makes them weaker and less effective in the day), AHA product (like Quick Refiner or Quick Refiner for Eyes), or targeted brightening product (like LightPlex MegaWatt Skin Brightener).


Do you have any questions about what products you use or when you should use them? Let us know in the comments.


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Comments (27)

Ingrid says:
Sep 29, 2011

I don’t ever put on a mask after exfoliating. I’m going to try it tonight!

Dawn says:
Oct 16, 2011

I use Beyond Hydration. I was always told to put gels on top of creams…so i put on my sunscreen then Beyond Hydration. Am I doing this backwards?

    Barbara Salomone says:
    Oct 17, 2011

    Hi Dawn – SPF should always be applied last. Think of it as the final layer of protection over all your products. So give your skin the hydration it needs from Beyond Hydration, then protect with the SPF.

kris says:
Oct 26, 2011

If you wear a light foundation when do you put on your SPF? before or after the make-up?

    Barbara Salomone says:
    Oct 26, 2011

    Hi Kris – Great question. All makeup – even light foundation – goes after SPF.

Monica says:
Oct 26, 2011

Do I apply sleepwear or absolute moisture first?

    Barbara Salomone says:
    Oct 27, 2011

    Hi Monica – Another great question! Apply Absolute Moisture in the daytime before applying an SPF. Then at night, use the Sleepwear.

Chris says:
Nov 8, 2011

Do I apply Recovery Serum over or under SPF50?

    Barbara Salomone says:
    Nov 8, 2011

    Hi Chris – Recovery Serum goes on first, then apply SPF 50 FaceScreen on top of it. Thanks for the question!

andrea says:
Nov 13, 2011

I’ve used bioelements products for three or four years and love them. I have: Crucial Moisture, Measured Micrograins, Sleepwear, Moisture positive cleanser, toner, power peptide, creme therapy, and oxygenation. I usually exfoliate twice/week and follow with creme therapy. In what order should I use the products on a daily basis?

    Barbara Salomone says:
    Nov 14, 2011

    Hi Andrea – Here’s how I recommend using the products you have:


    1. Cleanse your face morning and night with Moisture Positive Cleanser. If you are looking for a product to remove your makeup prior to cleansing at night, then you might try our Gentle Creme Eye Makeup Remover or Makeup Dissolver Perfected.
    2. After removing your cleanser with water, liberally spritz your face with Power Peptide. Do not remove.
    3. During the day, apply your moisturizer – either Crucial Moisture or Oxygenation. If you are using both, apply Crucial Moisture first, then apply Oxygenation directly on top.
    4. At night, after spritzing with Power Peptide, apply Sleepwear over your entire face and neck.

    1. Exfoliate a few times weekly with Measured Micrograins. You may want to do this at night, after cleansing with Moisture Positive Cleanser, and before spritzing with your Power Peptide.
    2. Mask with Ultra-Rich Cremetherapy a few times weekly after Cleansing and before toning. You can use Ultra-Rich CremeTherapy as often as needed. Once you remove your mask with water, spritz with Power Peptide and apply your moisturizer.

Stacia says:
Jun 23, 2012

Is it better to use the Quick Refiner at night or in the morning? Also should you use the Quick Refiner before or after applying any serums?

    Barbara Salomone says:
    Jun 25, 2012

    Hi Stacia – I would recommend using Quick Refiner at night. Apply it first before any serum. Don’t forget to use a broad spectrum sunscreen during the day, as the AHA in Quick Refier will make you skin more sensitive to the sun.

Ann says:
Oct 4, 2013

If I use the Oxygen Cocktail Serum during the day, would I apply the Advanced C Cream over it and before the moisturizer and sunscreen?

    Barbara Salomone says:
    Oct 4, 2013

    Hi Ann – Apply the Advanced VitaMineral C Complex to skin after cleansing and toning. Once absorbed, then apply Oxygen Cocktail, moisturizer and/or Sunscreen.

Sierra says:
Jul 7, 2014

I just bought bioelements beyond hydration. Should I put this on before or after my makeup in the mornings?

Paula says:
Oct 4, 2014

I just picked up quick refiner and absolute moisturizer which one goes first

Binh thai says:
Oct 14, 2014

After cleansing which do I apply first quick refiner or light plex? Thanks

Teresa Stenzel
Teresa Stenzel says:
Oct 14, 2014

Hi Paula,
You would apply Quick Refiner first, let it absorb, and then apply your moisturizer. And don’t forget your broad spectrum Bioelements Sunscreen during the day! I suggest RayDefense SPF30 or SPF50 FaceScreen.

Teresa Stenzel
Teresa Stenzel says:
Oct 14, 2014

Hi Binh thai,
I would apply Quick Refiner first, so that you can rid your skin of dead cells to allow maximum and even penetration of your LightPlex. And, for you as well, don’t forget your broad spectrum sunscreen during the day, RayDefense SPF30 or SPF50 FaceScreen. This will help ensure your skin is protected from future UV damage!

michelle says:
Dec 13, 2015

When using quick refiner for eyes, are you suppose to use a night eye cream after? Or do you use it alone?

Teresa Stenzel
Teresa Stenzel says:
Dec 14, 2015

Hi Michelle, Quick Refiner for Eyes is not an eye area moisturizer, so it’s important to apply another product on top. I suggest either Sleepwear for Eyes, or Calmitude Delicate Skin Eye Gel if your eye area is sensitive.

Nicole says:
Mar 4, 2016

How aftwr should you use quick refiner , and you still do red light therapy whole using this product.

Teresa Stenzel
Teresa Stenzel says:
Mar 8, 2016

HI Nicole, Quick Refiner is a leave on liquid gel exfoliator. This product can be used nightly at home underneath your night-time moisturizer, and then ensure you wear a broad spectrum sunscreen daily. As for red light therapy, are you using an at home device or in the treatment room? Please email me at and give me more information. I can tell you that in the treatment room, it should be fine.

Stephanie says:
Aug 19, 2016

Can I use Quick Refiner before the Sleepwear?

Teresa Stemzel
Teresa Stemzel says:
Aug 23, 2016

Hi Stephanie,
Yes you certainly may! In fact, using Quick Refiner at night before applying Sleepwear will help the key anti-aging ingredients of your Sleepwear to penetrate more deeply and evenly while you sleep. Just be sure to always wear you broad spectrum sunscreen during the day! We suggest either SPF50 FaceScreen or RayDefense SPF30

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