In what order should I use these products??? It’s so confusing!

New reader and I love your site. You have already answered a lot of questions except I am still a bit confused on order of product application. Currently, in the AM. Cleanse Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, wait 15 min Skinceuticals B5 gel Skinmedica TNS Essential Serum Journee bio restortative day cream w/ SPF 30 or Skinceuticals UV physical 50 tint PM. Cleanse Skinceuticals 1% Retinol Confused on the TNS Essential Serum and think I should apply in the evening, but would not know which order is most effective to use first. I thought Retin a should be applied to a clean dry face to be most effective with no other products. Please help, don't want to be using all these great products and not be using them properly.

Thank you!  It’s so confusing isn’t it, but you have the basics down.  So here’s some fine tuning.  Part of the problem is there really isn’t much data on this so what I’m telling you is partly science and partly 18 years of experience with thousands of women and men.  

My recommendation would be to keep your morning regimen the same but move the TNS to evening.  Then you can either alternate nights with the TNS Essential Serum and the Retinol or apply the TNS first, wait a few minutes and then do the Retinol/Retin A (whichever form you’re using).

It really does not matter if you apply the Retin A/Renova/tretinoin/Retinol, etc over moisturizer.   Let the moisturizer or 1 other product penetrate for about 10 minutes and then apply the Retin A.  I have never seen data on this but I personally do it this way as do most of my patients for many years, and the effect is the same – just less irritation.  You could also consider trying the prescription Renova/tretinoin form as it is more potent.   Hope this helps.   Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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