Your Guide To Layering Skin Care Products

How To Layer Your Skin Care Products

Order matters when it comes to your skin care regimen. However, between face serums, masks and an endless number of creams, it can be confusing trying to figure out what to put on first. To get the most out of your products, follow this step-by-step guide to ensure your skin absorbs all the proper nutrients.


Step 1: Cleanse

Your face is your canvas and you want to make sure it’s clean and free of makeup and other impurities. Always start by thoroughly washing your face with a gentle cleanser.

Step 2: Apply Serum

Face serums give your skin an instant boost of nutrients. Gently rub anti-aging facial serums such as Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Serum or our Vitamin C Anti-Aging Serum for smoother, brighter skin.

Step 3: Use Eye Cream

The area around your eyes is the most delicate patch of skin on your face. Our 5-in-1 Multi-Correction Eye Serum helps alleviate puffiness, reduces fine lines and diminishes dark circles.


Step 4: Moisturize

Face creams seal in your products by adding a moisture barrier that nourishes and hydrates. A good moisturizer is the number one tool in your arsenal. Choose a gentle moisturizer such as our top selling Argan Oil Intensive Beauty Cream to hydrate and reduce the loss of elasticity.

After you’ve followed this basic skin care regimen, you’re ready to apply your makeup or get some beauty rest. At Advanced Clinicals, we have a wide selection of creams and serums to meet your skincare needs. Check out our full line of products.


The ingredient of the week is…Cica! Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) has been used in skin care products for centuries. In fact, you've probably reaped the benefits of this amazing little antioxidant-rich plant without even knowing it.


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Other names: Chi-hsing, Hydrocotyle Asiatica Radix, Indian Pennywort, Indian Hydrocotyle, Hydrocotyle, Marsh Penny, Pai Kuo, Thick-leaved Pennywort

What is CICA? 

If you haven't heard of Cica, you may have heard of Tiger Grass. A cream containing Tiger Grass is known as a Cica Cream. Rich in asiaticoside, madecassoside, Asiatic and madecassic acids, Tiger Grass earned its name because it is rumored that Tigers rolled in Centella Asiatica to heal their wounds. It's not surprising that it has a proven healing effect on scars, even keloids.

Ready to see the results for yourself? Advanced Clinicals Bulgarian Rose Anti-Aging Rescue Cream is a bonafide Cica Cream, featuring anti-inflammatory Gotu Kola. This super-hydrating, restorative cream smoothes away the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It also relieves dry, rough skin and improve the look of scars. 





Wondering what skin care products are safe to use during pregnancy? It often feels like you can never be too careful when you’ve got a little one on the way. It’s obvious to avoid alcoholic drinks, smoking, many prescription medicines and tanning beds while pregnant, but what about skin care products? All of your answers can be found on the label our retail box!

I’m not talking about the front of the label, where it says all the pretty stuff, like ‘made with argan oil’. You need to look at this part, with the formal ingredient list:



Once you find this list,  keep an eagle eye out for the following:


Salicylic Acid

Retinol, Retin-A and Renova (Tretinoin)

Benzoyl Peroxide (this is considered to be ok at low levels but it’s best to avoid it if you can)

Strong Fragrances (these MAY exacerbate nausea or even cause irritation.)


Oral skin medications like Accutane (isotretinoin, a form of Vitamin A), and Doxycyline are completely off limits, as they are linked to birth defects.

Over the counter products containing Retinol at low levels are thought to be safe, but no conclusive studies have been done to prove this. The motto with pregnancy is, "It’s better to be safe than sorry!" That being said, ALL Advanced Clinicals Products (with the exception of Advanced Clinicals Retinol Serum, Spa Size Retinol Cream and Wrinkle Repair Retinol Night Cream) are recommended during pregnancy.



Our favorites for stretch marks:


This Coconut-boosted body oil is blended with scar and stretch mark hero Cocoa Butter, along with Avocado and Neem oils.


Use this to massage stretch mark-prone areas daily. Fight the stripes with Coffee Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil and brightening Licorice Root!


Our favorites for break-out prone skin:


A detoxifying clay mask that helps to draw out pore-clogging impurities. Also helps control oil without over-drying sensitive skin.


A natural antiseptic and antibacterial powerhouse, Tea Tree Oil is a great natural remedy for acne and clogged pores. Simply dab it on overnight to calm blemishes while you sleep.


Our favorite for dry skin:


This super-hydrating lotion is a favorite of moms-to-be because it’s made without fragrance. How cool is that?? Slather it on dry skin (pregnancy hormones are to blame) for a total moisture infusion.

Our favorite for spider veins:


Many women get their first spider veins or even varicose veins during pregnancy. Microalgae, Green Tea and Collagen all help to improve the look of unsightly veins.

Our favorite for hyperpigmentation:


Pregnancy can often come with hormone-induced changes in skin color, such as melasma or chloasma. You may see a darkening of your upper lip or even a mask-like tint to your face. Promote a more even tone with Vitamin C, the greatest and safest ingredient for hyperpigmentation, especially if you’re pregnant.


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Winter Is Coming: Time to Switch Out Your Skin Care

As winter temperatures fall and the air gets drier, your skin pays the price. In frigid conditions, the skin is less able to protect itself. This can lead to cracks in the outer layer of skin, loss of hydration, and ultimately, inflammation.

Many of us can benefit from a skin care upgrade to combat the blustery months ahead. To counter the drying effect use thicker moisturizers equipped to help protect the skin's barrier. Another skin saver? Kinder, gentler cleansers that hydrate (rather than harsh exfoliating or foam formulations), since skin irritation can increase along with dryness in winter months.

Finally, an effort to hyper hydrate and soothe the skin should never come at the cost of ditching daily sun protection. Sure, you may not see as much of the sun during the next few months, but UV rays — the aging and cancer-causing rays that penetrate through windows and clouds, and into the deepest layer of skin — are still kicking, all day, every day.

As you gear up to do battle with the elements, holiday shoppers, and other forms of winter warfare, here’s how to keep your skin glowing — even in the shortest and darkest of days.


Skin Type: Dry

Most people’s skin gets drier when temperatures drop. So, those with already dry skin should double down on the hydrating to keep skin looking luminous. Come winter use a cream or oil-based cleanser that is designed to prevent moisture loss. Upgrade your moisturizer to one with nourishing ceramides and ingredients that protect against the sun. I would also recommend to look for extra hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. 

Skin Type: Oily
The upshot of having oily skin? You can often skip moisturizer altogether in the summer and use light serums to hydrate and nourish instead. But truthfully, oily types can benefit from more moisture come winter. Look for a light, oil-free lotion with sunscreen to protect against cold and wind in winter months. While some may gravitate towards trying milky cleansers we would suggest to continue to regularly use alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and retinoids to help control oil production. Finally, for those who naturally produce more sebum should use serums instead of creams for retinoid use, since they're lighter on the skin.

Skin Type: Combination
Those with both dry and oily skin know that foam cleansers can do wonders to regulate excess oil in summer months. But, now is the time for those with combination skin to switch to a cream or oil-based cleanser. Skin is drier this time of year, so you need to be careful about potentially drying cleansers, like foam formulations. We would also suggest swapping your moisturizer for a more protective hydrator if your skin is looking dry or feeling tight. Try using thicker (but oil-free) moisturizers with ceramides. Ceramides improve moisture retention in the skin by helping to prevent evaporation of water and acting as emulsifiers (ingredients that allow oils and water to combine). 

Skin Type: Acneic
Those with blemish-prone skin have long known the virtues of exfoliation — after all, sloughing off dead skin cells can reduce future blackheads and breakouts. However, during this time of year, it's best to ditch the more robust exfoliators. Come winter, acneic skin may require gentler exfoliation. Many are also reluctant to moisturize because they fear that oil and water will further congest the skin. Au contraire. Grab an oil-free moisturizer and fear not. You can be oily and acne prone, but still lack hydration. Acne creams and treatments can cause more irritation in the winter when skin is lacking in hydration. Pick a lotion that’s gentle but also packs major hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

Skin Type: Dull
Sure, wind-chilled cheeks can radiate a rosy flush, but the accompanying cracking and drying elsewhere is enough to override that romantic aesthetic. My favorite trick for instantly brightening dull skin is to cleanse for one minute with a sensitive cleansing brush and glycolic cleanser. Immediately after, slather on moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and ceramides. This smooths, plumps, and protects the skin. Retinoids help brighten up dull skin. This will stimulate collagen and get rid of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin.

Skin Type: Aging
There are a lot of theories when it comes to what works in anti-aging skin care. But, the research shows that stimulating collagen growth is a great way to go, since it helps aging skin cells behave more like young, healthy cells. How can we trick cells into acting young? By using serums and creams pumped with retinoids and antioxidants. Along with peptides, these ingredients send messages to your skin cells that cause them to rev up collagen production, ultimately helping the skin to maintain its elasticity.

Skin Type: Sensitive
No matter what time of year, those with sensitive skin can benefit by steering clear of foam cleansers (which can dry the skin) and harsh abrasive exfoliators (which can trigger irritation). Also on the ditch list? Skin-care products with alcohols, sulfates or fragrance, since they can not only irritate but dry out skin, too. During the winter months, as skin is more likely to irritate, it may be necessary for those with sensitive skin to reduce the frequency of evening retinol use. Whether your skin tone turns pink around the center of the face or you suffer from a more severe case of rosacea, winter air can be particularly triggering. Rosacea can flare in winter, products with added anti-inflammatory ingredients — like niacinamide and licorice — can help.


Aloe Vera: Better than a Bouquet

If you’re a plant lover, then you’ll want to jump on the Aloe Vera bandwagon. Its reputation for healing, soothing and rejuvenating qualities is evident in the many products currently on the market. If you look closely, you’ll see many organic skin care products are focused around this key ingredient. In fact, many of our Advanced Clinicals products contain this lovely ingredient. Even the ancient Egyptians called it the “plant of immortality.”

So what exactly are the benefits of Aloe Vera? Well, the real question here would be, what doesn’t it treat?



Aloe Vera Helps With…

Acne and Scarring: Aloe Vera gel holds anti-inflammatory properties from two hormones called Auzin and Gibberellins. These properties not only reduce your current acne, but also stimulate growth for new cells, which promotes faster healing in a non-harsh way with little to no scarring.

Dryness and Oiliness: Combination skin is one of the hardest to treat, as it can be very difficult to find a product that treats both major skin issues. Treating a shiny and flaky complexion, along with acne, can be a complete nightmare. Thank goodness for Aloe, as it miraculously balances both. It acts as a dry barrier on the outside, while holding in moisture by binding cells and water together promoting hydration and skin cell renewal.

Aging: Aloe leaves contain two properties anti-aging lovers scream over: moisture and antioxidants. It is filled with skin-beta carotene and Vitamin C and E, which stimulates cell renewal (have you noticed how we keep repeating this?) six to eight times faster than your cells would produce normally on its own. Encouraged cell renewal = firm and refreshed skin.

Irritation and Sensitivity: Aloe is an emollient which helps soften and soothe skin while supplying oxygen to the skin cells. This encourages blood flow and strengthens skin tissue.

Sunburn: Aloe Vera is a powerful healer. It acts as a protective layer on the skin and helps replenish its moisture. Because of its nutritional and antioxidant qualities, the skin heals quicker.

Stretch Marks: Aloe Vera gel can help these stretch marks by healing the wounds left on your body, either from pregnancy or rapid weight gain/loss.



How to Integrate Aloe Into Your Life…

Make-Up Primer: Spread a thin layer onto your face after moisturizing and before putting on your foundation. It will keep your skin moisturized all day, while creating a matte finish, which eliminates oil and shine. It also acts as a protection barrier between your skin and makeup. Hallelujah! Praise Aloe Vera!

Face/Body Lotion: Mix Aloe Vera gel with pure Coconut Oil (view our post on Coconut Oil to read up on the benefits of that ingredient). Use this as a body moisturizer after the shower. Your skin will feel refreshed and renewed.

Face Mask: Face masks are crucial to achieving youthful skin, and it doesn’t hurt to add a little Aloe Vera in there once in a while. Mix a bit of Aloe into your mask (we love mixing this with Raw Honey, but that’s for another post), and it will provide a soothing/cooling effect to your skin. Simply amazing.

Advanced Clinicals incorporates Aloe in almost every single product as well. Whatever your problem area is, Advanced Clinicals is here to help.