You  wash your face morning and night, use a day cream with SPF and exfoliate once in a while. You may think that’s all there is to skincare. You would probably be wrong. There are a few rules you need to know (and ones you may be breaking) to help you look your best.

Rule 1: Be a Lightweight

It can be downright confusing to figure out which product goes on first. Do I slather on my daily SPF or use the serum? When do I apply my BB cream or acne gel? It can feel a bit much. The rule most dermatologists follow is to put on the product that is lightest in texture first, layering on the heavier creams and serums after. However if you are spending time outside or use SPF daily (and you should) then apply the lotion with SPF first. Sunscreen doesn’t absorb into the skin over other products and any lines, bumps or ridges caused by the other skincare items and then it can’t penetrate your skin.

Don’t panic, simply take a look at what you own and figure out what is most important and lightest, and work from there. You may need to make some changes to your skincare routine but this rule ensures you get the most bang for your buck and the most from your products.

Rule 2: Treatments First

There is an exception to Rule 1. If you have a skincare problem like acne or rosacea and need to use a gel, ointment or cream, that needs to come first before anything else. Remember you have those potions and lotions for a reason. Whatever your problem is – it is probably your number one concern when it comes to taking care of your skin so apply the treatment and then go back and layer on those lightweight items. Unless directed to by your doctor, apply the treatment only to the problem area (not all over your face) to get the most benefit.

Rule 3: Put Down the Clarisonic

If you own an exfoliating brush you probably think of it as your skin’s best friend. You aren’t entirely wrong. It refreshes your skin, sloughs off dead skin cells and gets rid of trapped dirt and oil to reveal a glowing complexion. However, if you are using an electric exfoliating tools or an abrasive scrub more than twice a week you are doing more harm than good. Relax. Take it down a notch and use the brush, paste or scrub once or twice a week. This will keep your skin smooth, clean it up and bring about a better complexion. Any more than that and you are irritating your skin.