It’s Layer Season

A Dermatologist's Expert Advice on Layering Skincare

October 7, 2022

Can a single ingredient ‘change your life?’ Popular skincare trends tend to think so – but while there’s certainly impressive ingredients, there’s good reason to examine claims about any single vitamin, mineral, or ingredient.

Even powerful ingredients – if working alone and without the support of a barrier-first formula – won’t dramatically simplify your beauty routine anytime soon. In most cases, only a balanced formula can help your skin absorb all of the ingredients you’re paying for.

But what about mixing? Can you mix new ingredients into skin creams you’re already using, or layer products instead? A skin health expert helps us breakdown the best approach to beautiful skin. 


Dr. Carl R. Thornfeldt, clinical dermatologist and founder of Epionce clinical skin care, advises not to mix: “A premium skin care product has been carefully and expertly formulated; to add something else could completely destroy its efficacy and activity of the key ingredients.”

In other words, it’s just like cooking, Dr. Thornfeldt says.

There is a marked difference between a meal cooked at home vs. one created by a professionally trained chef. There are certain steps that need to be followed, seasonings added at a specific time, cooking time and temperatures – all factors that culminate into the perfect dish.

As with cooking, there is a scientific process that needs to be followed when developing products that feel good and actually work. Formulation experts understand how to balance the nuances of chemistry to create safe and effective products.


The concept of layering skin care products is not a new trend. However, it’s a practice that has stood the test of time.

Since layering isn’t adding to an existing formulation, many skin care specialists would argue this is the best approach. There are many instances in which layering formulations does enhance benefits.

For example, a product that contains an acid may help other products layered on top of it work more effectively if applied first. Many professionals recommend applying lighter formulas first, like serums, followed by heavier products, such as creams. If layered properly, the formulations can provide the widest variety of benefits for the skin, while not impacting the activity of the ingredients.

However, Dr. Thornfeldt notes that some types of ingredients can counteract each other when layered. For example, layering alpha hydroxy acids or benzoyl peroxide with the Epionce MelanoLyte Skin Brightening System will damage the functionality and compromise results. For this reason, he recommends utilizing products from one skin care line that have been specifically created to work synergistically together for optimal results.

How and Why to Layer Epionce

Get the best aesthetic results from your daily regimen


The most important basics are simple! As a general easy-to-remember rule to Epionce layering, a Renewal Facial product (or sunscreen if AM) should always be the last step in your regimen. Never put on an Epionce Lytic or MelanoLyte treatment product after a Renewal; you will not be receiving optimal benefit in the skin.

Here are some additional Epionce layering basics:

Layering Lytics + Renewals

The 5 minute rule: in order for a Lytic treatment product to do its job – clean out your pores – it needs at least 5-7 minutes to purge any impurities before a Renewal application. Since a Renewal is formulated to renew and fortify the skin, putting it on too soon after a Lytic means you are not getting optimal benefit from either products.

Our suggestion: apply your Lytic for skin type, brush your teeth, then apply your Renewal for skin type.

Layering Anti-Aging Serums + Renewals

Since the vitamin-rich Epionce Intense Defense Serum and Luminous Eye Serum are both a light-weight formula, like most serums, it is best to apply before your Renewal for skin type. Applying a Renewal afterward will help boost the anti-aging benefits of the botanicals that are formulated into the serum.

Layering the MelanoLyte Skin Brightening System

The MelanoLyte Skin Brightening System contains two products that have been expertly formulated to work together: MelanoLyte Tx and MelanoLyte Serum. For best results, apply MelanoLyte Tx in the AM and PM to clean skin. In the PM, before your application of MelanoLyte Tx, apply MelanoLyte Serum. Follow with Intensive Nourishing Cream, or other Renewal for skin type.


Need help layering the right formulas for your skin type?  Find an Epionce Pro Near You


Further Reading

Dry, Sensitive Skin? Renewal Calming Cream Can Help

Meet Renewal Facial Cream – the Original Barrier Skincare Product

Top 5 Reasons Dermatologists and Estheticians Love Epionce

What Is Lytic Tx?