Layering Skincare for Deep Hydration: Serums, Moisturizers and Oils

Posted by Julie Caron on

Edited by Jenny Tellier, 2023.

It's winter here in Canada and we're sure your skin is starting to feel dull and dry. Now is the time to layer and we're going to teach you how.

Layering skincare products like serums moisturizers and oils can be daunting - there really is a correct order to getting the most out of your routine. Let's make this easy, here's how to layer your skincare for maximum benefit.

LAYERING MADE EASY (or at least, fun)

Here's the rule you're going to follow: start with water-based and build up to oil-based products. 

Our tutorial begins after cleansing and toning your skin. 


A serum is the best way to target your specific skincare concerns. When getting through the winter, you're looking for serums that will deliver (lots!) of moisture to the skin.

These serums are typically formulated for dry or mature skin. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acids, floral water or aloe.

Here are some hydrating water-based serums to use after your toner:

Monastery's Aloe Hyaluronic Moisture Boost This gel serum is ultra-light and gives skin a serious boost in hydration thanks to two molecular weights of hyaluronic acid (famed for holding 1000x its weight in water). Even better, the hyaluronic acid is suspended in a base of soothing, moisturizing aloe. Hello!

Apprenti Ôr'ganik's Moisture Serum This gel serum is mildly exfoliating due to its fruit extracts and it's made with a concentrated blend of multiple hyaluronic acids. You can expect smooth skin and 

Graydon's Full Moon Serum A natural retinol alternative face serum with collagen, peptides and hyaluronic acid.

Monastery's Flora Cream Serum This serum is fortified with low and medium-weight hyaluronic acids, it's a unique product that is a melding of texture - more lightweight than your average cream, but creamier than your average serum.

Reach for Tata Harper's BioBarrier Serum if you have sensitive skin. This serum is hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested making it perfect for those with more sensitive or reactive skin.


Now your skin will start to feel less parched, let's keep going (it is the dead of winter after all). Here's where you apply your moisturizer. Most moisturizers are water-based and will layer nicely on top without leaving you feeling greasy or heavy. Try using a little less if this step is feeling a bit much.

Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer Have you been wanting to try Tata Harper and don't know where to start? At $86 this might just be the best deal in the shop. This lightweight, silicone-free hydrator primes and smoothes with orange peptides, pomegranate spheres, and macro hyaluronic acid.

Province Apothecary Nourishing & Revitalizing Moisturizer. This moisturizer goes on matte, is pH balanced and made in Toronto, Canada.

Facile Barely There Moisturizer This lightweight, perfect-for-layering moisturizer is made with a proprietary blend that infuses apple, watermelon and lentils to reduce inflammation and maintain glowing skin. 

For all of you Living Libations fans out there, the Rose Glow Creme & SunDew Vitamin D Creme moisturizers are incredible for this step (if you feel like you need just a tad more richness, go for the Maverick Sandalwood + Frankincense Face Creme).


Here's where we say hello to oils, finally!

Always finish your routine oils as they seal in all the water-based products underneath. As water is unable to penetrate oil, any water-based products you put on top of oil won't get to your skin. 

Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum A luxurious face oil, formulated with 22 of the world’s most nutrient-rich botanicals for nourishing and restorative moisture.

Monastery Gold Botanical Oil Serum Like a multivitamin for your skin, it works to repair broken-down skin tissue and calm any type of damage, whether it’s sun exposure, irritation, dryness, redness, or puffy skin.

Wonder Valley Face Oil Wonder Valley grows and hand harvests its own extra virgin olive oil, it's a hero ingredient in this blend of emollient oils that will pacify inflammation and keep you glowing.

F. Miller Face Oil Formulated to restore radiance, enhance elasticity and fortify skin against environmental elements. 


Now you're a good 3 layers deep, your skin is feeling quenched and you may be thinking, yep I'm done.

This is where you get to choose your own adventure and make things fun.

There are a few products you may want to indulge in this winter, and these are the ones you'll be applying last, on top of a moisturizer. Yes, another layer!

Monastery Attar Floral Repair Concentrate This balm melts in like oil and is soothing enough to use anywhere: around the eyes, lips (also a lip balm) eyes (some of us use it as an eye cream) or all over if you need it. It has kicked moisture up a notch, along with that dreamy, plumpy glow we're craving. 

8 Faces Boundless Solid Oil Another versatile balm you'll find yourself reaching for it all day long. This is a great product to add on last, as it really seals things in. Get a mini and carry it around with you. You can touch up dry patches and lips throughout the day - this antioxidant powerhouse will have you glowing in no time.

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream This long-standing product is indeed magic. With nourishing and healing ingredients like olive oil, royal jelly and propolis, your skin will stay deeply hydrated, soothed and dewy. Gone are the little dry, red or inflamed skin. Hello, pure moisture!

Living Libations Jewel Dab Ozonated Beauty Balm Where do we even start? This little balm is a wonder. As a last layer over makeup for a dewy look or a swipe before bed. Try it. You're welcome.


Open your bathroom cabinets and see what you can layer to nourish your skin. Take a look at the ingredients in your serums and oils so you know which ones are water-based, cause you'll want to be putting these ones on before any oil-based products.

Layering doesn't have to be so serious, have fun and enjoy your skincare routine.

Get creative and mix water-based creams and serums in your palm for a customized concoction. 

Skincare should make you feel amazing, especially during these colder, dry months. Reach out to the HH Team if you have any questions about layering, we're here to help.

Skincare Winter Skincare

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