As if taking care of ourselves wasn't complicated enough, with the various lotions and tonics we use, this is next level. But, when it comes to skin care, the order in which you engage in your morning or evening routine matters. Why? Because certain products help prepare your skin to properly absorb the subsequent products.

So before you just start slathering all of those allegedly magic potions all over your face, take note at the ordered steps the skin care experts recommend to get the most out of your efforts.

Start with your cleanser. Step number one, of course, is to start with a clean face. There's not much point in slathering creams on your skin when it covered with dirt and grime. Dermatologist Dr. Viselav Tonkovic-Capin says we should aim to "cleanse twice a day with a mild cleanser and look for a pH-balancing cleanser. "

Next step? Toner. Personally, I have never used a toner, primarily because I have dry skin and thought it would harm more than help. I may revisit that, though. Toner is great for "double-cleansing" if you take care to find one with more soothing elements such as rosewater or chamomile. Licorice can also help with inflammation. Look into different options depending on your individual skin type.

Exfoliate. This is a big one. Our skin starts to build up dead skin cells. In order to let in all of that beautiful moisture you're going to add next, it's important to clear those away. Generally, aim to exfoliate twice per week. If you have oily skin, experts recommend you do it in the morning. If you wear makeup every single day, doing it in the evening helps keep that dirt build up at bay.

Moisturize. Also, don't forget the sunscreen. I personally can't get enough moisture. It protects and restores water and oil to keep your skin looking as beautiful as possible. But even if your skin is oily, they say to moisturize twice per day--it's essential. If you are using a separate sunscreen, apply it after your moisturizer.

Finally, a word about face oils or serums. If your face oil is heavier, apply after you moisturize. If it's lighter, do it before. Medical esthetician Thamara Lamarra recommends using face oil in the evening, as sometimes it is difficult for your makeup to set over the oil.

Finally, a personal note. I speak from personal experience here: Don't do any of the above steps without washing your hands with soap and water FIRST. Our hands collect oils and dirt throughout the day. The last thing you want to do is to try and "clean" your skin with dirty. hands.