A Lesson In How To Apply Your Skincare Properly
What you put on your skin is only the half of it. Turns out, the way in which you apply your skincare products is just as important.
Finding your skincare products’ sweet spots can be a real art form. Does slathering your face in oceans of moisturizer somehow make it more effective? Or is less always more? Then you have your application technique to think about. Should you be ‘pressing’ serum into your skin or massaging it in with your fingers?
Yeah, yeah, we know that's a lot to think about. But you've got this. Because, while for some people it’s a miracle they even remember to take their makeup off before bed, we know you’re way more skincare savvy than that. After all, you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.
So, just how much of your products should you be applying? And is there a right and a wrong way to apply them? Here’s what we know about five of the most important steps in your skincare routine…
How To: Cleanse
This first step in your skincare routine is the best time to massage your skin to help boost circulation and ensure a thorough cleanse. Do this using the pads of your fingers – but remember, keep long nails well away from your delicate complexion to avoid scratching and damaging your skin.
Wash your hands first, then wet your skin with lukewarm (never hot) water. Squeeze cleanser into the palm of your hand, then apply it all over your face and neck before working it in with your fingers. Press your fingers along the brow area and up your forehead a few times, then work from the center of your nose and out along your cheeks towards the hairline, rubbing the cleanser into your skin in large circles. Do this a few times, then continue with the same motion over your chin and jawline. To finish, smooth your fingertips up your neck, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
How Much Cleanser Should You Use? A dime-sized amount should be plenty to effectively cleanse both your face and neck.
How To: Apply Serum
Serums are undoubtedly our favorite players in the skincare world because they pack a real punch and, is it just us or do they not feel really amazing to apply? Like they instantly work on contact or some such skincare wizardry?...
Serums require a delicate touch so, whereas cleansing is the time for working out your skin using light massage, this step is the complete opposite. Apply a little serum onto the base of your thumb (as below) or the palm of one hand, then work it between your fingertips and use the pads of your fingers to pat it evenly over your face. By all means, smooth it gently all over your face and neck for an even coverage but then leave it alone, allowing the serum to absorb into your skin without too much rubbing or massaging.
How Much Serum Should You Use? Serums are pumped with potent, active ingredients so less is definitely more. Go for a pea-sized amount (unless instructed otherwise) to create a thin, even layer over your skin.
How To: Apply Eye Cream
The skin around your eyes is thinner, drier and way more fragile than the rest of your face so, again, being heavy handed with your eye cream is a major no-no. Instead, pump a little onto the tip of one of your ring fingers, then press both your ring fingers gently together to distribute it evenly between them. Next, dab the cream around your eyes, working in gentle tapping motions to evenly apply the product around your orbital bone. Using your ring fingers rather than your forefingers helps you maintain a delicate touch and reduces any risk of dragging your skin.
How Much Eye Cream Should You Use? Overloading the skin around your eyes can cause problems like puffiness, so stick with a pea-sized amount, shared between both eyes.
How To: Moisturize
Once any serums, treatments and eye creams have settled, it’s time to moisturize. The best way to apply moisturizer is by applying light pressure to massage it all over your face and neck. Work a little between the palms of your hands and fingers, then put your hands in a prayer position and place them over your nose before smoothing your hands out and up towards your hairline. Repeat this a few times to ensure an even layer, then do the same over your forehead and finally your chin and jawline.
How Much Moisturizer Should You Use? Stick with a quarter-sized amount of moisturizer for your whole face – whatever your skin type. If your skin is super dry and you feel like this isn’t enough, chances are you don't need more product, you simply need a different formulation. Time to switch up your moisturizer, people.
How To: Apply Facial Sunscreen
Apply your sunscreen exactly as you would your moisturizer – easy. Just make sure it’s the final step in your morning skincare routine.
How Much Sunscreen Should You Use? This is where you can afford to be more generous because you want nothing less than an even layer of sun protection all over your face. Similar to your moisturizer, a quarter-sized amount should be sufficient, but if you’re planning to be outside all day, make sure you apply a little more than that.
One Last Tip Before We Go. If you’ve been a bit handsy and poured out way too much serum or moisturizer, don't be tempted to slap it all on your face and hope for the best. Instead, smooth it over your neck and décolletage or even over the tops of your hands. Sharing the skincare love is way better than overloading your face.
About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.