Today is all about hydration, which as a dry-complexioned girl, I’m a huge fan of. If you’ve got oily skin and think this post isn’t for you – think again! Everyone, regardless of their skin type, needs to know how to apply moisturizer. Moisturized skin can defend from breakouts, overcome inflammation and avoid itchiness altogether.
So, how do you know if you’re moisturizing your skin correctly? There are so many products on the market and when you add the complexity between different skin types, it can be a little overwhelming. We’ve put together a cheat sheet, so you’ll know exactly how to moisturize your face.
How To Apply Moisturizer: The Do’s
Do look for moisturizers with effective ingredients. Moisturizers are basically sealing in the moisture for your skin. They defend your skin against dry weather and help lock water in, but you have to know which ingredients to look for in an effective product.
Humectants are ingredients that attract water. Ceramides, glycerin and hyaluronic acid all help draw moisture into your skin. You’ll also want a moisturizer that has an occlusive or emollient in it. These ingredients are heavier, acting as a protective barrier for your skin. Petrolatum, silicone, or linoleic acid will ensure precious moisture isn’t going anywhere soon.
Do use a serum and a moisturizer together. If you’ve been using a serum alone to hydrate your skin, it’s possible you’re missing out on additional benefits. Serums are packed with active ingredients that hydrate your skin deeply, often doing a poor job at locking that moisture in. Using a quality moisturizer along with your serum can seal all that goodness inside, making both products work harder for you.
Do patch-test new products. When you get a brand-new product and are excited to use it, it’s easy to slather it all over and wait for the magic to happen. In some cases, you may just find that the product doesn’t vibe with your skin, resulting in breakouts, redness and inflammation.
It’s important to always patch-test a new product to make sure you have no adverse effects. I use a small amount on my cheek, give it a few hours, and then determine if it’s safe to use all over. This simple extra step could save you weeks of pain, trust me.
Do apply moisturizer gently. If you don’t know how to apply moisturizer, it can be easy to rub too hard, tugging at your skin to help the product absorb faster. This could cause inflammation and damage your skin barrier, making you more susceptible to breakouts and redness. The best way to moisturize your face is by massaging your skin gently, allowing it to coat your skin evenly. Lightly spread the moisturizer around your face using gentle, upward motions – and don’t forget to hydrate your neck, too!
Do layer products from thinnest to thickest. If you have a cabinet full of serums, acne treatments, essences and moisturizers, it can be hard to know what to do after you cleanse your skin. In general, it’s best to move from the lightest product to the heaviest, ending with your moisturizer. The Korean skincare routine follows this, too. After you’ve applied the nourishing treatments to your skin, your moisturizer is the protective seal on top to get maximum results.
How NOT To Apply Moisturizer: The Don’ts
Don’t avoid moisturizers altogether. I know so many people with oily skin who skip moisturizer because they think their skin is greasy enough. Here’s the thing – your skin is producing extra sebum every time it feels the least bit dry. A moisturizer that works well with your skin type will gently hydrate without feeling heavy. This tells your pores: ‘we’re good to go!’ and you actually might notice your skin seems less oily over time.
Oily skin types should look for gel or oil-free moisturizers, which pack in hydration without the grease. Lighter lotions could work for combination skin – lotions have more water without the weight of heavy moisturizers. Dry or aging skin? A creamier formula should work for you, so find the one that’s packed with occlusive ingredients.
Don’t apply moisturizer to dry skin. Remember how moisturizers are basically just seals for your skin? Well, if you spread your moisturizer onto dry skin, you’re just locking the dryness in. If you apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp, (i.e. after you washed your face or showered) you’ll lock that water in, resulting in skin that’s hydrated for longer.
Don’t use too much moisturizer. If you’re desperate to have soft skin, it’s easy to pile moisturizer on, but more isn’t better. In fact, adding too much can make it hard for your skin to absorb the product and end up clogging your pores. Instead, apply a quarter-sized amount of moisturizer to your face for optimum results.
Don’t use the same moisturizer for your body and face. The skin on our faces is thinner, more delicate and clogged way easier than the skin on our bodies. Our hands face lots of wear and tear throughout the day, so they need denser hydration to repair damage. Thicker ingredients like petrolatum and oils makeup body moisturizers, which works well for bodies, but could irritate and clog facial pores.
Facial moisturizers need to be much lighter, often include SPF and should be non-comedogenic (if there is such a thing) so you don’t have to worry about a bad reaction. After all, it’s rare to see breakouts on your hands or legs. Choosing a moisturizer catered to your face will ensure you’re hydrated from head to toe.
Don’t moisturize too few times a day. How often should you moisturize your face? It fluctuates by skin type, but we recommend twice a day. Washing your face can dry out your skin, so adding a moisturizer afterwards will ensure you don’t produce excess sebum to compensate. If you have exceptionally dry skin, you may need to apply a few more times, as needed.
Final Thoughts On How To Apply Moisturizer
How you apply your moisturizer and what products you use can make a huge difference in the condition of your skin. These rules might be exactly what you needed to get the most out of your routine and hop on the fast-track to healthy, dewy skin.