In the world of skincare, many factors go into creating the ideal routine, including your skin type.
Of course, choosing which skincare products to use is incredibly important. However, how much of them you use makes an impact, as well.
Because every skincare item varies in texture and consistency, it’s not the best idea to use the standard pea-sized amount for all your products. Consider how much surface area a drop of oil can cover, for instance, compared to a thick, waxy cream.
Consider also that some skincare products have more potent combinations of active ingredients. So, even if slathering a salicylic acid serum onto your whole face feels good, it may leave your skin irritated in the long run.
For this reason, quantity truly matters regarding your skincare routine.
To clarify exactly how much product to use, this guide from Nourishing Biologicals goes over the quantities that can help make your cleansers, serums, and creams effective.
Read on for your best skin yet!
Why Is It Important To Use the Right Amount of Product?
Your skin is like a sponge, which means that it can only absorb so much. If you apply too much product to your skin, things can begin to accumulate on its surface. This wastes product and can even clog your pores or exacerbate oily skin, leading to breakouts.
On the other hand, using too little product won’t give you the benefits you seek. And in some cases, it can even make your skin worse. That’s especially the case for cleansers, moisturizers, and SPF products.
Every skincare product has its own recommended method of usage. If available, read the instructions on every new item that makes its way into your skincare routine.
But if the instructions on the box seem a little too vague — or don’t exist at all — then it’s a good idea to have a general idea of how much product should be used.
Before we get into the specific “dosages” of common skincare products, let’s go over some signs you’re using the wrong amount of skincare products.
How Do You Know You’re Using the Wrong Amount of Product?
If you’re using the wrong amount of product, your skin cells will most likely let you know.
If you’re using too much of an active ingredient, such as those found in serums and essences, your skin could become irritated. Some signs of this include increased sensitivity, dryness, and redness.
If you’re using too much moisturizer, especially those on the heavier side, you may experience clogged pores. And if the product doesn’t get absorbed by your skin, your skin may also feel slick and greasy.
You may also experience symptoms if you use too little of a given skincare product. For instance, using too little cleanser can lead to clogged pores, while using too much exfoliator can cause irritation, and under-moisturizing can lead to dryness.
If you’re under-using your serums and essences, you may feel like the products aren’t working to correct your skincare concerns — and you may be right.
So, if you can relate to any of the above scenarios, it’s time to get the dosage right. Read on to discover how much product you should really use.
How Much Product Should I Use?
Keep in mind: Even if they belong to the same category, some skincare products may differ from one another. So, there’s no foolproof formula for how much product you should use.
That said, some common guidelines will apply to the vast majority of products in your skincare routine.
Here’s a rough guide to what they are.
If you’re using a gel or cream-based cleanser, then it should be about a dime-size dollop. Even with gentle cleansers, like our Miracular Cleanser, using too much may dry out the skin. You don’t want to scrub away your face’s natural oils — the dirt, pollution, and makeup are the only things we’re interested in cleaning.
When you’re cleansing your face, make sure to lather up the product and — using circular motions — gently massage it onto all parts of your face. To boost circulation, massage your face for about a minute. Finally, rinse everything off with warm water.
The main purpose of a toner is to cleanse your skin of any leftover debris, so too much of this product isn’t necessary. A few drops, or a quick spritz, on a cotton pad should be enough. Using any more than that will only waste your toner.
Serums are those skincare products that (typically) promise to correct skin concerns. This could be acne, fine lines and wrinkles, or hyperpigmentation — among many others. So, in an attempt to address these concerns, you may have a “more is more” mentality.
But serums don’t work better just because you’re using more of them. Actually, overusing serums can lead to irritation. Best case scenario, you’ll be wasting precious product.
The recommended amount for serum is just a few drops, which should roughly amount to the size of a pea.
To maximize the benefits of using your serum, gently press the product into your skin (instead of rubbing). And if your serum is oil-based, take the opportunity to boost circulation by giving yourself a gentle facial massage. You can even use a chilled jade roller to enhance the experience.
Winter’s right around the corner, so you may be tempted to slather on your moisturizer. But doing this won’t hydrate or moisturize your skin (learn the difference between these terms here). Instead, the excess product will sit on top of your skin, clogging your pores.
All you need is about a quarter-size amount of moisturizer. On days your skin is especially dry, you can add just a bit more, but try not to overdo it.
Keep in mind that if your skin is dry out of nowhere, it may have nothing to do with how much product you’re using. Instead, it may stem from problems like dehydration, changes in climate, or your diet.
When applying moisturizer, the conventional advice is to gently tap it onto your skin. But an even better strategy is to massage it into your face upward and outward, giving you an extra boost of circulation and that much-coveted glow.
5. Eye Cream
Eye creams contain a high concentration of ingredients meant to add moisture while reducing crow’s lines and other skin concerns. Needless to say, a little goes a long way. A pea-sized amount — or even less — will typically get the job done.
Keep in mind that the eye area is extremely delicate, so using too much eye cream may cause irritation. And, depending on which eye cream you use, too much of the product can lead to milia (those annoying white bumps around the eye area).
When applying eye cream, try using the tips of your fingers to pat the product under your eyes. Try to avoid rubbing the cream in, as this can pull and stretch the delicate skin under the eyes.
Dermatologists may sound like a broken record, but the sun truly is the leading cause of skin aging. So, unlike other skincare products, it’s better to overuse it than to use too little.
A tablespoon of sunscreen should be enough to cover your entire face. But remember: If you’re doing something that can remove sunscreen, like exercising, then you’ll need to reapply the product every several hours — even if your sunscreen is waterproof.
And don’t forget that your neck, chest, and arms are also exposed to the sun and can experience accelerated aging as a result. So, make sure to apply sunscreen to those areas, as well. To cover the whole body, you need about a shot-sized glass of sunscreen.
When applying sunscreen, the best strategy is to dot it on your face and lightly pat it in. Unlike moisturizers, you never want to massage the sunscreen onto your face. Doing this may actually cause the product to settle into lines and crevices, which can take away some of the sunscreen’s protective powers.
The Perfect Amount of Skincare
Of course, which skincare products you use significantly affect your skin. At Nourishing Biologicals, we create natural products with botanical ingredients that are clinically proven to work.
But what you use is just one part of the equation. It’s just as important to use the right amount of skincare.
As a rule of thumb, use a dime-sized amount of cleanser and a quarter-sized amount of moisturizer. Concentrated eye creams shouldn’t exceed the size of a pea, while sunblock should be applied liberally to cover everything.
Using our award-winning products in the right amounts may just give you your most beautiful skin yet.