Slather or Dab? The Right Amounts for Each Product

When it comes to skincare, we endlessly talk about the type of products and number of steps in our routines, but never how much of them we should be using. At Advanced Dermatology and skinfo® we recommend a CORE 4 regimen for anti-aging, which includes antioxidants (typically found in serums), an exfoliant (found in retinol), growth factors (collagen-building peptides), and sunscreen.

If you've ever tried to rub in an excessive amount of product only to be met with a pilling and rolling mess, then you know that the amount of each product used is equally as important as using the right products for your skin. Using too much product can be ineffective, a waste of hard-earned cash, cause skin irritation, redness, oily residue or breakouts, and a disrupted skin barrier. Similarly, if you've ever felt like your products aren't "working," or you are spending too much time getting the product to absorb into your skin, it could be an issue of dosage. It is always better to under-apply than over-apply. Many dermatologists recommend easing your skin into a product by using a lesser amount to start, especially when it comes to active ingredients. Many products only require a pea or pearl sized amount for the whole face, so it is important to remember that often less is more.

When it comes to facial cleansers, you can feel confident pouring a nickel-sized amount into your palm and massaging it into your skin, which will create a considerable lather in any foaming product, leaving the skin feeling clean. Because serums and retinol tend to be so emollient and packed with high concentrations of skin-loving ingredients, the size of a chocolate chip tends to be the right amount to see results without overusing or wasting the product. For lotions and creams, a dollop the size of a quarter is enough to coat the face, neck, and the much forgotten décolletage. With the thicker texture of masks and zinc-based sun protectants it is recommended to use as much as it takes to coat your face. Last, but not least, are eye creams. Use a dab the size of a pea, split between both eyes along the orbital bone.

Every product that makes up your skincare routine has its own recommended method of usage, whether an application or quantity is in question. As a rule of thumb, always make sure you read the instructions on the packaging of every product. Your skin and wallet will thank you!

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