Are you using your skin care products correctly?
You purchase your cleansers and moisturizers carefully, paying attention to the ingredients and packaging and price. But when you get them home, are you actually using them properly?
Applying beauty products is common sense, right?
Well, not exactly. There’s a reason that skin care companies include instructions on their packaging – and the truly great ones will supply you with recommendations about how multiple products can be used together. So, while simply slathering a moisturizer on your face probably won’t cause you any major problems, there is a better way.
Skin care companies want you to continue to buy their products, so it’s in their best interest that their products work for you. That’s why they include instructions for how to use each product to achieve the best results. Following these directions is the best way to insure that you’re getting the best results from the product.
General guidelines for skin care
Even if you don’t take the time to read the directions for each individual product you use on your skin, there are some basic ground rules that can help you use your products properly.
Apply your moisturizer to clean skin. Skin can be slightly damp. Start by dabbing moisturizer on the nose, cheeks, neck, and forehead. With clean hands, use your pointer and middle fingers to gently spread the moisturizer into your skin, using an “upward and outward” motion until it’s absorbed into your skin. You never want to pull down on your skin, and you always want to use a light touch. And while a little extra moisturizer usually isn’t harmful, it’s also not terribly helpful. By only using the amount you need, you’ll make your products last longer. You should moisturize every day.
The skin around the eyes is especially thin and delicate, and prone to wrinkles and other damage, so treating that skin carefully is important. After you choose a product that addresses any eye issues you have (puffiness, dark circles, dryness, etc.), you want to carefully apply it – at least once per day. Use a middle or ring finger to dot small amounts of the product around the eye area. Use a light tapping motion, moving from the outer corner of the eye to the inner corner. Once the product has completely absorbed, wait a few minutes before applying additional treatments or makeup.
While some people prefer to use the same moisturizer for day and night, others find a more potent formula is useful at night. While you sleep, your skin is working hard to repair and replenish itself, so why not give it some extra help? After removing your makeup and cleansing with a mild cleanser, apply your nigh cream in the same manner you would apply a moisturizer – a gentle circular motion using clean hands and a light touch, and always moving upward. It’s always a good idea to give your night cream time to fully absorb before going to bed – 20-30 minutes should give it enough time to absorb. And applying your eye treatment at night is a good idea as well.
This is the big one. Sun damage leads to premature aging and, even worse, skin cancer. So you should always use sunscreen. When it comes to sunscreen on your face, you will apply it in the same way you apply your moisturizer, though you’ll want to use a little more to make sure you have complete coverage.
When applying sunscreen to your body, experts recommend an amount that would fill a shot glass – about a palmful of sunscreen. Or more. You should apply sunscreen at least 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun, and you should reapply at least once every three hours – more if you’re sweating or swimming.
While these guidelines seem like common sense, it’s surprising how many people misuse products by using too much, not enough, or by pulling at their skin too vigorously. The best course of action is always to pay close attention to the directions on your product – and if there’s a question, contact the company.