The Correct Way to Apply Moisturizer to Your Face

While washing your face is one of the most simplistic and essential components of a self-care skincare routine, it’s also one of the most necessary components. However, facial cleansing can dry out your skin, so if you stop there, acne might not be the only menace you’ll need to fear.

In order to recoup some of the lost moisture from cleansing, or daily living, moisturizing is your best friend. And if you’ve never used a moisturizer before, or even if you’re a veteran, you may want to learn the proper way to apply it so that you can reap the most benefits.

One Ocean Beauty is here to discuss everything you need to know about applying moisturizer the right way.

What Is Moisturizer?

Moisturizers are creams or lotions that help to restore moisture to the skin. They’re applied topically, and they can help to lock in hydration to amplify your complexion.

Most moisturizers are water-based. When applied to dry skin, the outer layer known as the stratum corneum soaks up moisture. But since it doesn’t bind with water well, it needs other ingredients to help it hold onto moisture and retain it. 

That’s why applying just straight water to your face is ineffective for attacking dry skin on its own. This makes moisturizers essential for combating dry skin due to cold, dry climate, heat exposure, hot baths and showers, or harsh soaps and detergents. 

But don’t worry, moisturizing packs a whole lot of benefits, and it won’t take you more than 30 seconds to apply.

How to Apply Moisturizer

Applying moisturizer is a simple task, but there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your product. 

  1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Apply any other serums, oils, or masks as well.
  2. Pump a small amount of moisturizer on the back of your hand.
  3. Using your ring finger, dab a small amount of the product on your forehead, cheeks, and chin. 
  4. Gently massage the product into your skin using small circular motions. Don’t forget your neck!
  5. Allow the product to soak into your skin.

And it’s as simple as that! Most people who use moisturizers incorrectly are just overthinking the process. It’s really extremely simple, and the benefits are noticeably quick.

More Moisturizing Tips

To get more out of your product, here are some easy tips and tricks that can make a whole world of difference.

Don’t Rub It In

One of the biggest mistakes people make when applying moisturizer is that they rub it into their hands before rubbing it on their face. And while this is an instinct, it causes most of the moisturizer to be absorbed into your hands before it even gets to your face.

That’s why it’s better to dab small amounts onto your face first so that all of the moisturizer gets absorbed into your face instead of your fingers. Plus, this helps to avoid getting some oily residue all over your hands after the fact.

Don’t Over Apply

Too much of a good thing can lead to a bad thing. And even though over-moisturizing won’t pose much of a risk to your health, it can make you run out of product more quickly than your bank account would like.

To save some time and money, only use as much as your product tells you. If it says that you only need one pump, you won’t enhance any benefits by putting on three to four instead. In fact, caking on the product might not allow it to absorb into your skin properly, so using an excess amount may render it useless.

Put a Damper On Things

Even though it might feel unnatural, moisturizers actually work best when you apply them to damp skin. This is because the product can help seal in the moisture on your skin’s surface for a more effective attempt at rehydrating instead of rubbing it on dry skin.

If you choose to use some serums or oils, do them after cleansing your face and moisturizing before your skin has completely dried.

Don’t Neglect the Neck

Facial moisturizers are a bit of a misnomer, as they should also be used on your neck in order to help obtain a glowing complexion all around. 

Your neck doesn’t have a lot of oil glands, especially when compared to your face. That means it can dry out super easily. Be sure to give your neck a little bit of love the next time you apply a moisturizer to your face.

Look For Clean Ingredients

Many moisturizers are loaded with abrasive chemical additives that can be tough on sensitive skin types. It’s better to look for products that utilize clean ingredients, which aren’t harmful to our health.

Clean ingredients that you might find in high-quality moisturizers include algae extract, collagen peptides, vitamins, and other minerals. Essentially, if you can look at the label and recognize most of the ingredients, you’re probably using a decent quality product.

Should You Moisturize Dehydrated Skin?

Many people might claim to have dry skin, even though they actually have dehydrated skin. While the symptoms are fairly similar, they are both caused by different factors. 

Dry skin is rooted in a lack of oil on the skin’s surface, whereas dehydrated skin is associated with a lack of water. 

The easiest way to distinguish between them is with the pinch test, which involves pinching a small area of skin and letting it go. If it snaps back, it’s likely not dehydrated. But if it takes a few moments to return to normal, you might need some more water.

Dehydrated skin can be alleviated by adding water to your diet, specifically drinking more water or eating water-rich foods like celery or watermelon. 

With that said, it doesn’t hurt to moisturize your skin if it feels like it’s lacking moisture. If anything else, it can at least bring you some temporary relief while you increase your water intake and try to get your skin back to its original healthy state.

Other Tips for Moisturizing Skin

While you should continue to use your moisturizer morning and night after washing your face, there are some steps you can take to enhance your skin’s vibrancy without even needing to use them.

For one, increasing the humidity in the air around you can be beneficial, especially in colder winter months when the air becomes a lot drier. Set it to around 60%, which is a level that should be enough to restore some moisture to your face.

Also, excessive heat exposure can be the source of flaky, dry skin. Try to limit hot showers and baths, or vouch for warm water rather than scalding hot. Additionally, try not to spend too much time in the sun, and use sunscreen when you do.

You can also take preventative measures to prevent dryness by keeping your exfoliation routines to a minimum during the week. 

Although exfoliating masks are useful and effective at restoring your skin’s natural complexion, they should only be used once or twice a week to minimize excessive dryness.

Finally, try not to scratch your face if you feel an itch. Scratching is abrasive and can easily dry out your skin or cause it to flake. Instead, try dabbing away itches with a cold compress. Better yet, a moisturizer can often do the trick to stop the itch.

In Conclusion

Moisturizing is an essential element of a healthy skincare routine, as it helps to restore some of the lost moisture from cleansing or daily living. But you might not get the desired effects if you don’t use it properly. 

To moisturize properly, make sure your skin is damp and that your face is freshly washed. Dab some product on your T-zone, cheeks, and chin. Then massage the product into your face with gentle circular motions. Additionally, if you use serums or oils, be sure to use them before you moisturize as well.

You can amplify the effects of your moisturizer by taking extra care of your skin outside of your self-care routine. Adding a humidifier to your living space, avoiding excessive heat, and not scratching your face are a few simple ways to help prevent dryness or restore some hydration to your skin.



Moisturizers: Do they work? | Harvard Health

Dry skin - Symptoms and causes | The Mayo Clinic

An update on the role of the sebaceous gland in the pathogenesis of acne | NCBI