To pat or to press? To dab or rub? The right technique for applying skincare products primarily depends on the products you’re using, but the most important tip: be gentle, especially for sensitive, acne-prone skin. You don’t want to irritate your complexion when you’re trying to calm and comfort.
In general, a soft, circular rubbingmotion is a great way to help increase blood flow and help with lymphatic drainage when applying creams and serums. If your skin is experiencing a fresh breakout, show some compassion with a light patting technique.
Before we get to the specifics on smoothing, don’t forget to keep order in your application: cleanse, treat, moisturize, and protect. Mixing up the routine won’t harm your skin but keeping it will help ensure you experience the full potential of each product.
“Whatever goes on first penetrates best,” says dermatologist Jeannette Graf. Apply the treatments that boast the most active ingredients first. If you’re using two products for two different problems, say acne and age spots, try applying one to bare skin in the morning and the other to bare skin at night, giving them both a fair chance at their full efficacy.
With your skin prepped and your application map imagined, it’s time to start the blotting and massaging, staying mindful of what you’re applying and where it belongs on your face.
Contradict the fate of gravity with sweeping, upward motions when applying allover creams and gels. Start from the jawline and smooth the products up and out, being careful not to drag or tug the skin along. Downward motions stretch the skin and contribute to wrinkles and sagging.
When applying lightweight products, like serums or gels, gently smooth them over the skin to ensure an even distribution. Try warming up the product in the palm of your hand first to encourage even better absorption.
Eye creams and other targeted treatments should be applied using a light dab with your ring finger to avoid too much pressure. Try a soft patting motion from the inner corner outwards for spot treating to minimize the affect on any puffy, agitated, or extra delicate areas.