How to help skincare products better penetrate skin

Do you know how to apply your skincare products correctly?

Once upon a time, when I was young and naive and didn’t have a clue what I was doing, I thought I could just pour a bit of serum on my hand and rub it on my skin for it to work its magic.

As I grew up, I realised things aren’t that easy. If you want a product to REALLY work (and why would you even buy it, otherwise?), you also need to make sure it can penetrate your skin as deeply as possible.

But… how? Here are 4 way to apply your skincare products correctly to ensure maximum skin penetration:

1. Cleanse Your Skin

This is a given, but I’ll say it anyway. Applying your skincare products without cleansing your skin first is a waste of time.

Makeup and other impurities creates a barrier on the skin that prevents your skincare products from penetrating it properly (dirt will do the same, by the way).

Always, always, always, cleanse your skin before you put on any skincare products.

Related: How To Choose The Best Cleanser For Your Skin Type

Don’t know which skincare products you can mix and match together and which ones deactivate each other? Download your FREE “How To Layer Actives Like A Pro” cheat sheet to get the most out of your skincare products:

2. Apply Products To Moist Skin

Washed your face? Don’t towel dry it.

Not completely anyway. Leave it a little damp.The extra moisture helps your skincare products get deeper into your skin.

FYI, this isΒ the secret of Korean skincare. Β Each product provides a layer of hydration that helps the next one better penetrate into your skin.

Related: 4 Things I Learned From Korean Skincare

3. Exfoliate

Makeup and dirt aren’t the only things that create a barrier on your skin. Dead skin cells do too – when they accumulate too much.

If you want your skincare products to get through your skin, remove this last obstacle too. Here’s how:

Just, don’t do it too often!

A little exfoliation enhances penetration of your skincare products. Too much, it’ll irritate your skin real bad.

Two or three times a week is usually enough for most people (I use glycolic acid 3 times a week, in case you were wondering).

Related: How To Choose The Best Exfoliator For Your Skin Type

4. Follow The Right Order

Yes, there is a proper order to apply skincare products.

As a rule, products with the thinnest consistency (think toners and serums) go first, and those with a heavier consistency (i.e. moisturisers and sunscreens) go last.

That’s because a thick consistency can create a barrier that would be impossible for a lightweight, runny formula to get through, preventing it from working its best.

The Bottom Line

These are the basic rules of skincare. Never stray for them or all of your precious lotions and potions won’t work as claimed.