Is More Always Better? The Truth About How Much Skincare Products To Use

Is More Always Better? The Truth About
Is More Always Better? The Truth About How Much Skincare Products To Use

Seriously, how much product do you really need?

If you’re like most people, you’ll probably just take whatever is enough for your face or your body. Sounds logical, right?

The truth, however, is that portion control is necessary if you want to get the most out of your skincare products. It’s also a good way for you to avoid the nasty complications of applying too much product.

Now, you’re probably wondering: What is the right serving size?

Let me explain in detail.

Is More Always Better? The Truth About How Much Skincare Products To Use

Oil-Based Cleansers

Serving size: A Cranberry

Chemistry class taught us water and oil don’t mix and apparently, the same rule applies in skincare: You use oil to remove oil and water to remove water.

This is one good reason why you shouldn’t rely solely on your regular cleanser to completely remove your makeup and excess oil. You need an oil-based cleanser to get rid of those impurities and you just need as much as the size of a cranberry.

When you use too much: May cause dryness and irritation.

When you use too little: May not be that effective for removing oil-based impurities, leading to clogged pores and breakouts.

Water-Based Cleansers


Serving size: A Hazelnut

Believe it or not, you only need that much when cleaning your face. Going overboard can actually dry out your skin and make it more irritated and sensitive.

You may think it’s quite little, but it’s enough to wash away dirt, sweat, and other impurities. However, if you have makeup on or your skin is excessively oily, you can actually end up using more than that.

So, make sure you remove those impurities first with an oil-based cleanser.

When you use too much: Can lead to skin irritation and dryness (especially acne-fighting cleansers)

When you use too little: May leave impurities behind, leading to clogged pores and acne



Serving size: A Raspberry (For Neck and Face)

Yes, that’s all you need!

Exfoliating your face regularly is key to having smoother, more radiant skin. Just make sure to avoid scrubbing too hard as that can cause micro-tears in your skin.

Also, always consider your skin type.

If you have oily skin, exfoliating at least thrice a week is recommended. On the other hand, if you have sensitive skin, you might want to reduce it to once or twice a week.

When you use too much:
Can irritate skin and cause soreness and redness

When you use too little: Not exfoliating as needed can lead to the buildup of dead skin cells


Serving size: A Pea

The saying “less is more” certainly applies here.

Serums are loaded with active ingredients and are used to address specific skin issues. They’re also lightweight and have smaller particles so they can penetrate the skin quicker and deeper.

Since they’re highly-concentrated, a little goes a long way. When you opt to use more than the required amount, you’ll end up more like an oily mess.

Make sure to focus more on problem areas like fine lines and wrinkles by massaging the product.

When you use too much:
Can leave out actives just sitting on top of the skin; can lead to peeling and stinging if you’re using an exfoliating serum

When you use too little:
You won’t get its maximum effect.

Facial Moisturizer


Serving size: A Cherry Tomato

If you have dry skin, it can be tempting to pile on as much as you can but, the skin can only absorb so much. So, do it a favor and avoid overwhelming it with too much moisture.

Choose moisturizers that work for your skin type. Opt for products labeled as noncomedogenic as they’re less likely to clog the pores.

Here’s an extra tip.

Don’t forget your neck and the area behind your ears. They need some TLC, too, so add an additional drop when moisturizing these areas.

When you use too much: Can make you look oilier and cause clogged pores

When you use too little: Can lead to flakiness and dryness.

Eye Creams


Serving size: A Pea (For Both Eyes)

The skin around the eyes is thinner and more prone to dryness compared to the skin on the other areas of your face. This is why eye creams are thicker to help deeply moisturize this area.

Now, how to apply?

For the area under your bottom lashes, use tapping motions (not rubbing) from the outer to the inner corner. This will help rid of the fluid that causes puffy eyes.

Meanwhile, the exact opposite goes for the area above the eyes. Go from the inner to the outer corner of your brow bone to drain any fluid that has accumulated there.

When you use too much: Can lead to sensitive skin, clogged pores and eye irritations

When you use too little: Skin around the eyes will remain dehydrated

Night Creams


Serving size: A Blueberry

The body repairs itself when you sleep at night. By applying a night cream, you’ll be helping your skin with the process.

Just make sure that you are using just the right amount and use upward, circular motions during application. Never use downward motions as this could lead to sagging skin.

When you use too much: Can lead to a waste of active ingredients and cause clogged pores

When you use too little: You won’t see dramatic results on your skin.



Serving size: A Grape (Face), A Shot Glass (The Rest of The Body)

Sunscreens work by protecting the skin from damage and skin cancer. They contain ingredients that block the sun’s rays, preventing them from penetrating into the skin.

The AAD says to apply sunscreens every two hours, depending on your activity. Use those that are water-resistant, offer broad-spectrum protection and with an SPF 30 or above.

Since up to 80% of the sun’s rays can still penetrate the skin even on cloudy days, be sure to apply your sunscreen even if it isn’t sunny outside. Make sure to take just the right amount and apply to all exposed areas of your body.

When you use too much: Greasy feeling, skin will feel oilier than usual

When you use too little: Increased risk for sunburn, sun damage and skin cancer

Face Oil


Serving size: A Pumpkin Seed
If face oils aren’t part of your beauty regimen, you’re missing out a lot.

Face oils are great in reducing any irritation your anti-aging products can cause. They can also protect your skin from free radical damage since they are loaded with antioxidants.

Now, listen:

Although face oils are great, you still need to use them in moderation. Since they are oils, they can clog your pores if you use too much.

When you use too much: Can cause clogged pores and skin breakouts

When you use too little: Skin won’t be as protected


Serving size: A Pea

Retinoids work by unclogging the pores, increasing the effectiveness of your acne treatments. They are seen as an option in treating moderate to severe acne.

Aside from acne, they can also be used to address wrinkles. They can boost the production of collagen and stimulate blood circulation for a rosier appearance.

Just remember to apply a layer of sunscreen after as they can increase sun sensitivity.

When you use too much:
Possible irritation

When you use too little: Slower cell turnover


Too much of something is always a bad thing.

This applies not only to your diet but to your beauty products, too. Our skin can only absorb so much and feeding it with more than what’s necessary will only suffocate it.

And ultimately, render your products useless.

Remember, make sure to apply your skincare products from thinnest to thickest. Also, allow each product to be fully absorbed by the skin first before proceeding to the next step.

Do you follow portion control rules in skincare products? Let me know!

Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

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