Think that loading up on your night cream will up its moisturizing benefits or rationing out your retinol won’t hinder its efficacy? Think again. How effective your products are depends on how they are formulated, how compatible they are with your skin and how closely you are following the application guidelines. Knowing the ins and outs of the ingredients you’re using can clarify whether you’re applying too much or too little of your products.
The 411 on Application Guidelines
Product instructions should be precisely followed to achieve the best results. Santa Monica, CA dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD, says, “The FDA monitors claims and guidelines on prescription and over-the-counter skincare products carefully.” Regardless of the type of product, always follow the instructions carefully and stop using it if there is irritation, redness or swelling. “Unless otherwise specified, apply a thin layer of product and allow it to absorb before applying the next,” says Andrew Jacono, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in Great Neck, NY. Using more than what is recommended won’t speed up the results or help boost the efficacy of the ingredients.
The Role Your Skin Type Plays
Sometimes the question isn’t whether you’re using enough of your products, but if you’re using the right one for your skin type.
If You Have Dry Skin
Dr. Jacono says, “Use an enzyme or retinol first to get rid of the dryness to allow ingredients like hyaluronic acid and peptides to best absorb. Celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy advises, “If you oversaturate the skin and disrupt the sebaceous glands, you can create an imbalance in the skin.”
If You Have Oily Skin
Using a cleanser first will eliminate excess oils and allow your products to penetrate better. Joy explains, “Oily skin types tend to overuse acne-fighting ingredients, causing severe surface dryness that develops into congested skin with enlarged pores.”