How to apply a moisturizer

Applying a moisturizerUnless one understands that not all parts of the skin on the face are same, it is easy to either over or under moisturize resulting in undue breakouts or liney, crepey dehydration.  Did you know that what works on one part of the face may not work on another?  Let me help you to understand the different areas of the face and how to treat each as its own.

WHY IS THE SKIN DIFFERENT?:  The underlying support structure of the skin seems to determine how thick the skin is that lays over this web work; those heavy muscles at the outer edge of the face are protected by thicker more elastic skin while the inner areas have a thinner skin composition that is aided by extra oil production to keep it pliable.  Directly around the eyes where we don’t have any muscles it is thinnest with no oil glands.  It is this thickness or thinness that determines how much moisturizer our skin really can use.

HOW TO CHOOSE A MOISTURIZER: The easiest way to think about it is that the thin areas need “thinner” moisturizers and the thicker areas need more “thick” moisturizers.  I classify thin moisturizers are those that are literally thin – more water/less oil lotions, oil-free gels, sprays – that absorb fairly quickly or lie on the skin very lightly.  They “feel” light.  I classify a thick moisturizer as one that is literally thick – creamy, viscous, perhaps more oil – and finishes with a little bit of tack.  You can still “feel” them protecting the skin a tiny bit or a lot.

Thin skin = thin moisturizer.  Thick skin = thick moisturizer.

(Not to be confused with emotional sensitivities! 🙂 )

Face zones

SUPER SIMPLE MOISTURIZING ROUTINE: Choose a more dense moisturizer that will take care of the outer edges of your face.  Splash your face with water and use a dab of product dotted to all areas and spread it on very thin everywhere.  When that has dried, add more moisturizer without water to the outer edges of the face.

  • NOTE:  If your product has active ingredients or “treatment” in it do NOT use it around the eyes; it can be irritating.  Use a product designed for that area.

INTENSIVE MOISTURIZING ROUTINE:  Apply a thin moisturizer, like Glow or Rehance Mist, every where then apply your more intensive moisturizer at the outer edges of the face.

  • NOTE: You additionally want to use a product specifically designed for the eye area like EyesTea and/or EyesCreme or a finishing oil.

CORRECTIVE MOISTURIZING ROUTINE:  If you are trying to correct a deficit in your skin such as acne or hyper-pigmentation spotting or lining/aging then you will most likely be using another product which also acts like a slight moisturizer.  Layer product on the skin from the thinnest to the thickest.

  1. Sprays/tonics like Rehance Mist applied everywhere or Clarify Tonic avoiding eye area.
  2. Concentrated corrective serums like Crowd Control, Refining Concentrate or TLBC applied everywhere except eye area.
  3. Apply moisturizer to outer edges of face only. NOTE:  For drier skins, additional moisture may be needed; perhaps the moisturizer is applied everywhere or an all over moisture serum like Glow or GlowCustard can be used after step 2.
  4. Liquid make-up applied last helps protect all the moisturizing done previously and actually does add a bit of moisture.  However, it does not replace the need for a moisturizer.  BB cremes or all-in-one cremes/make-ups are not as effective as letting each product soak in and do its work all on its own.

Things that decrease the effectiveness of your moisturizer;  you may need more moisturizer than normal under these conditions:

  • Overly dry environments inside or outside
  • Exposure to wind
  • Consuming dehydrating liquids such as coffee, black teas or alcohol
  • If you have a fever

Things that increase the effects of your moisturizer;  you may need less under these conditions:

  • high humidity weather
  • a steamy work environment
  • lots of perspiration
  • an abundance of oil production in your skin

If you would like some help putting together a moisturizing routine that suits your skin type and life style, please contact me for an appointment.

jbalshaw@comcast.net  603-491-7305