After brushing our teeth and cleansing our skin, the art of moisturising is probably the thing we invest the most time in when it comes to bathroom duties. It’s a crucial step in skincare and the one that can, fundamentally, have the most immediate impact on your complexion.
Having skin that’s well moisturised and hydrated actually allows it to function more healthily, which in the long run means you could actually delay the signs of ageing. There is a snag though… If only it was as simply as ‘take cream out of pot, rub into face’, but the truth is it’s very easy to apply it wrong.
So, here are a few common mistakes many of us make and most importantly, the best way to apply moisturiser…
Applying moisturiser to dry skin
Cleanse, tone and moisturise, right? But how long do you leave it after cleansing your skin before you apply moisturiser? Leave it too long and you could be adding moisture to a layer of dry, dead skin cells. All that skin cell debris can actually act as a barrier between your skin and your moisturiser, which means it might not be able to work as well as you’d like it to. Furthermore, one of the purposes of moisturiser is to lock in moisture, but if skin is completely dry then there’s nothing to ‘lock in’. Instead, after cleansing pat skin dry and apply your moisturiser immediately – or sweep an acid toner like Biologique Researche P50, £56, over your face to remove any dead skin before applying.
Price doesn’t mean quality
The job of a moisturiser is to, very simply, hydrate. A simple oil and water emulsion – a standard moisturising cream – will do the job of superficial skin hydration very well. Hefty price tags can be justified if there are specific ingredients designed to do a specific job. Anti-ageing creams and problem-solving lotions are a good example, but if it’s just moisture you want the high street will usually have you covered.
You’re applying makeup too soon
We may have told you to be speedy and apply moisturiser as soon as you can, but when it comes to your makeup give your skin a breather. Apply your moisturiser as normal then maybe use the time to get dressed, blow-dry your hair or similar, before you start buffing in foundation. This will give your moisturiser the chance to sink in and do its job rather than getting mixed up in pigments.
You’re being too rough
Moisturising is, ultimately, a functional step in the beautifying process but care and attention is important. If you’re too rough with your skin you can actually damage it, whereas a slow and gentle facial massage will not only deliver your moisturiser into your skin, it’ll also help stimulate circulation and give skin that glow we all try to fake with highlighters and strobing creams.
Thinking oily skin doesn’t need moisture
It’s tempting, when dealing with oilier skin, to use cleansers than strip all surface oil and give that squeaky clean feeling. If at this point you then skip moisturiser you’re making a mistake. If you strip surface oil the skin immediately goes into overproduction mode and your skin might actually look and feel oilier. Instead, use a cream cleanser and a light cream moisturiser. It might sound counter-intuitive, but it will actually help your skin find a bit of balance.
You’re forgetting your neck
Don’t stop your skincare at your jawline, instead make sure you’re giving your neck some care and attention too. It’s one of the first places to start showing the signs of ageing and though there may be creams out there specifically for the neck, it will appreciate a bit of facial moisturiser just as much.
Not all skin is created equal
If you’re applying your moisturiser evenly all over your face, you may actually be doing it a disservice. Take a good look at your skin and see whether any areas need extra attention. If certain parts are dry and others oily, try using two different creams – a thicker one on dry patches and a light formula on oily areas.
To give you a helping hand, here’s how you should be applying it…