Tip: Pat your skincare and moisturizer into your skin for better absorption

by Paris B on · 57 comments

in Moisturiser,Musings,Skincare,Tips

By now, many of you will be familiar with the patting technique advocated by Hada Labo for their Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion. The lotion starts out runny and a little sticky but once you pat it on your skin, you will find it slowly start getting a bit tacky and then it disappears into your skin.

pat skincare Tip: Pat your skincare and moisturizer into your skin for better absorption

Guess what? Try doing the same thing with your normal skincare creams and lotions! icon biggrin Tip: Pat your skincare and moisturizer into your skin for better absorption

I thought about this one day while I was applying my skincare and decided to try it out. You know what? I actually found that my creams and lotions were getting absorbed more easily and my skin did not feel sticky anymore. I’ve been using this technique for a couple of months now, so I thought I’d share my experience icon smile Tip: Pat your skincare and moisturizer into your skin for better absorption

I usually use this technique when I apply my serums and moisturizer. I start out the same way as my last tip on the  proper way to apply moisturizer. I put a dollop of serum or moisturizer in the palm of my hand.

Then, I spread the serum or cream between the palms of my hands and instead of then smoothing it over my skin and massaging it in the way I usually do, I would smooth it on, then lightly press my palms on my skin instead, in a light patting/pressing motion. I do not employ the vigorous face slapping motion you might remember from the Hada Labo video. I really disliked that after a while and I don’t think its all that good for your skin in the long run.

Instead, I just lightly but firmly press my palms against my face and neck a few times, and after a while, I will notice that the lotion, serum or cream will start feeling a bit tacky, and then, nothing. It just feels like its all absorbed into my skin! My skin does not have the sticky feel associated with when you first apply moisturizer, and I seem to think that creams, serums and lotions absorb more easily and better. For the day, my skincare absorbs better, and in the process, I think it helps my makeup stay on better too.

Summary

  • Scoop or pump a dollop of serum, cream or lotion into the palm of your hand.
  • Smooth serum, cream or lotion between your palms.
  • Smooth on face.
  • Lightly but firmly press or pat your palms against your face and neck until the sticky slippery feeling disappears and the skincare is absorbed into your skin

Granted, it also takes a little more time. Maybe a minute or so more but I’ve gotten so used to it now that I don’t notice it anymore. Fans of Clarins skincare may notice also that this technique is employed and advocated by Clarins when using their skincare. Clarins skincare feels a little tacky on my skin and almost as if it does not absorb properly when I just smooth it on. But when I use this technique, it all disappears into my skin and that tacky feeling disappears! icon biggrin Tip: Pat your skincare and moisturizer into your skin for better absorption

I’ve been trying it with various creams and lotions and I’ve been quite happy with the results thus far. It seems to work with most if not all skincare and I like how my skin no longer has a slightly tacky “I-just-put-on-moisturizer” feel.

Do you use this technique to apply your creams and lotions? Is this something new to you or am I late to the party? Do try it and see for yourself if it works for you icon smile Tip: Pat your skincare and moisturizer into your skin for better absorption

Paris B

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[ 57 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Sharon April 10, 2012 at 9:00 am

I was thinking about this slapping technique but do you think that the lotion actually absorbs into your palms and your skin around your face when doing so?

Hrm….. Because palms tend to absorb the creams/serums/lotions better than our facial skin.

Oh well, still a mystery to me. I don’t apply this technique and i usually stopped using certain creams if it doesn’t absorb by just simply applying it.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Well, Sharon I think any absorption into the hands is pretty minimal. Skincare would absorb anyway, whatever technique we use for spreading the creams on our skin unless you just use finger tips. Also I don’t slap, just press and it feels more comfortable to me :) some people have mentioned that the method doesn’t matter, so I guess we can just do whatever we’re comfortable with ;)

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Issa April 10, 2012 at 9:25 am

I’ve been doing this technique too for a few weeks now and I love the result! I feel that my skin really absorbs my skincare! I have learned this from a skincare class that I attended… :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I’m glad you feel the same way I do Issa! I do notice quite a big difference and my skin feels so comfortable so I’m happy :)

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laila April 10, 2012 at 9:27 am

Currently I am using Hada Labo Moisturising cream..it’s just like you said..the sticky part..you have to pat your face until it fully absorb…I am not sure what’s the effects but I have been getting lesser and lesser pimple now….the only thing is that it’s like UHU stick..it’s just too sticky for me….any suggestion for this oily combinations skin moituriser for me Paris….

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Hi Laila, it’s great to know your skin is getting better :) I don’t use the HL Moisturising cream because I didn’t think much of it. A light moisturizer I would use is the Clinique Moisture Surge cream, Kiehl’s ultra light oil free gel cream or any other gel cream. I find those lighter and maybe good for oily skintypes.

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shasha April 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

When I went to Dermalogica, one of the girls attending me told me not to rub my palm with the skincare product. Instead pump it onto a finger and dab it to several spots on the face. Then you rub or pat it all over.
I’m not sure if this is a better technique, but just sharing what I’ve been told :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Thanks for sharing Shasha :) I used to use that method but I found that it could sometimes give me pimples because the product is not evenly distributed. I shared some thoughts on the dot vs palm method in an earlier post that might be of assistance :)

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Lily
Twitter:
April 10, 2012 at 9:40 am

I’ve been using this technique for years, as it was advocated by La Mer (used its creme once but too expensive to keep up). Also, the gentle patting motion reduces the amount of tugging and pulling when applying skincare. Though, sometimes I do wonder if half the goodness is also absorbed into my palms. Heh!
Lily recently blogged…FOTD: Fishtail Wing or something like thatMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Now that you mention it, I remember the La Mer method too. I used the lotion instead of the cream and like you, had to fall off that bandwagon because it was so pricey.

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xin
Twitter:
April 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

reminds me of the facial place i usually go, i like how they pat the skincare into my skin ;) need to make a call to book for a facial today :D
xin recently blogged…Your Say: Would You Use an Unscented Body Lotion?My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Oh yes, a good facialist usually pats the skincare on the face instead of rubbing it in. I had one rub my face once and it felt so stretched, I never went back! What if I ended up with more lines than when I started :P

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rinnah
Twitter:
April 10, 2012 at 9:49 am

I’ve been trying this method since I learned about it 2 weeks ago at a Dermalogica event and I *think* it works. Not sure if the product is being absorbed more into my palms or not though…

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Ah how odd that Dermalogica would suggest different methods of application. Another reader said she was suggested the dotting method. Hmm.., but that said, I like how t,y skin feels with this pressing method and I think it works for me. Glad it seems to work for you too!

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Tracy April 10, 2012 at 11:13 am

I am so trying this! I never knew this but it makes sense when you think about it!

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Do try it Tracy. It’s a lovely pampering treat for your skin too!

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Jyoan April 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

I use a combination of sweep, swirl and pat.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Haha I sometimes do that too, to get the product in the face first then pat :)

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Joshua April 10, 2012 at 11:49 am

It does not matter if you rub or pat. Either way you are putting the same amount of product on your skin. Neither technique is better, or helps products absorb faster, your skin is going to absorb as much as it can regardless. Keep doing what you prefer, either way is fine. :) Love you blog BTW! <3

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Thanks Joshua, I did notice a difference but that could be also due to perhaps the effect of spreading it more evenly. Still, if it works, stick with it ;)

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ysk
Twitter:
April 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I learnt this technique 2 years ago when I first bought Laneige Water bank essence.They also teach user this method to help in better absorption.kinda effective.the heat on our hand helps the molecule in the serum to diffuse into the skin faster.
ysk recently blogged…Contest and Giveaway:8 Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter to be given away!!My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Not sure about the science behind it, but that seems to make sense!

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Janice April 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I have been using the Clarins method to apply my skincare products since i went for its Skintime 30 recently and finds that even non Clarins products get absorbed into my skin faster and better.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm

I thought so too! And for Clarins skincare the clarins patting method really does help the product absorb more quickly than just smearing it on the face :)

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Swati
Twitter:
April 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I have already tried this long back but I am not consistent with it since it really takes a long time and some patience but I guess I shall try it out again :)
Swati recently blogged…How to choose right pair of glasses for your face?My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Do try it again. I found it was actually faster than just rubbing on skin because sometimes, the rubbing method takes a while for it to get absorbed.

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Bugs April 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I’ve tried 1) warm cream between palms then spread using whole palm, 2) dot on face then spread using my ring n middle fingers, 3) warm the cream between my palms then pat or press it in.

I kinda like the (3) method but noticed I’m using more creams than dot n spread with fingers method…. The method I use depends on what product I’m using.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:12 pm

I’ve tried all 3 like you too :) I didn’t notice the palm method using much more than the dotting method but I use the dotting method for gel creams. Those definitely benefit better from that maybe because of the lighter runnier texture :)

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Kel April 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Been using this ‘pat’ method for a couple of years, since i started using Clarins (then stopped) but i kept using this ‘pat’ method on other stuff that i apply and i found that it works well. I even use this method for my face primers & foundation (after blending it into my face), find that it ‘dries’ faster so i can proceed to other steps. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I think this is awesome right? :) I don’t pat my primer or foundations but I do place my palms over it if liquid foundation, because it helps it ‘set’ better and last longer. That’s what I was told once :)

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S. April 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I’ve read about this but I didn’t think it work, surely going to give it a try now! xxx
S. recently blogged…Maybeliline Super Stay 24hMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Do share your thoughts if you try this, S! I’d love to bear what you think of it

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Tine
Twitter:
April 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I don’t do this with my skincare products, but I do with sunscreen. Hmm I really should do it with my serum and Moisturiser, eh? I suppose “lazy lah” just don’t cut it anymore :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Haha i don’t do this with sunscreen because I do put quite a lot of sunscreen on. But no better time than the present to start doing this with your skincare instead? ;)

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Sunny
Twitter:
April 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I’ve been doing this with serums! I probably don’t press enough times though (or long enough), because nothing gets tacky! I’ll try to employ this method properly and see how it works :) Thanks for sharing Paris!
Sunny recently blogged…Skincare Review: Do Changing Seasons Upset Your Skin? Caudalie Vinosource to the Rescue!My Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Lol! Not all get tacky though, Sunny! So long as they are all absorbed into your skin, there’s no reason to change anything ;)

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rudi April 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I use a fusion version of Clarins + hada Labo method – palm pressing and patting + some finger pressure points.

Reading this post and another website just a moment ago re documentaries, it struck me that it would be interesting to film different women’s skincare routine in the morning. Oh my, I can just imagine the patting pressing etc going on!

Anyway, just FYI, I did ask whether the HL patting method increases absorption of the product applied at a non-brand linked event – the trainer (whom i thought was very knowledgeable on other issues) did not think so. I won’t repeat his exact reply which i remembered as it was funny and also made me think about the ‘science’ of patting. LOL

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm

I think the method employed by Hada Labo works for their product hence their recommendation :) Clarins too uses a pressing method for their skincare and I’ve tried not using it and it doesn’t feel as nice as when I do. So sometimes, it might be the particular skincare that results in a particular method :) but hey, whatever works for us right? That’s most important ;)

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honey April 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm

I do use this technique when applying my toner, FTE & liquid moisturiser.
I learned from watching too many korean dramas. LOL.
Most Koreans I watched in Kdrama use this technique.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Ah that’s interesting to know since I don’t watch Korean dramas :) guess their skincare calls for it too.

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Rahainah
Twitter:
April 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Yes I use this method for almost a month now and I do feel the difference.
I always have combination skin type but a couple of months back, I noticed my skin has been really dry to the extend where you can feel the dry patches on your skin.
Then I saw this video on YT, on how this YT-er applied her moisturizer and since then I’ve become accustomed to just the exact same method you’ve described! I found this patting motion also keeps me calm since I slowly taking my time to pamper on my skin.
The difference I noticed is my skin now is not dry, I felt it is hydrated, my T-zone which usually gets oily fast, is not that oily anymore! I think my skin condition has change to a normal skin type?! :D
As you mentioned, yes, come to think about it, I do notice the moisturizer seems to sink in the skin much faster than to just spreading it.
Thanks so much for sharing this tip, you know, you’ve helped a lot already :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Oh wow Rahainah, I felt the same way you do! I feel the products absorb better and especially my drier cheeks aren’t as dry and even when I layer on a few products, it is perfectly fine. I didn’t even really change my skincare products either. I think we should just stick with whatever works for us :)

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coco
Twitter:
April 11, 2012 at 12:43 am

i’ve been using this technique after watch a few of beautyqq’s videos. i find that it does make some difference on how my face feels after skin care. i also find that i use less products this way.
coco recently blogged…face of australia barbados collection – you blue me awayMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Thanks for sharing Coco :) scientifically, it might not make sense because our skins can only absorb so much, but I think it’s better in the long term because at least we aren’t pulling on our skins unnecessarily :)

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passionflower April 11, 2012 at 1:48 am

A few weeks ago I stumbled over an article at Beauty Brains (http://thebeautybrains.com/2012/03/18/do-skin-lotions-work-better-if-you-pat-instead-of-rub/) where the same idea is discussed. It doesn’t seem like rubbing or patting have anything to do with absorption, so the way of doing it doesn’t matter.
As for me, I like to rub because I’m too lazy and impatient to pat.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Thanks for sharing! I do tend to agree that scientifically it may make no difference but perhaps psychologically, it makes a difference to me hehe… Also I’m trying to minimize the stretching of the skin and pressing/patting does do that :)

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Mee April 11, 2012 at 2:55 am

I have been using the patting (not slapping^^) technique for a few weeks now, and I love it! I especially used it when I apply creams. But besides using a cotton pad for applying toner, I also pour a bit of it into my hands and pat in onto my face. It is sooo refreshing!

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm

What a great tip about the toner :) its a nice wy of using it in place of a facial spray!

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Helen Nguyen
Twitter:
April 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Oh Paris, I just read about this the other day. This is how I been applying my skin care most of the time now, ever since I started to use the SK-II Treatment Essence.. Well, if Im not in a rush in the morning.

I agreed with you that the products absorbs to your skin better this way :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Hehe so glad so many of us use this method and agree that it seems to work better for our skin! When I’m in a morning rush, I still pat… And then skimp on makeup time ;)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Its nice to know it works for you too :) Maybe its psychological as some people have pointed out but I feel it works better and hey, I won’t complain if my skin doesn’t ;)

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