Skincare is the new buzzword these days in the beauty world, and skincare gurus have mushroomed. Sometimes though, I wonder if it’s a good thing as disinformation is as prevalent as information, if not more so! Perhaps I’m even guilty myself, even though I’m no guru.
But that aside, I often see people applying their skincare, creams in particular, by dotting it on their faces before rubbing in, and I wanted to share this tip, and tell you why it’s better than the dotting method.
Like most people, when I first started using moisturisers, I’d do the 5 dot method – one each on each cheek, and one on the forehead, nose and chin, then rub it in. I know many people still do it because it often see it in videos.
But later, when I first started using La Mer back in the day, they taught me that I had to first, warm up the cream in my hands before applying to skin in a pat-press motion. To this day, that’s over 10 years later, I still use the same technique with every product!
I was watching Jamie Yoon, Global Makeup Artist for Sulwhasoo at an event last week, and he, like most makeup artists who work with skincare, used the same method for applying skincare. I also came across some articles expounding on how Japanese women pat skincare into your skin instead of rubbing. So, what better time to reinforce this technique and skincare tip! :D
Warm up skincare serums, lotions, oils or creams in hands before applying
It is very simple really and does not take more than 2 seconds to execute.
- Scoop or pump out your product into the palm of your hand.
- Press both palms together, or use your fingertips, and rub gently
- Apply to skin
The rationale behind this technique is quite simple. When you warm up your product, it breaks it down a little, and makes it feel thinner and more liquid. This helps it absorb better into your skin. This often makes the difference between a cream that feels like it’s sitting on your skin, and one that sinks right in, making skin feel velvety smooth.
When you smooth it out, it also distributes the product more evenly over your hands. This allows you to cover your skin more evenly with the product, and you ensure that every bit of your skin enjoys the goodness of your skincare. This is true, whether it is a lotion, serum, oil or cream. When working with watery textures like lotions or toners, you will of course, have to work a little more quickly. But the principle is the same.
Warming up your skincare also brings it to a temperature approximating that of your skin which I find, helps it sink in more easily and more quickly. This is primarily anecdotal. I can’t find a scientific reason for it, but I find it helps me, and hey, it may help you too! :)
But if you notice, when you go for a facial or a body massage, the therapist will always warm up the creams or oils in their hands before applying it to your skin. This allows them to work it into your skin more easily. So, shouldn’t the same be true for you at home? :)
Will you end up using more product?
You might. As compared to the dotting method, you may find yourself using more or less depending on how you’ve been applying your skincare. But more important, you will ensure that you use SUFFICIENT product, which I feel is much more important.
The only exception to this technique in my books is the application of sunscreen. I never use this method to apply sunscreen and I do not recommend it as you will end up using too little. But for everything else, I find that you will end up using just enough product for your skin.
Press into skin like this – just imagine that it’s in the bathroom or at your dresser :P
Pat and Press skincare product into skin for better absorption
After warming up product in your hands, pat and press the skincare product into skin. For this reason, I prefer to work with my palms, as it offers a larger area.
Instead of patting, as you would a dog or cat, place your hands on your face, put a little pressure, and then lift. Repeat 2-3 times, to place the warmed skincare product on your skin. Then, what I like to do thereafter, is to massage in the product with my fingers, or my hands.
This is less complicated than some skincare techniques that recommend the patting or pressing technique (like the one from Clarins which I find a little too involved). Essentially, what you’re doing here is using your hands to place the product on your skin.
I read recently, that people are heralding this patting technique as the Japanese technique for best skincare application. To be honest, I don’t know enough about Japanese skincare techniques to support this. But some of their reasons for saying so are sound:
- Patting on skincare is calming – It is fairly therapeutic as it forces you to slow down
- Patting on skincare causes less damage to skin – Rubbing at your skin stretches it and can cause lines and wrinkles to form. Patting on skincare will therefore result in less forced movement of your skin
- Patting on skincare stimulates blood flow – Just be gentle. Don’t end up slapping yourself LOL!
I find that the combination of the warmed up skincare product, and the pressing of it against your skin, helps the product adhere better and absorb into skin better as well. I like doing a little massage after that, just to be sure that everything is nicely worked into my skin. I therefore combine the best of both worlds in skincare application – the Asian patting technique and the Western massage technique :D
This is primarily as I use facial oils or balms in my routine, which are heavier in texture, and take a longer time to absorb. But warming it up, then pressing it into the skin before massaging it in works far better for me than just dropping the oil on my face and trying to work it into my skin. I’ve seen that in videos and I don’t get it. But it could just be me :P
If your hydrating serum feels too tacky, pat it after applying to help it absorb better
I find that some hydrating serums that are high in hyaluronic acid tend to feel a little tacky on the skin after applying. An example is the Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating Lotion (I use the Hada Labo Premium Hydrating Lotion version) and we know that Hada Labo suggests that you pat it in.
However, I’ve since gone on to try other hyaluronic acid serums or hydrating lotions and serums e.g. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, Jordan Samuel Hydrate Facial Serum etc, and I find that after smoothing it on my skin, doing a pat-press motion a few times helps the product adhere better, and stop it feeling tacky. It also feels like it absorbs better, but again, it is likely anecdotal.
All this takes too long!
To be honest, not much longer than your regular method will take. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself and see! It barely takes 2 seconds to warm up the product and then press it on your skin a few times. Then, lightly rub it in and you’re done and onto your next step!
How do you apply your skincare? Do you rub it in? Do you pat it in? Do you warm it up?
Interested to know if you apply your skincare the same way I do, or if you have your own technique? Do share! :D