Thu, Oct 4, 2012 – by Jessica Reinhart

Are You Using Too Much Moisturizer?

Are You Using Too Much Moisturizer? 1

You invest in a great facial moisturizer and take the time to religiously apply it—but is your regimen actually hurting your skin? We tracked down an aesthetician to get the 411 on how much is too much.

Although daily moisturizing is critical for maintaining soothed and hydrated facial skin, applying too much can lead to clogged pores, acne and dermatitis (itchy, inflamed skin). For optimal results, Mary Johnson, a licensed aesthetician and owner of Paraiso Skin Care in Chandler, Arizona, suggests applying "anywhere from a pea-size to a dime-size amount of moisturizer to the face, depending on the thickness and consistency of the product." Johnson recommends using a facial moisturizer no more than one to two times per day. The key to optimizing the effects of your moisturizer is in the preparation. "Exfoliation rids skin of cellular buildup, and allows moisturizer to be most effective."

"No matter your skin type, everyone should use facial moisturizer", advises Johnson. But buyers beware: all moisturizers are not created equal. Be sure to choose a product that is made specifically for your skin type.

"A lot of people with sensitive skin are afraid of using moisturizer because they think it will make them break out. Not so," says Johnson. "But there are specific ingredients that will cause irritation and should be avoided by those with sensitive skin…like coconut and palm oils." "However," she cautions, "moisturizers often contain derivatives of these oils and list them under other names on the ingredients." To be safe, she recommends looking for products that are oil free and non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores).

If you suffer from dry skin, you may want to apply a light moisturizer in the daytime, and a more emollient moisturizer (one that softens and soothes) in the evening. To keep your face smooth, soft and supple use these helpful tips:

  • Apply once per day after showering or bathing to seal in moisture.
  • Dispense a dime-size dollop of moisturizer into the palm of your hand, and gently rub hands together to warm.
  • Starting at the base of the chin, gently apply the product to your face, using an upward motion, making sure not to tug or pull your skin.