Let’s talk about hydration. It’s one of those relatively cut-and-dry activities – not just because you do it when your skin feels chapped and flaky – but because there’s a lot more to moisturizing than furious buttering and mindless rubbing.
And while your skin is a beautiful, independent element that can seamlessly absorb your skincare products, sometimes it needs your help to achieve maximum hydration levels.
However, drenching your skin in moisture and maintaining hydration levels are two very distinct ventures. Ever spent time slathering on your creams and serums, only to find your skin dehydrated ten minutes later? Same here.
Well, it turns out that a few innocent mistakes might be sabotaging your glowy skin goals. So, if you’ve been slathering on your hydrating treatments to no avail, ensure you’re not unintentionally making one of these blunders:
You’re Applying It On Completely Dry Skin
After a cleanse or a shower, you should towel off before slathering on your moisturizer, right?. Nope. That’s wrong! One of the gravest moisturizer mistakes people make is applying lotion on dry skin.
Let us explain: After you cleanse, you want to lock in the moisture goodness. The humectants in your cream, like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, will have an effortless time holding on to the moisture if you’re offering it, leaving your skin looking radiant.
Remember – humectants draw in water from the surrounding environs to hydrate your skin. Therefore, leaving your skin damp helps them find the moisture they require.
Moreover, you might have a considerably smaller window to lock in moisture, especially if you love long, hot showers and vigorously toweling off sacrifices those precious minutes. As a good rule of thumb, wait not less than two minutes to apply your moisturizer.
You’re Not Applying It On Oily Skin
Look, we get it – if you have been dealing with the plight that’s perpetually oily skin, moisturizing feels like the last thing you should be doing. In any case, your goal is to get rid of the excess oils, not add more, right?
No, not quite. Contrary to popular belief, using a hydrating cream doesn’t make your skin even oiler. In fact, skipping moisturizer could be the cause of your oily skin.
Yap! You heard that right. Avoiding a moisturizer could potentially trigger your oil glands to go into overdrive, producing more oil.
So, if you identify as an oily skin type, head over to your favorite beauty store, get yourself an oil-free or non-comedogenic moisturizer, and make it a staple in your skincare routine.
You’re Not Prepping Appropriately
Sloughing off dead skin and peach fuzz allows your cream to sink deep into your skin. Therefore, as you concentrate on your face, you should also pay attention to trouble spots like your elbows, knees and feet – your skin has few oil glands here and can thicken due to friction.
However, remember you’re refining delicate surfaces, not scouring the sink. A gentle buff once a week with a cleansing brush should suffice. Afterwards, slather on your favorite moisturizer and glow away!
You’re Applying Too Much Or Too Little
If you’ve been using your hydration treatments consistently but still feel dry, flaky and itchy, you might be applying too little.
On the other hand, if you’ve been noticing a filmy residue after moisturizing, you’re probably using more than your skin needs.
The fix? Take your time and figure out the exact amount your skin requires –a nickel-sized amount should suffice for your entire face.
Using clean fingers, dab a significant amount on your key areas – below the neck, cheeks, nose, chin, elbows, and knees. Ensure you slather it on evenly, giving extra attention to the surfaces that are more prone to dryness.
You’re Only Applying It On Your Face
Don’t worry. You’re not alone on this.
More than 30% of people who take painstakingly good care of their skin don’t extend past their jawline. That’s because the beauty universe pays a little too much attention to the face, given that it’s the most visible part and often more delicate than other body parts.
But completely ignoring your body care is a damn shame, especially since the market offers a laundry list of incredible formulas that rival facial care products. Moreover, it’s easier to find a hand treatment that gives you a quick hydration boost or a lotion that’s more decadent than your pillow soft night cream.
And obviously, your skin barrier doesn’t stop below your neck, and moisture plays a significant role in giving you that smooth, glowy, summer-ready bod. Ignore full-body hydration, and your skin won’t be safe from external aggressors, leading to crepey skin, fine lines, and premature aging.
You’re Rubbing It In Too Harshly
We’re all probably guilty of this one, but your moisturizer application method can make or break your skincare routine. Therefore, avoid slapping it on and vigorously rubbing it in, as tugging and pulling can damage your skin, leading to breakouts, fine lines and premature aging.
The best approach? Apply your cream gently in circular motions using clean fingertips. It would be best if you also used your ring finger to apply moisturizer on delicate surfaces like the under-eyes.
You’re Using the Wrong Ingredients
We all tend to be vigilant about ingredients for cleansers and serums only. However, the elements included in your moisturizer also play a vital role in your skincare goals.
• Acne-prone, oily skin types should look for silicone-free, oil-free, and non-comedogenic products with hyaluronic or salicylic acids, niacinamide, and vitamins C & E.
• Those with dry skin should go for occlusive moisturizers with oil-rich ingredients like petroleum jelly, cocoa and shea butter, ceramides, and squalene.
• Combination skin types should invest in products that help manage dryness and oiliness without heightening either issue. It would be best if you also chose non-comedogenic creams with hyaluronic acid.
• Individuals with sensitive skin should look for fragrance-free, paraben-free and non-comedogenic products that contain hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, soy and colloidal oatmeal.
For the best advice, be sure to talk to your dermatologist. They’ll help you better understand your skin type and offer the best moisturizer recommendations.
You’ve Been Using the Same Moisturizer
OK, this might be pretty obvious, but it’s still worth repeating. A daytime and nighttime skincare regimen shouldn’t be identical.
Unless you’re applying additional serums, your morning routine requires a hydration treatment loaded with antioxidants and SPF, while the nighttime should focus on skin repairing.
Most derms recommend using a combo moisturizer with SPF 30 to 50+ in the morning and a heavier, more hydrating one at night. Using a thicker lotion at night helps hydrate your skin after retinoids, which you need to use regularly and inhibit the dreaded ‘retinol purge.’