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How to Apply Moisturizer

Four Methods:Applying Moisturizer to your FacePutting Moisturizer on Your BodyUsing Eye CreamSelecting the Right Moisturizer

Moisturizer does a lot of awesome things for your skin, including protecting it from the elements and rehydrating it so it looks and feels healthy. There are, however, different types of moisturizer for different parts of your body. Your facial moisturizer is designed specifically for the harsh conditions your face deals with on a daily basis, while your eye cream is designed for the thinner and more delicate skin around your eyes. Both face and eye creams are usually water-based so they do not clog your pores. Body lotion, on the other hand, can sometimes be oil-based as it need to work on areas of your body that take more abuse (like your hands and feet).

Method 1
Applying Moisturizer to your Face

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    Know the benefits of using facial moisturizer. Moisturizers, in general, are great for your skin. When you apply a moisturizer to your face, it plumps up the skin and helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It also protects the skin on your face from the various effects of weather, like heat and wind. And finally, and possibly most importantly, moisturizer increases the water content of your skin in order to keep it hydrated.[1]
    • Some, but not all, facial moisturizer comes with an SPF content. If you use both a daytime and nighttime moisturizer, it’s normally the daytime version that includes SPF. Since the SPF is contained within the moisturizer, the instructions for applying it are the same as for non-SPF moisturizer.
    • SPF moisturizer should be used on your face all year round, not just in the summer season.
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    Wash your face before applying moisturizer. Before applying moisturizer you should always wash your face. A good skin care routine would have you wash your face twice a day. Once in the morning, and once in the evening (before bed). Apply your facial moisturizer after you’ve rinsed and patted your face with a towel, before your skin completely dries.[2]
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    Place the required amount of moisturizer in your hand. Every type of moisturizer will come with its own instructions on how much of the product should be used on your face at a time. Thinner moisturizers may dry into the skin faster and require a larger amount to be used. Really thick moisturizers (or creams) may allow for a lot of coverage for only a small dollop of the product.[3]
    • Facial moisturizer also tends to come in different types of bottles or containers. For moisturizer that comes in a pump bottle, simply pump the required amount into the palm of your hand. For moisturizer that comes in a tub-like container, you can dip your fingers into the container as required.
    • If, after using the required amount of moisturizer, you find it is either too much or not enough, alter how much you use. Consider the recommended amount on the bottle to be a guideline or a place to start, not a hard and fast rule.
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    Dab some moisturizer onto specific parts of your face. Using the first two fingers of your dominant hand, apply dabs of moisturizer onto your face in the key dry areas such as your: forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, and neck.[4]
    • If one of those areas is particularly oily, don’t put a dab of moisturizer in that area.
    • Don’t forget to include your neck in both your washing and moisturizing routine. And if you are wearing a lower cut shirt, include whatever portion of your chest is visible. This is especially important when you’re apply a daytime moisturizer with SPF, which will help protect these areas from sun damage as well.
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    Spread the moisturizer around the rest of your face. Using the first two fingers of each hand, spread the moisturizer upwards and outwards from each dab on your face. Use a swirling motion to blend the moisturizer into your skin. It’s usually easiest to start at your neck, and work your way up your face to your forehead.[5]
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    Allow the moisturizer to dry before applying makeup. Once you’ve blended your moisturizer into your face, allow it to dry for about 1-2 minutes before doing anything else. After that 1-2 minutes you can then apply any other products you want to your skin, including makeup.[6]
    • If you’re applying a separate layer of sunscreen to your face, apply it after your moisturizer. And make sure the sunscreen is designed for use on your face so it won’t clog your pores.

Method 2
Putting Moisturizer on Your Body

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    Exfoliate at least once a week. While in a bath or shower, exfoliate your skin at least once a week using a loofa, face cloth, shower puff, etc. Exfoliation helps to remove the top layer of dead and dry skin cells, which when left as is, prevent your moisturizer from penetrating into your skin deep enough.[7]
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    Wash with a moisturizing soap or body wash. When in a shower or bath, use soaps and body washes that contain moisturizer to wash your body. The labels for soaps and body washes will indicate if they contain moisturizing ingredients.[8]
    • One option is to apply oil to your skin while in the shower or bath, and then rinse off as much as you can before getting out. This moisturizes you skin nicely, but removes the excess oil so it doesn’t stain your clothes or feel slippery.[9]
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    Do not use hot water to wash your skin. Whether you’re washing your hands, or having a shower or bath, use warm water and not really hot water. Unfortunately hot water can actually accelerate how quickly your skin ages and dries it out faster than warm water.[10]
    • If you’ve ever swam in a swimming pool or bathed in a hot tub, you probably noticed how dry your skin was afterwards. This dryness was caused by the chemicals used in the water to remove bacteria (as the water is used over and over again). Most city treated water also has chemicals added to reduce bacteria, although in much smaller amounts. However long exposure to that water can still cause your skin to dry out, so it’s best to keep your showers and baths as short as you can.
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    Apply moisturizer after a shower or bath. In general, it is best to apply moisturizer to any part of your body after you’ve washed that part of your body and the skin is still damp. For your body, it is best to apply moisturizer after you’ve had a shower or bath. Pat off the excess water from your skin with a towel, and then apply the moisturizer to your damp skin.[11]
    • You can, however, still apply moisturizer to your body if you did not wash it. But the moisturizer will be more effective on damp skin.
    • Apply body moisturizer using short, but firm, strokes with your hand.[12]
    • Pay specific attention to applying moisturizer to the driest parts of your body like: hands, elbows, knees, and feet.
    • If you apply moisturizer to your feet after a shower or bath, be careful about walking around in bare feet afterwards. Avoid walking on tiles or hardwood floors without socks or slippers.
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    Use oil instead of moisturizer. Many products — other than specifically designed body moisturizers — can help hydrate your skin. For example, you can use coconut or olive oil, instead of moisturizer, to get the same, or even better, results.[13]
    • If you decide to use an oil rather than a moisturizer, remember to wipe off excess oil with a towel after it’s been applied to your skin.
    • Also keep in mind that some oil may stain the clothes you put on over top of your skin. Because of this, it is best to apply oils before bed, under your pyjamas.
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    Massage in hand cream before bed. Your hands go through a lot over the course of the day. Every time you wash your hands, for example, the natural oils on your skin, plus any previously applied hand cream, gets washed off.[14]
    • Before bed, apply a larger than normal amount of hand cream and massage the cream into your hands for a few minutes.
    • It’s a good habit to start reapplying hand cream every time after your wash your hands to continuously rehydrate your skin.

Method 3
Using Eye Cream

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    Use only eye cream around your eyes. The skin around your eyes is much thinner and more sensitive than the skin anywhere else on your body, and as such, it needs to be treated with extra care. Eye creams are designed specifically for this type of skin and should be the only product (other than eye makeup) that is applied to this area.[15]
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    Apply eye cream only with your finger. Always apply your eye cream using your middle or ring finger on your dominant hand. The reason for this is that this finger is used the least and will be the most gentle.[16]
    • If your eye cream comes in a pump bottle, you’ll need to pump a small amount of the cream onto the finger you’re going to use, and add more as needed. If you’re eye cream comes in a tub-like container, you can simply dip your finger into that container as needed.
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    Dab the eye cream under your eyes. Using your middle or ring finger, dab the eye cream lightly around the base of your eye, about ½ an inch blow your eyelashes. Start nearest to your nose and dab moving outwards until you reach the corner of your eye.[17]
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    Tap to blend the eye cream. Using the same finger, continue to tap the eye cream into your skin until it’s completely blended. Try not to dab/tap too close to your eye lashes in order to avoid any eye cream from running into your eyes and irritating them.[18]
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    Press eye cream onto your eyelids. Using the same finger, obtain another dab of eye cream and rub it into your eyelid, along the orbital bone above your eye. You do not need to apply cream to your entire eyelid, just the area directly below your eyebrow along the bone line.[19]
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    Allow the eye cream to dry before applying makeup. After you’ve blended your eye cream into your skin, wait 1-2 minutes before applying any eye makeup. This is especially important if you use any liquid types of eye makeup, as it may run if your skin is too damp.[20]
    • It is especially important to remove all your eye makeup at the end of the day, before you wash your face before bed.

Method 4
Selecting the Right Moisturizer

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    Determine your skin type. Different moisturizers are made for different skin types. Your skin type can differ somewhat between body parts (e.g. you might find your face is oily but your leg are dry). You should select a moisturizer (for your face and body) based on the type of skin you have on those parts. The different skin types are as follows:[21]
    • Normal Skin — Skin that is able to maintain a natural moisture balance. Normal skin only needs a light, water-based moisturizer to keep it looking fresh.
    • Dry Skin — Skin that is dry to very dry in certain areas, sometimes even cracked. Dry skin needs heavier, oil-based moisturizers in order to keep it hydrated properly.
    • Oily Skin — Skin that may have patches of oil in one or more places, normally on your face. Oily skin also tends to be more susceptible to acne and breakouts. Although counter-intuitive, oily skin still needs to be moisturized, especially after you’ve washed it. For oily skin, use really light, water-based moisturizers that won’t clog pores.
    • Sensitive Skin — Sensitive skin can be easily irritated and may turn red, itchy or even break into rashes when certain products are used. You should try to select a moisturizer with soothing ingredients for sensitive skin to help prevent irritation. You’ll also want to avoid moisturizers with fragrance and dyes, as they’re more likely to irritate sensitive skin.
    • Mature Skin — As skin ages, the oil-producing glands slow down and skin becomes drier. Mature skin will have a better time maintaining moisture if an oil-based product with antioxidants or alpha hydroxy acids is used.
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    Think of other considerations. Some moisturizers are designed for older skin, to help reduce lines and wrinkles. While yet other moisturizers may contain extra ingredients that help with certain conditions, like acne. Before selecting a moisturizer, think about any specific situations you may want to address.[22]
    • Your skin type can change because of the season (the winter can cause you to have dry skin when you may have normal skin in the summer), and due to other medical conditions (i.e. pregnancy, menopause, etc.). Change your moisturizer when your skin type changes.
    • The cost of a moisturizer is NOT an indication of its quality.
    • If one type of moisturizer isn’t working for you, experiment with others until you find one that meets all your needs.
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    Do not forget about your lips. Your lips are skin too, and they also need to maintain moisture in order to look great. Use a moisturizing lip balm to keep your lips soft and plump. Carry it with you and reapply as needed throughout the day. You can even wear it under your lipstick.[23]
    • Your lips can also burn in the sun, so try to use a lip balm that contains SPF.
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    Use a humidifier. Sometimes, especially in the winter, the air can get so dry that it seems to literally suck the moisturizer out of your skin. One way to help avoid this is to use a humidifier in your home. You can install humidifiers directly to your furnace (if you live in a place where you have a furnace), or you can buy humidifiers that can be used in one room.[24]
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    Apply hand cream after washing. Your hands take the brunt of just about everything that you do. However, every time you wash your hands you not only remove some of the moisturizer you previously applied, you remove the natural oils and moisture in your skin. Get into the habit of applying hand cream every time after you wash your hands in order to keep them soft.[25]


  • It is a good idea to use a facial moisturizer that contains SPF during the day, even in the winter or when it’s not sunny outside. Make sure to apply this moisturizer to all exposed parts of your neck and chest (if you have a low neckline) to protect your skin.[26]

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Skin Care