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This is how you should be using your skincare buys

Too little and you won’t reap the benefits, too much and you could do more harm than good. We share how much you should be using, plus application do’s and don’ts

Getting through your serum in a month, but your cleanser lasts half a year? Think your skin is super sensitive? Or is it always congested despite using an acne busting regime? Well, it could be that you have all the gear but no idea regarding how much to use and how to use it.

The percentage of actives make a difference, as does the texture of your product. A pea size amount of serum and lotion will cover more ground than the same amount of face cream.

Use too little of a product and you might not achieve the results you’d expect, while too much is at best a waste of your product and your money – at worst it can trigger irritation, redness and clogged pores that can lead to acne.

Read on to discover how much you should be using and how best to apply the most important products in your arsenal…

Face wash

Dirt, pollution and makeup are removed from the surface of your skin and even deeper within your pores thanks to your face wash. However, if you’re not using enough of the stuff or massaging your cleanser around the face for at least 60 seconds morning and night, you won’t get adequately clean. Whatever the formula, be it foam, gel, jelly, balm or cream, aim for a 50p piece size and be sure to double cleanse, especially if you are removing makeup.


A step not to be missed, serums help target your key skincare concerns and feed the lower levels of your skin the actives it needs to do anything from firm to lessen pigmentation. And because they are designed to treat deep within your skin, they tend to be far more potent than a moisturiser – which means you shouldn’t go overboard on the stuff. The more you use won’t speed up the process, in fact it can cause sensitivity and even congestion, so apply a 5p sized amount as this should be more than enough.

Eye cream

The skin around the eyes is thinner than the rest of the face and body, it also doesn’t produce any oil and can be sensitive. It’s subject to pigmentation, lines and wrinkles, all of which makes skincare picks in this area a little tricky, as you’ll need moisturising agents and targeted actives all rolled up in one formula. This means eye creams tend to be pretty potent, which is why you’ll also need to ensure you don’t overdo it when it comes to application. A grain of rice amount for each eye is all that’s needed, tapped into the skin around the orbital bone morning and night.


Designed to bolster the skin barrier and hydrate the skin, moisturisers be they gels, lotions or creams should not be used to excess. Too much cream, even for those with  very dry skin can clog pores and leave you looking shiny, while too little of a gel or lotion formulation could leave even the oiliest skins gasping for water. So, try a £1 coin sized amount of whatever moisturiser suits your skin type best.


Derivatives of vitamin A are known as retinoids and retinol is one of these. It’s the more potent out of the only two versions that are available without a prescription, and when added into your skincare regime has the ability to boost cell turnover and collagen production.

It does have a reputation for being a little scary, mostly because one of the biggest mistakes people make is overusing it. It's best used at night due to its ability to make skin more sensitive to the sun, and in small doses – try once or twice a week for a couple of weeks, then every other night for another two weeks, followed by every night after your first month and stick to a pea-sized amount.

Hyaluronic acid

This gold standard hydration booster benefits just about every single skin type and tone. However, if you go overboard on the stuff it can contribute to the development of clogged pores. So, use a pea-sized amount on damp skin. Ensuring your skin is damp means that the hyaluronic acid, which can hold 100 times its weight in water, doesn’t draw moisture from the lower levels of the skin but rather holds on to the water on your skin to keep it hydrated.

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