How to apply face cream

How To Use Face Cream Properly – Everyone uses a face cream on a regular basis but do you actually know how to use them correctly? If not, then this is the perfect place for you. Using the wrong product or even using the right product in a wrong manner can equally damage your face. They can make your face prone to many skin related problems. Therefore, we have come up with the best tips to use the face creams correctly.

How to apply face cream

Do you moisturize your skin every day? If not, then you really should start adding them to your skin care routine. keeping the skin types in mind there are different types of face creams available. You just need to invest your time in the product that worth your penny.

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What are the benefits of using face creams?

Face creams indeed have so many benefits to count on. They have every ingredient that is required to keep your skin healthy and moisturized. You can easily choose from the best brands of the face creams and add them to your routine. If you are still not aware of their benefits then here we will list some of the perks of using these skin care products. These reasons will definitely compel you to use them.

  • They immediately moisturize your dry skin and vice versa for the people having dry skin.
  • Face creams last longer which is one of the essential benefits of using them.
  • They are suitable for literally every type of skin.
  • Some face creams also have anti aging ingredients which make you look youthful.
  • Also, some of them have SPF in them which protects your skin from the UV rays which are capable enough to damage your skin to the most extent.

Best methods to apply face creams effectively

Using the right product in the right way can give you numerous skin benefits in every way possible. Often due to hectic schedule people neglect taking care of their skin. Face creams help you to provide immediate moisture to the skin and maintain the health of it. Below listed are some of the methods that will help you to apply them effectively and correctly.

  1. The first and the most important step is to wash the face with lukewarm water so that extra dust and dirt on the face can be removed. You can wash your face with a facial wash for better results.
  2. Pat dry your face with the dry and soft towel in the next step.
  3. You can also apply some toner before wearing the face cream.
  4. Squeeze out a small amount of the cream on your hand.
  5. Start applying the cream to your face then blend the cream with the help of your finger by massaging on the facial skin.
  6. You can also dab the extra cream on your face with the help of tissues.

Things to remember before buying the face creams

Face creams are an important part of the skin and beauty care routine. Buying the right face cream is very important to get better and desired results. Below listed are some of the crucial things that you should keep in mind before purchasing any face creams.

  • Make sure you are purchasing the face creams according to the seasons.
  • Consider using the tinted moisturizer.
  • Make sure to prefer a face cream that has sun protection factor.
  • Do not neglect to buy a face cream if you have oily skin. People with oily skin too need this cream to take good care of their skin.
  • Choose a hydrating cream if you have dry and rough skin.


So, if you were in the search for the ways to use face creams properly and effectively then I hope this might be of some use to you. Creams for the facial skin are very important and should be used by one and everyone. You will definitely get moisturized and glowing skin with the few uses of it.

How to apply face creamFace creams have been used for centuries already. Using and applying is essential for every skin type and for every age. They protect the skin from the environmental aggressions, from dehydration and keep the skin healthy-looking. There are different creams that are formulated for different needs, there are regenerating creams, emollient creams, anti-aging creams, hydrating creams, moisturizing creams etc. All of them bring essential for the skin active ingredients and the epidermis remains fresh and elastic.

Common ingredients in face creams are – chamomile, honey, beeswax, minerals, vitamins, paraffin, glycerin, lanoline, castor oil, almond oil, olive oil, Vaseline, Aloe Vera fragrances and conservatives.

How to choose the perfect face cream for your skin:
The most important rule when choosing cream is to make sure it is appropriate for your skin type and your skin’s needs. For example if your skin is dry you should look for a product that is specially designed for dry skin. The cream should be oily and well moisturizing and make sure it’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.

If you have oily skin prone to breakouts look for a less oily texture. There are great face creams for oily skin that not only keep the skin hydrated and fresh-looking but also absorb the excess oil from the skin’s surface and regulate the production of oil. Look for a matifying cream that is hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores).

Many of my clients ask me whether there is a difference between a face cream and a moisturizer. Face creams are thicker in texture than the moisturizers and contain more nourishing ingredients that repair and condition the skin. In other words face creams not only keep the skin well-hydrated but they also nourish and replenish it. Moisturizers also do a great work but their main aim is to moisturize the skin. Both moisturizers and face creams help retain moisture in the skin and boost its ability to protect itself from the environmental irritants.

The benefits of using and applying are:

  • protect the skin from the sun, wind, cold
  • nourish the skin
  • moisturize the skin
  • comfort and plump the skin
  • improve skin’s quality
  • slow down the natural moisture loss
  • prevent skin dehydration
  • work as a day treatments
  • create a base for the makeup application
  • prevent dryness and cracking
  • keep the skin smooth and supple
  1. Step 1 Cleanse and tone your face
    Always apply the face cream on cleansed and toned skin.Use a mild cleanser and wash your face with circular motions. Apply facial toner depending on your skin type to remove any excess oil, dirt or makeup residue. Let your face dry for a few minutes before you apply the cream, otherwise it will just slide right off your face.
  2. Step 2 Apply the cream
    Always wash your hands before applying any skin product or makeup product to prevent infection. Take appropriate amount of the cream with your fingertips (on the fourth finger) and apply it to the face, avoiding the eye area. Use an eye cream to moisturize and nourish the skin around the eyes. Dot the cream, an inch away from the eyes to avoid irritation. Starting with the center of your face applying the product up and out to give your face a bit of a lift. Make sure you apply the cream evenly and massage it very lightly. Never rub the cream. If your have looks and feels too oily use a tissue to absorb the excess.
  3. Step 3 Don’t forget your neck
    Always apply moisturizer or face cream to your neck too. Stroke upward so that you don’t pull the skin down.

Useful tips:

  • Always apply face cream or a moisturizer before applying the foundation even if your skin is oily.
  • If your skin is prone to breakouts or is prone to acne choose a cream containing alpha hydroxy or benzoyl peroxide.
  • A face cream should be applied daily , even if you aren’t going to apply makeup.
  • always apply the cream to a clean and toned face.
  • Always make sure your hands are clean before applying moisturizer, face cream or foundation.
  • Select a products with SPF at least 15 to protect your skin from the harmful UVA/ UVB rays.
  • You can wear a sunscreen over your cream.
  • Make sure the cream is appropriate for your skin type.
  • Don’t use heavy and too thick cream even if your skin is very dry.
  • If your skin is oily select a oil-free and non-comedogenic matifying cream.
  • If your foundation disappear within few hours of application, or drags when you blend it that means that probably your skin needs more moisture.
  • Always apply calming or hydrating face cream after exfoliation, because exfoliating causes the skin to dry out and needs more moisture.
  • Never use heavy creams or moisturizers around the eyes as these could irritate your eyes.
  • The better the quality of your cream the more protection from dryness it will give you.
  • Never keep your moisturizer, face cream or other skincare or makeup products in the bathroom as water may get in them, which can spread bacteria.
  • Many brands offer day and night face creams that work together to achieve best results.
  • Always make sure the cream is well-absorbed into the skin before you apply makeup.
  • Choose a cream with sun protection (SPF 15 or higher) , specially during the summer months to prevent skin discoloration, brown spots, post-pimple scars and redness.

4 thoughts on “ How To Apply Face Cream ”

Some great tips & tricks here.I really liked it.Our eyes are usually the first thing others look at when greeting us. No other area of our face is more in need of wrinkle free skin care than our eyes. One’s appearance can be transformed by the right anti wrinkle eye cream..Thanks.

Nice tips. It’s really important to take care of how we look because sometimes we are just judge by how we look.

is there any side-effects of applying cream as many chemicals present there?

Ok you say to apply moisturizing cream in upward motion. I have been researching how to apply cream to your neck and I read conflicting stories. One says it does not matter and another says up or Dow does not matter, just be gentle. . I am confused.

How to apply face cream

Face cream works to moisturize the epidermis, creating a protective moisture barrier to shield skin from environmental stressors and lock in essential hydration. Knowing when and how to apply moisturizer correctly will help to keep skin hydrated and protected throughout the day.

To help you enjoy the full benefits of your face cream, we answer the most commonly asked questions about moisturizer application below…

How to apply moisturizer

Applying moisturizer isn’t simply rubbing it into your skin – particularly as a heavy-handed application can tug on the skin, causing damage and premature aging. Instead, follow the below steps for best application.

  • Step 1: Dispense the moisturizer onto the tips of your fingers, then gently rub your hands together to warm up the product and allow for an easy application.
  • Step 2: Gently smooth the moisturizer over your cheeks, sweeping from the nose outwards.
  • Step 3: Apply onto the forehead, working from the top of the brows towards the temples.
  • Step 4: Sweep along the jawline working from the chin to the ears.
  • Step 5: Use gentle circular and patting motions to absorb into the skin.
  • Step 6: Apply to the neck in upward strokes, working from the decolletage to the chin. Again, do this gently to avoid pulling or tugging on the skin.

How much moisturizer should I use ?

Applying the right amount of moisturizer is key to maintaining healthy skin. Using too much could clog the pores and cause congestion, while using too little can leave skin feeling dry and tight. A pea-sized amount should be enough to cover the face and neck.

If skin still feels dry, consider switching to a richer formula or applying a hyaluronic acid serum first.

How to apply face cream

When to apply moisturizer

A moisturizer should be applied as part of your daily skincare routine after cleansing, toning and using serum, but before SPF and makeup. The correct order in which to apply skincare is:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner
  3. Serum
  4. Eye cream
  5. Moisturizer
  6. SPF

How to use a face serum with a moisturizer

While a good skincare routine should include both a face serum and cream, serum should always be applied before moisturizer.

A serum is designed to penetrate the skin’s surface layer and target the appearance of damage. Applying serum after moisturizer would prevent the ingredients in the serum from penetrating into the skin’s surface, as moisturizer creates a barrier over the skin. However, applying moisturizer on top of serum helps to lock in its key ingredients.

How to apply face cream

Serums vs Moisturizers: Do You Really Need Both?

Discover the difference between serum and moisturizer and how the two complement each other.

What goes first, sunscreen or moisturizer ?

Sunscreen should always be applied after moisturizer, allowing your face cream to draw moisture into the skin and the sunscreen to best protect the skin from UV damage. Applying these skincare essentials the other way would severally diminish their effectiveness.

To avoid confusion, why not use an SPF-infused face cream that combines the benefits of moisturizer and sunscreen in one? No7 Early Defense, Protect & Perfect, Lift & Luminate, and Restore & Renew are all infused with broad spectrum SPF 30.

This article was co-authored by Kaveri Karhade, MD. Dr. Kaveri Karhade is a board certified Laser, Medical, and Cosmetic Dermatologist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her areas of expertise are acne and hair loss. She has advanced training in injectables, lasers, surgery, and other cosmetic treatments, and has published extensive research in medical journals. She holds a BS from Michigan State University and a Doctor of Medicine (MD) from the University of Michigan Medical School. She completed her internship in Internal Medicine at New York University School of Medicine and her Residency in Dermatology at Brown University School of Medicine. Dr. Karhade is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

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Serums deliver a highly concentrated blast of nutrients directly to your skin. To use, apply a few drops after you wash your face but before you apply moisturizer. Serums absorb deep into your skin, rather than sitting on the surface like moisturizers. Serums work great for specific concerns like acne, dry skin, brightness, and wrinkles. After you wash your face, apply a pea-sized amount of serum to your cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. For best results, use both a daytime and nighttime serum.

How to apply face cream

Serums boast highly concentrated formulas packed with key ingredient s that target specific skin concerns – but they must be applied correctly to deliver desired results . Read on to discover how to apply face ser um, as we answer the most commonly asked questions about serum application and explain where it fit s into your skincare routine.

How to apply face serum FAQs

Should you apply serum before or after moisturizer?

Serums have very lightweight formulas consisting of small molecules that can be effectively absorbed by the skin . A moisturizer, however, affects the surface layer of the skin, creating a protective barrier.

As such, a serum should always be applied before a moisturizer to allow the key ingredients to deeply hydrate and nourish. The moisturizer then works to lock those ingredients in.

Should you apply oil before or after serum?

Much like moisturizers, facial oils create a protective barrier over the skin that would hinder the absorption of any further products. A serum should always be applied before a facial oil.

Should you apply a serum before or after a concentrate?

Concentrates are very similar to serums and help to target specific skin concerns. However, while serums often b ring together multiple ingredients, concentrates usually consist of one key ingredient, like hyaluronic acid or retinol. A concentrate should be applied before a serum to allow that key ingredient to take effect without being diluted by other ingredients.

Apply a concentrate onto the face after cleansing and toning, w ait two minutes, then apply a serum.

How to apply serum on the face

A face serum should be used as part of a daily skincare routine and applied onto clean, dry skin after cleansing and toning, but before moisturizing.

Step 1: Cleanse

To a llow the key ingredients to be effectively absorbed , a serum should always be applied onto clean skin.

Morning and night, before applying serum, cleanse with a gentle face wash to help dissolve makeup, impurities and pollutants , and leave skin feeling clean and revitalized.

Nisha is a contributor to StyleCraze. She is a makeup aficionado and combines her love for makeup and writing to provide her readers with the latest information in the beauty world. When she is not wo. more

How to apply face cream

A cream foundation is one of the essential makeup products one should own if one loves makeup. You can apply it without much fuss. But do you know how to apply cream foundations properly to avoid creases or cakey feeling?

Cream foundations are non-messy, travel friendly, and provide better coverage. Out of the various types and textures of makeup essentials, a cream foundation can help you hide blemishes and correct uneven skin tone easily. Keep reading this post to know how to apply a cream foundation correctly. Scroll down!

Things You Need To Apply Cream Foundation

  1. Cream Foundation
  2. Foundation Brush/Makeup Sponge
  3. Moisturizer
  4. Primer

How To Apply Cream Foundation?

Follow this step by step process for applying cream foundation.

Step 1: Cleansing, Toning and Moisturizing

A clean and fresh skin ensures that you have a clean canvas to start with, and gives you an even base. Always follow the cleansing, toning, and moisturizing routine religiously. This is very important to maintain healthy and supple skin. Before you begin Step 2, ensure you give a gap of 3 to 4 minutes after this procedure for the moisturizer to get absorbed into the skin.

So you have been hearing about face serums a lot and are wondering what the hype is all about. These little vials of magic are meant to transform your skin and make them more radiant, youthful, spot-free, and just overall healthy and beautiful. But you are not alone if you are wondering about how to use a face serum the right way. Does it go on after the moisturizer? Should it only be applied at night? And how much of it should I use? If these questions are keeping you away from making a place for serums in your regime, read on to know how to use a face serum to get the most out of it.

1. When should I use a face serum?

Most face serums are safe to be applied twice daily – once in the morning on a cleansed face, before the rest of your makeup, and once at night before bed. But remember to read the directions on your serum’s label for any additional information about the serum’s usage. Some serums should be avoided during the daytime while some work to their fullest potential when the sun is shining! So read all directions before incorporating any serum into your daily skincare routine. Not sure how to build the right skincare routine? Read here to know more about the perfect skincare routine.

2. How much face serum should I use?

Serums are very potent and have a high concentration of active ingredients, so even a little goes a long way when it comes to face serums. You want to cover your face in a thin, light layer so that the product can penetrate your skin quickly. As a general rule of the thumb, about 2 pumps or a pea-sized amount of the face serum is sufficient. If your serum comes with a dropper, even better! With a dropper, you can control the number of drops of serum you use, and can always add a drop or two more if needed. The new Garnier Vitamin C Booster Serum comes with an easy-to-use dropper that makes your face serum application easy and mess-free. About 3-4 drops of the face serum are enough to lightly cover your entire face.

3. How to correctly apply face serum?

Unlike other skincare products like thick face creams and moisturizers that you massage into your skin in an upward direction, serums are meant to be applied to your face in small tapping motions with your fingertips or your palms. Do not rub your skin excessively, let the serum absorb into your skin on its own. To apply, take a pea-sized amount (about 3-4 drops) of the Vitamin C Booster Serum from the dropper into your palms. Spread it between your palms without rubbing too much. Dab the serum all over your face and neck using small and gentle tapping motions. Wait for a couple of minutes for the serum to completely penetrate your skin before continuing with your skincare regime.

Pro Tip: The dropper on the new Garnier Vitamin C Booster Serum makes your serum application an easy and mess-free process while also keeping the face serum bacteria-free. The dropper also helps you control how much product you use and prevents wastage.

4. What is the correct order of using skincare products?

How you use face serum plays a huge role in its effectiveness. It is recommended that all your skincare products be used in a specific order to get the most out of each product. Here is how to use your face serum with a moisturizer, toner, and other skincare products in order –

Bonus Step – Serum Sheet Masks! (On cleansed face, before serum)

Want a detailed step-by-step guide of the perfect skincare routine? Read our morning and night-time skincare guide to know more.

Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing are probably already a part of your skincare routine. But now that you have a better understanding of how to use face serums, it is time to get your hands on the best serum for your skin type and start your journey to healthy and glowing skin.

It’s important to use a moisturizer no matter what your skin condition is. Every skin type needs moisture, protection and nourishing to function normal and to be healthy. It protects your skin from the sun, wind, cold, from the environmental pollutants and nourish your skin. They plump and comfort your skin and make the foundation easier to blend smoothly and to stay put longer. Moisturizers improve your skin quality and act as a protective layer to help trap the moisture in the skin and stop it from evaporation. They slow down the natural moisture loss throughout the day and prevent further skin dehydration. Applied prior to makeup will help to retain moisture and keep the skin smooth and supple.

It should be used every day, both in the morning and in the evening to keep your skin hydrated and healthy looking. A good one will increase skin’s resilience and boost its ability to protect itself from environmental irritants. How to apply face cream

  • protect your skin from the sun and from the environmental pollutants
  • slow down the natural moisture loss
  • nourish your skin
  • plump and comfort your skin
  • create a good base for the make up
  • improve your skin quality
  • act as a protective layer
  • trap the moisture in the skin
  • keep the skin smooth and supple
  • prevent dryness and cracking
  1. Step 1 Cleanse and tone your face
    should always be applied to a clean and toned face. Use mild cleanser and wash your face, exfoliate gently with circular motions and apply toner. Let your face dry, otherwise it will just slide right off your face.

  2. Step 2 Apply the moisturizer

    Always wash your hands before applying. Take appropriate amount and apply it to the face , avoiding eyes area. Dot moisturizer, an inch away from the eyes to avoid irritation. Instead apply an eye cream or eye gel to moisturize the eye area. Starting into the center of the face apply the moisturizer up and out to give your face a bit of a lift. Apply it and let it soak in at least 3 minutes before applying foundation.
  3. Step 3 Don’t forget the neck
    Always apply moisturizer or face cream to the neck. Stroke upward so that you don’t pull the skin down.
    Selecting the right one for your skin isn’t always a easy thing.
  • Oily skin – if your skin is oily look for oil-free one. Most of the women with oily or combination skin think that they don’t need to use moisturizers but that’s not a true. Oily skin just like dry skin needs moisture and nourishing. Select a product that is oil-free and non-comedogenic – that won’t clog your pores.
  • Sensitive skin – if your skin is sensitive look for a product specifically designed for sensitive skin. The appropriate for you will be the one that is fragrance-free and doesn’t contain potential allergens.
    Normal skin – those with normal skin should also use moisturizer to maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance.
  • Dry skin – select a heavier, oil-based and hypoallergenic. There are many moisturizers for dry skin on the market that nourish, soothe, calms dry skin. The drier your skin is the more hydrating moisturizer you should use. Avoid products containing fragrances – they can irritate your skin and make it drier.
  • Always moisturize your skin before applying the foundation even if your skin is oily.
  • should be applied daily , even if you aren’t going to apply makeup.
  • should always be applied to a clean and toned face.
  • Always make sure your hands are clean before applying.
  • Select a moisturizer with SPF at least 15.
  • You can wear a sunscreen.
  • Make sure it is appropriate for your skin type.
  • To help trap the water in the surface cells apply to a wet face.
  • Don’t use heavy moisturizer unless your skin is very dry.
  • If your foundation disappear within few hours of application, or drags when you blend it that means that probably your skin needs more moisturizer.
  • Always apply after face exfoliation, because exfoliating causes your skin to dry out.
  • Never use heavy creams or moisturizers around the eyes as these could irritate your eyes.
  • The better the quality the more protection from dryness it will give you
  • Use a light-reflecting on the skin – it will make your skin looking glowing and beautiful.
  • Never keep your moisturizer in the bathroom as you may get water in it, which can spread bacteria.
  • A moisturizer will work best if you apply it to damp skin.
  • If you don’t want to use a foundation, buy a tinted – it covers up minor imperfections, hydrates and delivers sun protection.
  1. Skin
  2. How To Apply Moisturizer

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If there was one makeup product that truly lent itself to the smooth, blendable nature of cream formulas, it’s that happy pop of color we all know and love called cream blush. The result of a good cream blush is a fresh, joyful glow that makes everyone look just a little bit prettier.


Cream blush works on all kinds of skin types and across all age ranges—but it’s especially perfect for dry or more mature skin which always needs that extra bit of moisture. The one skin type that might have issues with cream blush is very oily skins—powder formula makeup will always be the better option.


Unlike lip or eye color, cheek color is meant to be as natural-looking as possible—you never really want to look like you’re wearing blush. You want that lovely bloom of color on your cheeks to appear from within. Powder blushes are wonderful, but much easier to overdo than cream formulas, which by nature are very sheer and lightweight. Plus they’re super-simple to apply—one might not know how to wield a blush brush with confidence, but we all know how to finger paint, which is basically how you apply cream blush.


Traditionally, blush usually goes on over foundation, but with cream blush you can be more experimental, since it’s the same creamy consistency as foundation, BB cream and tinted moisturizer. It layers really well. Some people like applying it before foundation to tone down the color. It’s a personal preference.

Start with a small smudge of color (you can always go back and apply more), smile brightly in the mirror and then blend the cream blush into the apples of your cheeks, distributing an even amount of color on both sides.

/media/mny/us/face-makeup/blush-bronzer/cream-blush/half-width-image-with-number/cream-blush-application-step-1.jpg” alt=”Model applies cream blush by first tapping 1-2 dots of formula onto the apples of her cheeks.” width=”” />


A little goes a long way. Apply cream blush with fingers — squeeze 1 to 2 dots onto fingers, and tap onto the apples of your cheeks.

Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush, Face Makeup

/media/mny/us/face-makeup/blush-bronzer/cream-blush/half-width-image-with-number/cream-blush-application-step-2.jpg” alt=”Model applies cream blush by blending 1-2 dots of formula into the apples of her cheeks.” width=”” />


Blend the cream blush formula smoothly into skin.

Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush, Face Makeup

/media/mny/us/face-makeup/blush-bronzer/cream-blush/half-width-image-with-number/cream-blush-application-step-3.jpg” alt=”Model wearing Maybelline New Yorks cream blush, Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush, in pink.” width=”” />

How to apply face cream

When trying acne treatments, there are many different options to choose from. For mild cases you might look to over-the-counter face washes and creams, or even natural remedies. But if you’re experiencing persistent acne, you might want to explore prescription acne treatments that are clinically proven to reduce pimples and improve acne scarring and pigmentation.

Prescription acne treatments come in both topical and oral varieties, where the oral tablets are taken on a regular basis to help fight bacteria that turns whiteheads and blackheads into red, inflamed and sometimes pus-filled pimples. Topical acne treatments can be topical antibiotics like clindamycin, topical retinoids like tretinoin or adapalene or a combination of multiple acne-fighting medications like retinoids and benzoyl peroxide.

No matter what kind of topical acne treatment you’ve been prescribed, it’s important to understand how to use it properly in order to reach the best results. That’s why we’ve put together these short instructions on how to apply acne cream and treatments to help you beat acne and feel good about the skin you’re in.

1. Wash and dry the affected area of your skin

How to apply face cream

While many of us get pimples on our faces, particularly in our T-zone (forehead, nose and chin), you can get acne on any part of your body. Other common places to get acne include your neck, shoulders, back, chest and butt. No matter where your breakouts occur, the first step is always to wash and dry the affected area of your skin. Depending on how severe your acne is, you may consider using a gentle cleanser free from harsh irritants and exfoliants.

All Rosemary acne subscription plans come with recommendations from your doctor about the best cleansers, moisturisers and sunscreens to use for your unique skin needs.

2. Squeeze a pea sized amount of product onto your finger

How to apply face cream

One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to treat acne is using too much of the prescription-strength product. Because you’ve been prescribed a topical lotion or cream that has clinically proven acne-fighting prescription ingredients in it, it’s super important to not use too much. Even if you have acne over large sections of your skin, always start with just a pea sized amount of product on your finger.

3. Dab the acne cream on the affected areas

How to apply face cream

Next, use your finger to gently dab it onto the affected areas. You may want to apply directly onto the blemishes themselves, carefully distributing the pea sized amount over the whole area. If you have large sections of acne, such as on your back, space out where you’re dabbing the pea sized amount so that you are using a small amount of product for the whole area.

4. Massage the acne treatment through

How to apply face cream

Once you’ve evenly distributed the pea sized dollop over your acne, gently massage and spread it over the whole affected area. You’ll end up with a very thin layer of the acne cream over the affected area, not just on the individual blemishes. Because acne starts inside your pores, it’s helpful to have the medication spread thinly and evenly over the whole area you’re breaking out to help prevent acne from forming.

Whether you have a few spots here and there or have sections of your skin with blemishes, the most important thing to remember when learning how to apply acne cream is that a little goes a long way. A small, pea-sized amount on your finger should be plenty of product, but your doctor will advise you throughout your skin journey.

Acne treatment online with Rosemary Health

Rosemary connects you with real doctors and prescription acne treatments, all online. Simply upload photos of the affected area of your skin, answer a few questions and a licensed Australian doctor will review within hours. With two types of prescription acne treatment plans available and free delivery anywhere in Australia, you’ll be sorting out your acne in no time. Start your skin assessment today.

What’s the best way to apply highlighter?

Makeup trends have toned down over the last couple of years, but a dewy, radiantly healthy complexion doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. A good highlighter is an essential part of a modern makeup kit, but applying it properly — let alone choosing from the many available formulations — is easier said than done.

Here’s how to select the best highlighter for you, and how to apply it for that coveted lit-from-within glow.

What is highlighter used for?

Applying highlighter to the high points of the face creates the appearance of a healthy and natural glow, brightens dull complexions and helps define features. It can help you look more awake or add a special touch to night-out makeup.

What highlighter type should you use?

Highlighters come in several formulations, and each is suited to different application styles and makeup looks.

  • Pressed powder highlighters tend to be the most pigmented and the most shimmery. They’re also more likely to stay put in hot weather.
  • Loose powder highlighters aren’t as common, but they offer intense shimmer just like pressed powder. They can be mixed with powder foundation for a toned-down, all-over glow. Like pressed powder, they’re a better choice for oily skin.
  • Cream highlighters are generally more sheer and subtle than powder formulations. They give skin more of a dewy appearance, and they’re a good pick for dry skin. Cream highlighters come in compact and stick formats.
  • Liquid highlighters tend to leave the most subtle glow, but they can be layered for more intensity. They can be applied with your fingertips, but they have more of a learning curve than other formulations.

How to choose a highlighter

For a natural-looking finish, pick a highlighter shade no more than two shades lighter than your skin tone. Depending on your undertone, fair skin is generally best suited to more frosty shades like champagne, lilac or pearl, while deep skin tones glow with more pigmented bronze, copper or rosy highlighters. Medium skin tones are ideal for golden-hued highlighters.

However, just like all makeup, it’s OK to have fun with your highlighter. Be bold and play around with highlighters in unusual tones, such as purple or green, or try out a holographic highlighter for luminescence that stands out from the pack.

Do you need a highlighter palette?

Just like eyeshadow palettes, highlighter palettes offer a tempting array of shades. They can be especially helpful to professional makeup artists who want a convenient product to help flatter all their clients’ complexions, but most casual users won’t need all the shades that come in a palette. You may be better off selecting a flattering single highlighter in your ideal level of shimmer.

However, a highlighter palette in your shade that offers both powder and cream formulations can be useful to get you through different seasons and climates.

How to apply highlighter and contour

Contouring is a popular use for highlighter as a way to strategically use light and shadow to alter the appearance of your features. If you want a highlighter for contouring, look for one with a matte finish to help give skin a more natural appearance. A traditional shimmery highlighter can also be used for artistic emphasis.

How to use highlighter in contouring

Exactly where to apply highlighter depends on your face. The idea is to bring forward high points with highlighter, while a contouring product amplifies shadows. Apply a matte highlighter to the parts of your face where light naturally hits and blend out using a brush or beauty sponge.

How to apply highlighter

Where to apply highlighter

Highlighter is usually worn along the tops of your cheekbones, starting under the middle of your eye and reaching back to your temples. Other popular places to highlight include the cupid’s bow, the bridge of your nose, under the brow bone and in the inner corner of your eye. Highlighter can even be worn on your collarbones or anywhere else you want a little extra shimmer.

Just remember to use a light touch to start, since it’s easier to build up product than it is to remove it.

How to apply powder highlighter

Using a fan brush or a small, fluffy powder brush, pick up product and tap off any excess. Sweep a small amount of highlighter onto the desired areas and blend out for a seamless finish. Powder highlighters can be applied after setting powder for maximum impact.

How to apply cream highlighter

Apply cream highlighter before any powders, or it will cause your base makeup to pill up and the highlighter won’t stick to your skin. Using your fingertips, apply gentle pressure to warm it up and make it easier to blend.

Cream highlighters in stick formulations can be applied directly to your face, but you may prefer fingertip application for better control. Tap or press the highlighter onto your face and blend out with your fingertips or a beauty sponge.

How to apply liquid highlighter

Just as with cream highlighters, you can apply liquid highlighter with either a beauty sponge or your fingertips. Tap a small amount of highlighter onto skin and blend with gentle pats or by buffing out with a sponge. Apply liquid highlighter before your foundation, or mix in a drop or two during application for all-over radiance.

What you need to buy for applying highlighter

These luxurious highlighters come in three shade trios to flatter a range of skin tones. The high-tech formula is radiant, not sparkly, and gives skin a blurred, softened glow.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora, Ulta Beauty and Amazon

Formulated with nourishing botanicals as well as pearl particles, this weightless liquid highlighter delivers a diffused, luminous finish. It’s available in eight inclusive shades.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Specially shaped to distribute highlighter along your cheekbones, this soft, synthetic brush makes applying powder highlighters a breeze. It can even be used along your brow bone, nose or collarbone.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Ulta Beauty

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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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How Much Skin Cream Should I Use on My Face?

How to apply face cream

Using the proper amount of a topical skincare product is just as important as using the correct products themselves. Studies show that

Topical skincare product amounts can be measured in fingertip units (FTUs), grams, ounces or teaspoon measurements. Here, we will discuss how to measure the proper amount of a skincare product to be used on the face. This will also help you know how much skincare product to take on a trip depending on the number of days and applications per day.

Notes on Our Method for Measuring the Amount of Facial Cream to Use

The measurements described here can be used to decide how much sunscreen, anti-aging product, antioxidant cream, steroid cream, rosacea medication, melasma medication, and other facial skincare products to apply to the face. Consult your doctor on the amount of retinoid (retinol, tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene) and acne medication to use, because the amounts of these will differ by your Baumann Skin Type and what stage you are in on your skincare treatment plan.

The measurements discussed in this article to tell you how much cream to use on your face applies to cosmeceutical products, topical prescription medications, and over the counter (OTC) medications that are creams. The advice on how much cream to apply to the face applies only to creams, because the weights differ for ointments, serums, toners, and lotions. For guidance on how much ointment to apply to the face, click here. If you want to know how much serum or lotion to apply to the face, follow the teaspoon guidelines for cream but ignore the weight and FTU measurements in this article. Serums and lotions weigh less and ointmentents weigh more so the weight of serums, ointments, and lotions used on the face will be different than the weights described here for creams.

What Is a Fingertip Unit (FTU)?

A fingertip unit is measured using a tube with a standard-sized five-millimeter nozzle and an adult’s hand. Squeeze the product out of the tube, starting at the first crease or joint on your index finger and ending at the fingertip. The fingertip unit cannot be used with serums and lotions.

How Much Skincare Product Should I Apply to My Face?

If you apply the proper amount of skincare product to your face, you will achieve healthier skin and it will be easier for you to predict when to refill your products. If you are not using your products at the rate suggested here, then that means you are not using enough of the product.

When applying a cream to your face, you need to use 1.0 FTUs, or 1.2 grams, or 0.04 ounces or 1/4 teaspoon to cover the entire face. You will need another 1 FTU (1.2 grams or ¼ teaspoon) to cover the front of your neck and decollete. If you need to apply to the back of your neck, you will need another ½ FTU which equals 0.6 grams or ⅛ teaspoon or 0.02 ounces.

How Much Cream to Put on the Face, Neck, and Decollete Per Application?

Use these numbers to help you determine if you are using enough skincare product and to predict how often you should refill products. For example, if you properly apply a cream to your face only once daily for 30 days, you would need to use 1.2 ounces of cream in one month. (I often suggest to my patients to buy products in a one-month quantity only so their regimen can be adjusted monthly without having to throw any product away.) This means that a 1-ounce tube of face cream should last one month. If the face cream is applied twice daily, you should go through 2.4 ounces in a month. If you were to apply a face cream twice daily for 30 days, you would need 75 grams.

These numbers are important because they can help you gauge whether or not you are using the correct amount of product each time. Look at the total number of grams contained in the tube and compare what is left – if any – at the end of the month with how much you were supposed to have used.

How Much Face Cream Should I Take on My Trip?

When planning for a trip, use this table to help you figure out how much face cream to bring with you. For example, if you use the face cream one day a day and you are traveling for 7 days, you need almost 0.3 ounces of cream. If you use it twice a day, you need about 0.6 ounces. If you also apply to the front of your neck you will need twice as much. (This does not include the back of the neck).

How Much Retinol Should I Use on My Face?

Retinoids such as retinol, tretinoin, and tazarotene are an exception to the rules described above because they can cause dryness and irritation if too much is used too soon. It is best to start with a lower amount every third day until you get used to it. Start with one pea-sized dot for each area of your face (or 1/8th of a teaspoon), divided into your forehead, right cheek, and left cheek. Most people need to use 1/8th of a teaspoon every third night for 2 weeks and can then increase to every other night. It is important that you introduce your skin to these ingredients slowly, gradually increasing how often you apply them. Some people are able to gradually work up to applying retinoids every night, while others do better with every-other or every-third night applications. Your skin type and how well you tolerate retinoids will determine how frequently you apply them. Once you are using 1/8th of a teaspoon every night with no problem, you can increase the application amount to 1 FTU (0.04 ounces or ¼ teaspoon).

How Much Sunscreen Should I Use on My Face?

The amount to use depends upon whether or not the sunscreen is a cream or a gel or a lotion. The numbers described here apply to cream sunscreen only. When the SPF is measured in FDA testing to determine what SPF goes on the label, 2mg/ square cm2 is applied to the skin. This is ¼ teaspoon for the face. If the sunscreen is a cream, the weight of ¼ teaspoon of SPF should be about 0.04 ounces or 1.2 grams. That means that in order to achieve the amount of SPF on the label, you must apply 0.04 ounces to your face. If you apply less, then the SPF will be less than that listed on the label.

A 30 gram tube of SPF should last you 25 days if you are applying once a day to your face. If you are going to be outdoors, do not forget that you need to reapply at least every 2 hours. (You will need to apply more frequently if you are going in and out of the water and do not have a water resistant SPF). So, if you plan a beach vacation and will be in the sun for 6 hours, you need to apply your SPF at least 3 times. That means you will use 0.12 ounces per day on your face. For a one-week trip, you need over 0.8 ounces of sunscreen for your face only. (This does not include the neck and decollete!)

In Summary

Be sure you are using the right amount of facial cream for your face. If you are underusing it, you are not getting the maximum benefit. Don’t forget that this advice applies only to cream formulations used on the face.

How to apply face cream

The secret to a refreshed and radiant appearance that gives the illusion of 8 hours of sleep? Understanding how to use concealer correctly. Like a foundation, but thicker in consistency, concealer blurs the appearance of fine lines, hides imperfections and brightens the look of dark circles.

Getting the perfect, seamless look relies on finding the right skincare, makeup and tools that complement your desired finish. Read on to discover how and where to apply concealer for radiant-looking skin.

Step 1: Cleanse the skin

For a smooth and even application of concealer, a cleansed and toned face is essential. Cleansers help to remove impurities while also making pores appear tighter, creating the ideal canvas.

Try No7 Radiant Results Purifying Foaming Cleanser. Infused with No7’s Tri-Vit Complex and Meadowsweet, it leaves skin looking fresh and shine-free.

Step 2: Hydrate the face and undereye area

While concealer can create a refreshed and radiant appearance, it can also emphasize dry patches and fine lines. Maintaining skin hydration will ensure a more flawless application for your concealer.

A daily facial moisturizer helps to lock in vital hydration that’s essential for a smooth and protected base, while eye serum and eye cream help to nourish and plump the appearance of the delicate eye area, preventing makeup from creasing and sitting in fine lines.

Find the best eye cream for your skin concern below.

How to apply face cream

Why You Need Eye Cream & How to Apply It

Discover the benefits of eye cream and how to apply it correctly.

Step 3: Prime the skin

Primer helps to minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines and creases, creating an adhesive-like barrier over the skin that increases the longevity of all makeup products. It’s especially important for concealer, as concealer can often fade and appear cakey.

How to apply face cream

In my article on tips to optimize your facial moisturizer, I mentioned the importance of leaving your toner damp before applying your moisturizer as the cream will help seal the hydrating benefits from the toner deep into the skin. However, if you’re using a face serum, when should you apply your serum and when should you apply your moisturizer?

If you’re using a face serum, you should also be applying on toner damp skin (unless it’s a prescription topical.) After which, you should wait at least 5 minutes until the serum is fully absorbed by the skin before applying your moisturizer in order to seal and magnify the benefits of the serum.

This is because a good serum provides intensive care to treat problem or fragile areas and it aims to penetrate deep into the three layers of the skin to strengthen the cells as well as deliver active ingredients to your skin. Although a moisturizer only helps with the superficial layers of the skin by retaining moisture on the surface of the skin and preventing it from evaporating, a good face serum will actually help your moisturizer to penetrate deeper and provide effective hydration. So, always allow time for your serum to be well absorbed into your skin.

Additionally, you may like to know that it isn’t always necessary to use a face serum with a moisturizer. If you’re using a moisturizing face serum with emollient properties, your serum may double up as a moisturizer. But if your skin is very dry and needs more hydration, then you will need to use a face cream for richer moisture, on top of the face serum.

How to apply face cream

I don’t leave the house without facial moisturizer infused with SPF on my visage. I won’t put any foundation or powder on my face without first washing it and then letting a liberal amount of moisturizer absorb into my skin. There are some very specific tips on how to apply facial moisturizer, and chances are you’ve been skipping a few important steps. That’s okay, though — lots of us are making skincare mistakes. It’s not the end of the world, and lots of these habits are easily rectifiable. If daily use of face cream is already part of your morning routine, you are starting off in a good place!

I have so many friends who don’t apply moisturizer prior to piling on makeup. I personally can’t even imagine not having a smooth, soft, well-moisturized, and flawless canvas on which to build my look for the day. Without a smooth canvas on which to start, you’re cruising for a meltdown of the makeup sort.

These are five very common mistakes often made during this step in your skincare routine. Changing the techniques with which you apply your lotion, the amount you use, and several other tips will maximize your morning moisturization and keep your skin in tip top shape. It doesn’t matter if you shell out legit amounts of cash for the best product on the market. If you don’t apply it properly, it’s useless.

Mistake #1: Saturating Your Skin

Solution: You do not need to slather a huge blob of cream on your face — too much moisturizer will just end up clogging your pores and leave you feeling greasy. A quarter-sized dollop, as opposed to an apple-sized glob, is a safe bet, and you can alter how much you use depending on your level of dryness. If you’re spending a pretty penny on a quality product, like anything from the mega luxe La Mer range, you don’t want to be wasting any, do you?

Mistake #2: Rubbing Too Hard

Solution: Do not vigorously rub the product into your face. That’s traumatic to your delicate facial skin, and can cause serious irritation and redness. Instead, use the dap and tap method. Gingerly dab and pat the product on your face, starting from your T-zone and working outwards towards your neck and hairline. Then, use the tips of your fingers to pat and spread it to places that need extra attention.

Mistake #3: Not Letting Things Sink In

Don’t rush to layer on your makeup; let your lotion fully absorb into your face before applying any other products. I apply my lotion and then do other stuff — like make my bed or feed the dog — and wait until I am soft-but-not greasy to apply my makeup. This step is critical. If you don’t let it absorb, the wetness can interfere with dry shadows or face powder, and then you have to wipe it off and start over, negating any effect and wasting more time.

Mistake #4: Not Paying Special Attention To Under Your Eyes

Solution: Use that ring finger to dab and apply the moisturizer around your eye area. That skin is so tender, so be sure and use the weakest of your fingers to moisturize. Also, it’s worth investing in a separate eye cream, since the skin there has different needs from the rest of your face.

Mistake #5: Neglecting Your Neck

Solution: Your neck and décolletage are two areas that show aging and wrinkles first. So it’s critical that you don’t neglect your neck; instead, protect it. Be sure and apply a liberal amount of moisturizer to your neck, throat, and the chest area just below it, using the same patting method I mentioned above. Pat away from your face, so that any toxins that have built up in your lymph nodes get flushed out.

Heather L. Brannon, MD, is a family practice physician in Mauldin, South Carolina. She has been in practice for over 20 years.

Leah Ansell, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and an assistant professor of dermatology at Columbia University.

Tretinoin (brand names Retin-A, Avita, Renova) is a derivative of vitamin A. It’s the treatment of choice for comedonal acne, as well as whiteheads and blackheads.

Available by prescription, tretinoin is also the only topical medication that has been proven to improve the appearance of wrinkles.

This article explains how Retin-A works and how to use it. It also points out common side effects and related risks.

How to apply face cream

How Retin-A Works

Acne usually begins when a pore (a hair follicle) becomes clogged with dead skin, bacteria, and oil. This causes a bump called a comedone.

Retin-A works by increasing the production and shedding of skin cells, which forces out the plugged material in the pore. It also prevents the formation of new comedones.

The effect of increased skin cell turnover can be irritation and flaking. For this reason, many people stop using Retin-A after a couple of days or weeks—and then assume it didn’t work.

It's important to realize that Retin-A works well on blackheads and whiteheads. But it may take six to nine weeks to see a noticeable difference in acne.

Still, this is a short wait compared to how long it takes to see a noticeable difference in wrinkles: at least six months. In fact, you'll get the greatest benefit from Retin-A if you use it for at least a year.

How to Use Tretinoin Cream

If you're wondering how to use tretinoin cream, some tips should help you reap all the benefits:

  • Apply Retin-A in a thin layer at night. A small amount goes a long way. Using more will not get you better or faster results.
  • In the morning, wash your face with a mild facial scrub or rough washcloth. This will help reduce the noticeable flaking.
  • After washing, apply a good water-based moisturizer. The moisturizer will make the drying effect of the medicine more tolerable.
  • If flaking occurs during the day, use a washcloth to remove it and apply more moisturizer. Or simply use moisturizer.
  • Try using a moisturizer that also contains a sunscreen. If not, apply sunscreen anytime you spend time in the sun, even if it's for a short time. Tretinoin makes you more susceptible to sunburn.

When you first start using Retin-A, apply it every other night or every third night. The flaking and irritation are usually the worst in the first two weeks. As your skin adjusts to the medicine, you can apply it more frequently.

If you notice an increase in irritation or flaking, it's OK to take a break for a couple of days. Just don't stop using the medication completely without consulting your health care provider.

Common Side Effects

If you have sensitive skin, common side effects of Retin-A include:

  • Red, swollen, blistered, or crusted skin
  • Burning, warmth, stinging, tingling, itching, dryness, peeling, or irritation where the medicine is applied
  • Changes in skin color (darker or lighter)

Tell your healthcare provider if you experience any of these side effects. You may need to stop using Retin-A.

Associated Risks

If you do get a sunburn, wait for your skin to recover before using the medication again. If you persist, it will feel like you're tossing another log on a fire; it will burn.

In addition, Retin-A may negatively interact with other topical medications, especially those containing sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid.

To prevent dangerous interactions, make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all the medications—topical, oral, over-the-counter, prescription—that you use.

Little Retin-A is absorbed into the bloodstream when you use it topically, so breastfeeding is generally considered safe. However, some experts advise that the less you use, the lower the chance there will be risks to the baby. But check with your pediatrician for the best advice in your particular case.

Talk to your healthcare provider about how to use the medication if you're pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. The provider may advise you to hold off because too little is known about the effects of tretinoin on expectant mothers.


Tretinoin cream (also known as Retin-A) is the go-to choice for treating acne and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. But this is one treatment that requires patience. To see results from acne, it takes about six to nine weeks. For wrinkles, it takes at least six months—and one year is better.

Initially, Retin-A can cause skin to turn red and flake. So you have to take it slow with Retin A—and keep a bottle of moisturizer nearby.

Daniel More, MD, is a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist with a background in internal medicine.

Daniel More, MD, is a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist with a background in internal medicine.

A walk down the aisles of your local pharmacy will reveal a wide variety of over-the-counter topical corticosteroid brands and preparations. These products are known as cortisone or steroid creams.

How to apply face cream

Topical steroids are the most common and effective type of anti-itch and anti-inflammatory cream. But it's important to use them only as directed by your healthcare provider. This is especially true when it comes to your face, which is a sensitive area.

This article explains how to choose a steroid cream to use on your face, how to do it safely, and side effects to watch out for.

Steroid Cream Potency and Absorption

In the United States, topical steroid creams are categorized by their potency, meaning how strong they are. Group 1 contains the most potent topical steroid creams, referred to as ultra-high-potency. Group 7 contains the least potent topical steroid creams, referred to as low-potency.

Only the lowest-potency topical steroids should be used on your face. This is because the skin on your face is thin. And thin skin absorbs more of the steroid than other areas of your body.

Likewise, sticking to a low-potency steroid is important when applying it to other areas of the body with thin skin. The neck, groin, underneath the breast, and the armpit are among these sensitive areas.

Children are even more susceptible to increased absorption because of their larger ratio of skin surface to body mass.

Examples of low-potency topical steroids include Cortizone 10 (hydrocortisone), which is in Group 7. Kenalog 0.025% (triamcinolone) is in Group 6.

Some lower-potency corticosteroids, like 1% hydrocortisone, are available over the counter. Others, like 2% hydrocortisone, are available only by prescription.

In general, high- and ultra-high-potency steroids are reserved for areas of the body where the skin is thick, like your palms or the soles of your feet. They are also used for more severe skin diseases that are being treated by a dermatologist, such as psoriasis.

Side Effects

Your face is more vulnerable to developing side effects from topical steroids. These side effects most often appear where the medication was applied. The effects may include:

  • Thinning of the skin
  • Pigment changes (lighter or darker skin)
  • Telangiectasia (enlarged blood vessel formation)
  • Striae (stretch marks) , perioral dermatitis, and acne
  • Increased risk of developing skin infections (fungal or bacterial)
  • Delayed wound healing ability
  • Irritation, redness, burning, stinging, and peeling of the skin from the topical steroid itself

Many of these side effects do resolve after stopping the steroid, but it may take months. This is why the American Academy of Dermatology recommends closely monitoring the areas (such as the face) where the steroid is being applied.

Continuous use of topical steroids for long periods of time should also be avoided.

Applying a Steroid Cream to Your Face

When applying a steroid cream to your face, it's essential to follow the advice of your healthcare provider. Too little cream may not work and too much increases your risk of side effects.

Be sure to keep the cream away from your eyes. It could cause serious eye problems, like glaucoma or cataracts.

A good rule of thumb when deciding how much steroid cream to apply (for adults) is to use the fingertip unit method. A fingertip unit is defined as the amount of steroid cream that can fit on your fingertip, up to the first crease of your finger.

In general, 2.5 fingertip units may be used on your face per application. Still, confirm with your healthcare provider that this amount is right for you.

Some experts believe that frequent use of topical steroid cream anywhere on the body, not just the face, may make it less effective. This event is called tachyphylaxis. Follow a sensible rule of thumb and use the smallest amount of cream for the shortest time possible.

If a longer-term application is needed for a chronic (long-term) condition, your healthcare provider will likely recommend following a specific schedule. In this way, the steroid amount can be reduced, stopped, and then restarted after a steroid-free period.


Alternative creams that can be used on the face include Elidel and Protopic, which are topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs). These medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema) in people who are at least 2 years old.​

Unlike topical steroids, TCIs do not cause skin thinning, pigment changes, blood vessel formation, or striae formation. Nor do they lose effectiveness with prolonged use.

In addition, TCIs can be used on any skin, including the face and eyelids. Just like any medication, however, even TCIs have possible side effects. In fact, there are FDA warnings associated with Elidel and Protopic.

The FDA has ordered that labels on the product boxes warn consumers about "a possible risk of cancer," based on rare reports of skin cancer and lymphoma. Though the risk is low, the agency reminds consumers to use the products "as recommended."


When using a steroid cream on the face or any thin skin, it's generally best to use a low-potency cream. Avoid getting the medication in your eyes, and follow your healthcare provider's instructions.

Side effects of steroid cream use include thinning of the skin, pigment changes, and problems with wound healing. Your healthcare provider may recommend non-steroid alternatives for use on the face instead.

A Word From Verywell

The bottom line is, only the smallest amount of steroid cream should be applied to your face. However, it should not be so small as to render it ineffective. The cream should also be used for the shortest amount of time possible.

Although these creams are widely available, they're effective only when used to treat specific skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis. Put another way, slathering on a steroid cream for just any rash is not the way to go. Instead, use the cream only under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

All said, topical steroids are quite effective, low-risk medications as long as you follow the recommendations for potency, dose, and duration.

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends on the strength of the steroid cream. Low-potency creams may be used for up to three months. High-potency steroids shouldn't be used for more than three weeks. However, consult your healthcare provider to determine how long you can safely use the creams.

Yes. A pregnant person can use topical steroid cream. But it should be prescribed at the lowest strength possible. There is some evidence that high-potency, topical steroids can interfere with fetal growth.

Hydroquinone is one of the most respected skin lightening ingredients in use today. It is used to treat the darkened areas of the skin that are present in skin discolorations such as Melasma, age spots, freckles and acne scars.

If you’re concerned about your skin discolorations, chances are you’ve done some research of your own that has lead you to the discovery of Hydroquinone. It’s quite common for people to be interested in trying a non-prescription strength formula but have questions about how to use it properly.

Over the counter skin lightening products can contain up to 2% Hydroquinone, and stronger formulas of at least 4% can be obtained via a doctor’s prescription. Many people find that they’re happy with the results of an over the counter strength formula, however, the only downfall is not having a medical professional to detail exactly how to apply Hydroquinone.

We’d like to help answer your questions about Hydroquinone and how to use it for safe, maximum effectiveness.

Hydroquinone Directions for Safety and Results

To achieve the best results with any Hydroquinone product, it’s important to follow the directions closely. This is especially important to remember that if you’ve used a different product in the past, that the same directions for application and use may not apply.

This is because products can be formulated using a different strength of Hydroquinone and complementary ingredients. These small differences can produce significant differences in how a skin lightening solution should be used.

Keeping this in mind, we’d like to provide answers to some of the most common questions and concerns about how to use Hydroquinone products.

I’ve been curious about trying it. What are the secrets to using Hydroquinone and how to apply it?

There are no real secrets to using Hydroquinone, however there’s one important first step that often gets overlooked – applying a small amount to a test patch of skin before applying to larger or more sensitive areas. Apply Hydroquinone to a test patch at least 24 hours before using on your facial area. If no redness or itching occurs, it’s likely that you’ll handle the treatment well.

It’s equally important to start with clean, dry skin and to apply the solution to just the affected area by rubbing it in gently, but thoroughly.

Additionally, take care to wash your hands or any other skin surfaces that may have come into contact with Hydroquinone during application since it can also lighten normal skin.

Can I use Hydroquinone near my eyes?

It’s recommended that Hydroquinone not be used near or on mucus membranes, including the eyes. This includes using it for dark undereye circles. The type of discoloration that appears under the eyes is often caused by something other than hyperpigmentation, such as a combination of thin skin and dilated blood vessels just beneath the surface.

If you get Hydroquinone in your eye, you should immediately flush with water and remove contact lenses if you’re wearing them. Flushing for at least 10 minutes is usually sufficient, but it’s always best to contact a medical professional for further guidance.

Can I use Hydroquinone without sunscreen?

It’s not recommended, and here’s why.

Hydroquinone works by disrupting the skin’s pigment cells that produce melanin. It’s an excess of melanin that’s behind the hyperpigmented areas you want to lighten. It’s important to know that melanin also works to protect your skin from the sun. The most notable demonstration of this is how fair skinned people, with less melanin, are more susceptible to sunburn, premature aging and an increased skin cancer risk compared to people with darker skin tones.

This means that any area treated with Hydroquinone is extra sensitive to sun damage, and it becomes crucial to use a protective, high quality sunscreen.

With sunscreen, cosmetics and all other products you might use, you should apply the Hydroquinone first and let it dry completely before applying anything else.

Once I start Hydroquinone, how many days until I see results?

The answer to this question has many variables, including the concentration of the product, the complimentary ingredients used, your skin type and the severity of your hyperpigmentation.

Hydroquinone is not an instant fix for skin discoloration issues. It is absorbed through the skin, where it works on a cellular level to stop the processes that cause hyperpigmentation. This takes a little time.

Some people may notice results rather quickly, within a few days to a week, However, generally takes up to a couple of weeks to start seeing noticeable results for most people. If you’re interested in accelerating the results of Hydroquinone treatment, it’s key to take exceptional care of your skin, including mild cleansing and gentle exfoliation.

What is the safety of Hydroquinone for long term use?

Most people will find that short term Hydroquinone use is sufficient for treating their skin discolorations. However, more severe case may take longer to treat. It’s advised that Hydroquinone treatment be suspended after 3 months so that your skin can take a hiatus of at least 4-6 weeks.

Hydroquinone has been shown to be safe for short-term use, but there’s a lack of reliable evidence on the effects of long term use. What we do know is that prolonged use can cause irritation in the skin, and in rare cases, a condition where melanin production rebounds and causes further discoloration. To get maximum effectiveness it’s important to follow the guidelines and give your skin a breather every few months.

Hydroquinone is the only proven skin lightening agent allowed by the FDA. When used properly, it’s powerful, effective and safe.

Particle face cream for men is a premium six in one anti-aging cream formula developed by a team of leading biochemists engineered to help moisturize, fight wrinkles and alleviate eye bags.

How to apply face cream

How to apply face cream

Responding to the distinct lack of face and skin products made specifically for men, Particle Face Cream uses all-natural ingredients to increase youthfulness and minimize inflammation in men’s skin.

Particle Face Cream is a six-in-one anti-aging topical treatment formulated just for men that acts as a full facial treatment using Dead Sea minerals and potent natural ingredients. Men’s skincare is just now beginning to take off, as many men continue to realize the benefits and importance of caring for their skin. Men are beginning to commonly undertake a daily skincare routine to reduce wrinkles, firm-up sagging skin, and moisturize. Healthy skin is a necessary prerequisite to a healthier life. Taking care of wrinkles and puffiness, as well as bags under the eyes and age spots, can go a long way to improve both appearance and overall well-being in men.

As a solution for men specifically, Particle face cream gives men the opportunity to look and feel their best. With a set of all-natural, healthy ingredients, the solution is already making waves within a skincare industry in desperate need for more products designed to help men become more healthy and happy in their own skin.

What is Particle Face Cream?

Particle for Men is a 6-in-1 facial treatment skincare product that goes by the tagline aesthetic science for men. Anti-aging remedies are one of the most popular categories in the beauty market today, but the majority of topical cosmetic products still focus on the needs of women.

Men also experience wrinkles and dark spots in their complexion, but formulas currently available in the skincare market often fail to account for the specific needs of men’s skin. Men often have more facial hair, making it difficult for skincare products to penetrate the skin and provide the benefits they’re known for. By making a product specifically tailored to the facial skincare needs of men, the creators behind Particle Face Cream has decided to change all that with its all-in-one men’s face cream formula.

This face cream is already gaining attention, which is primarily due to all of the many ways that it helps the skin. According to the website, consumers will find that Particle Face Cream may:

  • Reduce wrinkles
  • Eliminate bags from under the eyes
  • Remove dark spots in the complexion
  • Soothe the skin after the user shaves
  • Moisturize the skin

While men often have a tougher complexion, they also need an anti-aging remedy that meets their needs. That’s what Particle Face Cream can deliver.

How It Works

The reason that the Particle Face Cream works so well for consumers has much to do with the top-of-the-line premium ingredients that go into it. Those ingredients include:

  • Jojoba oil, which has been shown to have impressive anti-inflammatory benefits while helping with the redness and dryness that consumers may experience. It can also reduce the effects of skin conditions like eczema and rosacea.
  • Vitamin E, an antioxidant which promotes restoration of the cells that have been damaged from exposure to the sun and the natural process of aging.
  • Allantoin, sourced from comfrey plant’s roots, is used to soothe the complexion and protect it from other damage.
  • Glycerin, which is gentle for skin that may be more sensitive than other complexions and can help reduce inflammation and redness.
  • Shea butter, a natural substance which offers tons of moisturizing compounds because of its high natural vitamin and fatty acid content. Applying it to the complexion can help defend the skin against the damage of UV rays.
  • Niacinamide, better known as vitamin B3, has a wealth of benefits for aging skin, helping to heal the DNA and even lighten the skin.
  • Squalene oil, which can help help ease acne and eczema, and can also fight against free radicals and skin damage that leads to accelerating the aging process. Used regularly, squalane oil can help boost the production of collagen to encourage firmer skin.
  • Coffee seed extract, an extract used to increase the production of collagen, which makes the skin less prone to wrinkles. It also offers antioxidant support and promotes the regeneration of skin cells.
  • Lactic acid, often used for the natural preservation of the skin’s moisture, since aging skin is less capable of preserving its own hydration.
  • Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, a type of vitamin C that helps with collagen production for a firmer complexion while reducing the exposure to the sun for less damage.
  • Pentavitin, which helps to hydrate the skin for up to 72 hours at a time, increasing the potency of this remedy.
  • SymWhite, used to brighten the skin tone, helping with discoloration and uneven complexion.
  • Hyaluronic acid, a common ingredient in anti-aging remedies, helps to preserve the moisture of the skin and makes the texture more supple.

Particle Face Cream FAQ’s

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions that consumers have about the Particle Face Cream.

Q: What Benefits Does Particle for Men Skincare Do?

A: The Particle Face Cream is engineered to help men reduce the appearance of aging in their complexion, while providing additional moisture and relief from inflammation. Additionally, the multiple ingredients included in the cream provide their own benefits designed to help beautify a man’s face. All together, the cream constitutes a comprehensive skin treatment to help rejuvenate and increase the health of the skin.

Q: How frequently should Particle be applied?

A: The Particle cream should be applied to the skin daily. Before using, consumers might want to consult their physician to ensure that they will not have any negative reactions to Particle.

Q: Is Particle meant for all skin types?

A: Yes, Particle can be used on all types of complexions, although it is primarily made for use by men.

Q: How long does it take to start seeing results with Particle Face Cream?

A: While results may vary based on the original condition and skin type of the user, the creators of Particle Face Cream state that results should become apparent within two to three days of use.

Q: Does Particle Face Cream have a return policy?

A: All purchases are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For any other questions, the customer service team is available for assistance.

Purchasing Particle Face Cream

Available on the official Particle Cream website, and also available for purchase on Amazon, consumers have the option of multiple different packages, including:

  • One unit: $69
  • Two units: $98
  • Three units: $129

If the user doesn’t get the results expected from using the Particle Face Cream, they have up to 30 days from the date of purchase to request a full refund.

How to apply face cream

Have you ever finished applying toner to your face and paused, wondering, what exactly it’s doing for your skin ? Or, what the right way and time to apply toner is? Sometimes we forget to ask these questions before trying a product, so in an effort to help you get the most out of your product, we’re breaking down exactly how and when to apply toner for best results.

What Is Toner?

Today’s toners actually serve many purposes, from hydrating and soothing the skin, balancing out pH levels post-cleansing, removing excess oils and even fighting acne.

Think of a toner as an extra step in your cleansing routine to ensure all traces of dirt and impurities are effectively washed away, while also ensuring your skin’s pH balance is in check. “If the pH balance in a product is too alkaline, the product can be over-drying and cause the skin irritation, as well as little protection against bacteria growth, so breakouts may occur,” says Dr. Dendy Engelman , board-certified dermatologist and consultant. “If the product is too acidic, it could potentially strip away natural oils and cause disruption to the lipid barrier of the skin.” With the help of a pH-balancing toner, you can help keep your skin protected against over-drying.

When Should You Apply Toner?

The best time to apply a toner is immediately after using a face wash, both morning and night. Because some face washes and cleansers can be harsh and strip the skin, following with a balancing toner can help soothe your skin while removing any lingering cleanser residue, dirt and makeup. If you’re short on time, stick to toning in the evening after wearing a day’s worth of makeup and exposing your skin to environmental aggressors.

How Do You Apply Toner?

How you apply toner is just as important as the product you pick. Right after cleansing, soak a cotton pad in the toner of your choice (or for an eco-friendly option, use your fingers) and sweep the formula across your facial contours. Depending on how effective your cleansing session was, you may need to use multiple cotton pads. You’ll know you’re done when the cotton pad comes away from your face looking clean.

Depending on your skin type and concerns, there’s a toner that can work best for you. Whether you need a mattifying toner or a hydrating one, we rounded up our favorite picks for every skin concern below.

Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner

Made with calendula flowers that are known for their soothing properties and great burdock root to reduce oil, this effective toner can help gently cleanse and soothe the skin without the use of alcohol or harsh drying agents.

How to apply face cream

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution Acne Toner

Gently exfoliate and unclog pores with this acne-fighting toner. Salicylic and glycolic acids work together to help remove excess dirt and dead skin cells while smoothing the skin leaving you feeling clean and refreshed.

How to apply face cream

Thayers Rose Petal Facial Toner

Alcohol-, phthalate-, paraben- and gluten-free, this pH balancing toner is specifically designed for sensitive skin. Rose water and aloe vera soothe and deeply hydrate while witch hazel reduces inflammation and tightens pores.

How to apply face cream

Vichy Pureté Thermale Toner

Transform dry, dull skin into a radiant, soft complexion with this toner that’s formulated with Vichy volcanic water which contains 15 minerals and antioxidants to enhance and strengthen the skin’s barrier.

How to apply face cream

Revision Skincare Soothing Facial Rinse Toner

Calm stressed out skin by swiping this alcohol-free toner across your face. Algae extract intensely hydrates even the driest skin and grape seed extract provides antioxidant benefits so your skin feels replenished, supple and soft.

How to apply face creamLet’s be real here: Serums can come with a hefty price tag and are often confusing on how to use. If your cabinet is already equipped with skincare essentials like sunscreen and a face cream, would you still need to add a serum into your beauty regimen?

If you’re asking yourself the same question, well, you’re not the only one. In fact, most consumers believe that serums also work as a moisturizer. Although there is some truth to it, you may still want to add a serum into your routine along with your moisturizer.

For you to decide whether you should use both a serum and a moisturizer, it is important to understand the difference between the two.

We took it upon ourselves to enlighten you by breaking down what you need to know about serums and face creams:

What is a Serum?

How to apply face creamSerums are lightweight moisturizers that travel deep into the layers of the skin to deliver high-potent ingredients.It is a skincare product that can be applied to the skin after cleansing and toning but before moisturizing with the intent to penetrate directly into the skin. Since the molecules in serums are very small, the high concentration of active ingredients in the product can reach the deepest layers of the skin to maximize the benefits of the active ingredients. Serums tend to be on the pricier end than other skin care products because it contains potent ingredients. You will find it worthy to invest in since every drop contains active ingredients – a little goes a long way which means you’re getting a great bang for your buck here!

Serums have a variety of functions such as helping with anti-aging skin, skin brightening, and acne prevention. The regular use of serums can help the skin become firmer, brighter, smoother, minimize the size of the pores and increase the skins hydration!

Yes, it does work as a moisturizer. However, skin experts and dermatologists recommend using them in conjunction with a hydrating face cream. People with very oily skin can depend on serums alone for hydration, but most will still definitely need a daily moisturizer and if out in the sun, add in some SPF.

Simply put, serums are a helpful step that you can add to your routine to give your skin a younger, fresher and healthier appearance. It makes for a great aid in your pursuit to age gracefully.

What we recommend:

The GoPure Vitamin C Serum is water based – for easy absorption and faster penetration – with ingredients that keep the skin looking young and feeling soft. Our Original formula combines Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe and Vitamin E to add skin beautifying benefits to the antioxidant power of Vitamin C.

What is a Face Cream?

How to apply face cream

Face creams or moisturizers have larger molecules than that of a serum. This means it does not penetrate as deep as serums can. A face cream works in the surface of the skin to deposit moisture and nutrients.

Moisturizers helps fight wrinkles, fine lines, discoloration and rough patches on the surface of the skin but does not have the same ability to fight as deep as face serums can. Serums also leave out the heavier ingredients to face creams and contain a higher proportional concentration of active ingredients.

What we recommend:

The GoPure Vitamin C Moisturizer is packed with Vitamin C as well as naturally derived skin care ingredients including: Green Tea, Vitamin B5, Jojoba Oil and Shea Butter. You can enjoy deeply hydrated skin that stays moisturized throughout the day and enjoy the benefits of Vitamin C – the key ingredient in this cream.

Can you use Serum as a Moisturizer?

The answer is Yes and No. Although most serums contain highly-hydrating ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid or Ceramides (two superstar ingredients in helping retain skin’s moisture), it is not considered a moisturizer in the traditional sense. Face creams have richer and thicker formulas that create a barrier on top of the skin to keep all the good stuff in. Therefore, it is crucial to always end your daily skincare routine with a moisturizer or in the evening, a thicker night cream.

Serums can address a variety of skincare issues, but you cannot essentially replace your moisturizer with it. It can only boost the hydrating effects of your face cream. Since moisturizers are creamier and thicker, they effectively prevent water loss and rehydrate the skin.

Apart from moisturizing your skin, some face creams are also formulated with anti-aging ingredients to do double duty. But if you really wish to address difficult skin problems like visible signs of aging or sun damage, a combination of a quality serum and moisturizer can seal the deal.

Do You Need Both?

It depends. On what? Your skin type, skin issues that you’d like to address, and the goals that you have for your skin. If you’re currently struggling with skin aging, acne or uneven skin tone, adding a serum to your daily routine along with a moisturizer can make a difference.

But if age-fighting, skin brightening, or acne prevention is not a big concern, a good quality moisturizer should be good enough to maintain hydration on your skin.

GoPure Beauty offers a selection of skincare set that includes both serum and moisturizer to work hand in hand in fighting early signs of aging and keeping your skin young and healthy.

Bottom Line

Serums and face creams help the skin in different ways. However, adding a serum to your daily skin care routine along with a face cream can significantly improve the appearance of your skin, especially if you have problems with early signs of aging or dark spots. There are cases where a serum or a moisturizer alone can be enough for your skin’s needs, nevertheless, using them both can make all the difference to your skin’s current condition.

It is common knowledge that different people can get very different results with the same product. Experts usually explain this fact by variations in individual body chemistry. Sometimes it is indeed true. However, quite often the truth is far simpler. Different people often get different results because they apply skin care products differently.

Keep in mind that lack of results does not necessarily mean that you are applying your skin care incorrectly. Quite a few products don’t work whether you apply them correctly or not. Many products work for some people but not for others even if applied correctly. Still, it is quite common that a product fails to work due to incorrect application.

Let us take a look why and how the method of application makes a difference. In essence, a topical skin care product, such as a skin cream, gel or lotion, is a mixture of chemicals. Some of these chemicals are active ingredients (natural or synthetic substances responsible for biological action of the product), while the rest are inactive ingredients (substances that help protect and deliver active ingredients). Ultimately, the effectiveness of the product depends on whether (1) active ingredients work, and (2) whether they penetrate into your skin deeply enough and in sufficient amounts. The former depends on your choice of a product, and the latter — at least in part — on how you apply it.

Skin is a dynamic system whose condition and properties depend on temperature, hydration, environment and other factors. Therefore, the skin’s ability to absorb topically chemicals can vary greatly. Here is what you can do to ensure optimal penetration of active ingredients:

    Cleanse your skin before applying skin care products (particularly if you have applied anything to your skin since your last skin cleansing or washing. The best time to apply skin care products is after you are fresh out of a warm shower or bath because not only is your skin clean but it is also thoroughly moist and should better absorb whatever you apply to it. CAUTION: Do not wash your skin with hot water, excessive heat accelerates skin aging. The water should be comfortably warm but not hot. However, if you plan to apply potentially comedogenic products, splash some cool water onto yourself when finishing your wash in order to close pores. Also, don�t spend too much time in the shower to avoid excessive exposure to chlorine in the water.

What to know about this confusing but essential skincare product.

How to apply face creamBy Brian Underwood PUBLISHED: Jun 30, 2021

How to apply face cream

For years, skincare routines revolved around three essential steps: cleanse, tone, and moisturize. It was a simple, streamlined, cost-effective approach—who can’t find the time to wash their face, splash on a little toner, and moisturize? Easy. Done. Finito. The term face serum was barely in the lexicon.

How to apply face cream

Somewhere along the way though, things got considerably more complicated. Today, hundreds of skincare products line retailer shelves and populate online marketplaces. We have oils, essences, cleansing waters, blur creams, glow lotions, manual exfoliators, chemical exfoliators, balms, butters, and boosters. Not to mention eye creams, neck creams, face masks, face peels, dark spot correctors and the list goes on and on. And somewhere, sandwiched in the middle of all these products, is the face serum. It’s become ubiquitous—every brand has one these days—but there are still so many questions about how to apply it, when to apply it, and why you should even be applying it in the first place.

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I’m going to answer those questions, with the help of some of my favorite dermatologists who agree that everyone should be using a face serum. They can offer some major skin-boosting benefits no matter your age (it’s never too early to start using a serum), skin type (yes, oily skin can benefit from a serum), or what problem is plaguing your complexion. And serums are available at all different prices—from budget drugstore buys on up.

Here’s how to find the right one for your bathroom counter—and how to use your face serum once you’ve got it.

First, what exactly is a face serum anyway?

More than a mere cream or lotion, a face serum is the workhorse of your skincare routine. With a consistency that tends to hover somewhere between a gel and liquid, these lightweight products "are used to penetrate the surface layers of the skin to address specific skin concerns on a deeper level such as improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, evening out the skin tone, or overall brightening of the skin,” says DiAnne Davis, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist based in Dallas.

Their delicate texture—not too thick, not too heavy—make them a great option for oily skin types who may be leery of putting anything too greasy on their skin. But the truth is, brands are designing serums that meet the needs of nearly every skin type. “There are even serums designed to address loose skin,” says renowned celebrity facialist Aida Bicaj. “As you age, you should try and use more than one.”

Do I need to use a face serum and a moisturizer?

That depends. Generally, yes, since they serve different purposes, says Davis. “Moisturizers are distinct from serums in that they tend to be much thicker creams that focus on hydrating the skin throughout the day,” she explains. And that’s key, because you ideally want both: a formula that address your concerns on a deeper level (cue the serum) and one that seals all that goodness in (hello, moisturizer). Plus, there are many great moisturizers available at drugstores, so you can save there and splurge on your serum if need be.

There are some exceptions, of course. Davis notes that there are hydrating serums (more on those below) that can moisturize oily skin quite nicely (they probably won’t be enough to get the job done on an extremely dry complexion). And Bicaj is quick to point out that during summer when there tends to be more humidity in the air, a thick, occlusive moisturizer might be overkill. “In this case, you might be able to use a serum alone,” she says.

Choose face serum ingredients based on your skin type.

With some many options to select from, our experts agree that an ingredient-led approach to shopping is your best bet. First, figure out what it is you want your serum to do. Then, research the ingredients that can help you achieve those skin goals. “With my Atolla system, you fill out a questionnaire and we create custom serums that are particularly matched for your skin condition and concerns,” says Boston-based dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, M.D.

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If bespoke skincare seems too complicated, buy your serum off the rack: Some of Davis’s favorite ingredients to look for include vitamin C (for wrinkle-fighting, brightening, and protection from free radicals), peptides (to stimulate collagen and minimize fine lines), and green tea and resveratrol (also for antioxidant protection).

Other solid performers: retinol, the gold standard ingredient for visibly improving several signs of aging, including hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and dullness, salicylic acid to fight acne, and niacinamide to reduce redness and calm inflammation. “Hyaluronic acid is another great ingredient that helps to bind moisture to the skin,” says Davis. “You could use it in place of a moisturizer if you have oily or acne-prone skin.”

You can use face serum twice a day—before your moisturizer—but reserve products with retinol for nighttime.

“Generally, most people should be using a treatment serum twice day,” says Hirsch. “It really depends on the ingredients in there.” Of course, it’s always a wise idea to start slowly. Retinol, for example, can cause some dryness and irritation if used too often. Once a day should be more than sufficient for any retinol product, and don’t start there: Use it every other day and gradually work your way up to nightly use.

Brian’s Favorite Serums

At the very least, serums that contain antioxidants like the ones mentioned above (vitamin C, green tea, and resveratrol) should be applied in the morning so they can help protect your skin throughout the day, while products with retinol or exfoliating acids (think glycolic, lactic, or salicylic) are best suited to nighttime use as they can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Hydrating serums and the like can be used both in the morning and evening.

The general rule of thumb for applying skincare is thinnest consistency to thickest.

In terms of when to apply your serum in your skincare routine, it should be applied after cleansing and before moisturizing. “You want the serum to penetrate your skin as deeply and effectively as possible,” Davis notes. “The general rule of thumb for applying skincare is thinnest consistency to thickest, so always serum before moisturizer.”

Apply your face serum this way.

Just remember: A gentle touch goes a long way—there’s no need to rub the product into your face like you’re waxing a car. That can irritate your skin, especially around delicate areas like the eyes. Use Bicaj’s technique: Put a small amount of the product in the palm of your hands—for reference, a pea-sized amount should do—and press it into your skin. “To apply a water-y serum, put a few drops all over the face and pat it in using an upward motion—and don’t forget your neck.”

Now that you’re a serum pro, pick up one of my favorites and work it into your regimen—stat.

You splash some water on your face. You slap on moisturizer any which way. It’s all pretty obvious, right? Not so fast. As it turns out, how you apply your skincare products can make a big difference.

In this goof-proof guide, New York-based dermatologist, Dr. Whitney Bowe, shares the right way to put on sunscreen, eye cream, moisturizer and more.

How to apply face cream

How often should you wash your face? Common beauty myths debunked


How to apply face cream

Angeliki Jackson / TODAY/Shutterstock

First, wet your face with warm water to prep pores for deep cleansing. (The one exception: If you’re using a cleansing oil, your face and hands should both be bone dry when you apply.)

Place a dime-sized amount of cleanser onto your fingertips and massage it around your face in a circular motion, starting in the center and working outwards. Not only will this promote healthy circulation, but you’ll get the most concentrated cleanse around the middle of your face — exactly where we tend to wear the most foundation. Finish by rinsing with cool water — this helps minimize the appearance of pores, says Bowe — and pat dry with a clean towel or washcloth.

Eye cream:

How to apply face cream

Angeliki Jackson / TODAY/Shutterstock

“The skin surrounding the eye is very thin and delicate compared to the rest of your face, and it requires the most attention since it shows signs of aging first,” says Bowe.

To apply, tap a pea-sized dab of cream underneath each eye using your ring finger. This gives the perfect amount of pressure; your other fingers are too strong and can actually cause wrinkling by tugging too hard. (Pro tip: The same advice applies for under-eye makeup.) Then, smooth it over your skin, going on and around the orbital bone, taking care not to get too close to eyes. (The product will naturally migrate up a bit since this area has very few pores to fully absorb the cream.)

Also, be sure to avoid the lids. Otherwise, cream can seep into eyes, causing burning or irritation, especially if you wear contact lenses.


The cornerstone of any good skincare routine, moisturizer is essential to help hydrate and balance the complexion of every skin type. Take a quarter-sized amount on your fingertips and gently rub the product upwards, which aids in lifting and plumping the skin. Work from the outer face inward.

Why? Because skin tends to be oilier in the middle of your face, so you’ll typically need less hydration there. See, the more you know!

Neck cream:

How to apply face cream

Angeliki Jackson / TODAY/Shutterstock

Most people forget this step, but it’s super important because the neck is often one of the first places to show aging, says Bowe. That’s because our necks have fewer oil glands and less fat, so they’re even more likely than our face to get dry and crepe-y.

To apply, use a similar motion to your face, gently rubbing upward until the product is evenly distributed. And the upward motion is key — it helps encourage tightening and lifting of this delicate skin that’s extra prone to drooping.


How to apply face cream

Angeliki Jackson / TODAY/Shutterstock

“This is the single most important step of your daily beauty routine,” says Bowe. If your morning moisturizer doesn’t contain SPF, or if you need added protection for extended time in the sun, apply a dedicated sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher as the final step in your regimen.