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How Much of Each Skin Care Product Should You Really Use?

Here’s a common situation: You sit down to relax, put your Etude House Etti Hair Band on to cleanse the day away, and as you slowly layer on your serums and moisturizers, your skin starts to get stickier and stickier. By the end of your routine, you look like a grease ball and your face could cling to anything in the vicinity. It’s time to stop this problem. One of the biggest issues with the Korean 10-step skin care routine is knowing how much of each skin care product you should really use.

I’ve come to realize that the sticky feeling we experience is a result of a combination of things, but the main issue is that you’re probably using way too much skin care product. When you use too much product, it can’t be absorbed into the skin, resulting in a lasting film that doesn’t go away. Here’s a handy guide explaining exactly how much of each product you should use (you might even save yourself some money!):

Cleanser should be about the size of a dime. Using too much could dry out and irritate your skin. Remember that the squeaky-clean feeling is a no, no! While some may think that a tight face is as a sign that they’ve sufficiently cleansed their skin, it’s actually the opposite. That feeling means you’ve stripped your skin of its natural oils. When your skin is stripped of these oils, your skin may go into overdrive to replenish them, which can lead to an overproduction of oil and an increase in breakouts. And who wants breakouts?! No one.

As for toner, a few drops on a cotton pad or in your hands is more than enough! The main purpose of toner is to rebalance the pH of your skin and cleanse your skin of any leftover impurities. Of course, the effects of a toner all depend on the type of toner you’re using, but using more than you need won’t lead to cleaner skin—it’ll just add more excess product.

Eye creams, essences, and serums contain highly concentrated amounts of ingredients meant to address skin conditions at a maximum level so using a very minimal amount—about the size of a pea—will produce the same effect as slathering on a ton of product. No matter which eye cream you use, the eye area is extremely delicate, so using too much eye cream will have an adverse effect and could lead to sensitive and irritated eyes. Also, using too much eye cream could result in those annoying little bumps called milia, and those are never fun.

This can be one of the most confusing products for people who are trying the 10 step Korean skin care routine because the biggest question they ask is, what is an essence and how do I use it? An essence can act differently depending on its consistency (which could be either watery or have a more bouncy texture) but it’s actually a highly concentrated formula meant to treat the skin at a cellular level. Its main goal is to help skin fight against signs of aging and to provide an instant boost of hydration. You’re probably wondering why you should only use a pea-sized amount of something that’s so good. Well, adding too much won’t increase the effectiveness of the product. It could actually lead to irritation because of how concentrated the active ingredients are in essences.
Serums are one of those products that you probably overuse a lot because you have a whole “the more, the better” mentality. In reality, your skin will absorb as much as it can and the rest will just become an added layer to your face. So stop wasting your precious money and use the correct amount—your product will last longer and you’ll be able to save your hard-earned bucks.

Applying too much moisturizer doesn’t end up efficiently hydrating your skin. Again, your skin will absorb as much product as it can, but the excess will only lay on top of the skin not allowing it to breathe. This can lead to clogged pores and unnecessary breakouts. Using about a size of a quarter of moisturizer is more than enough! On windier days or on days when your skin is especially dry, you can add a bit more, but don’t overdo it.

You want to apply an ample amount of sunscreen. It’s the number one way to protect your skin from early signs of aging and you want to make sure you use enough, which is around the size of a tablespoon. Unlike the other products listed, most people don’t use enough of this because they want to avoid a white cast or feeling greasy, but if that’s the case, then that just means you’re using the wrong SPF product. Check out Missha’s Mild Essence Sun Milk—it isn’t greasy and doesn’t leave a white cast!
But the size of your face may totally affect the size of the portion! Using approximately a tablespoon (for your face and neck) may seem like a lot, but it’s the best way to assure that you’re getting the level of SPF promised on the bottle. Just apply the sunscreen in layers. If your face is smaller, use about a teaspoon and apply that in layers. The reason why it’s such a large amount is because when companies test the effectiveness of sunscreens, they have to put about that much to achieve the SPF number listed on the packaging. So if you only apply a little bit of SPF 50 sunscreen, then you may only be getting the coverage of an SPF 30 sunscreen. This is why it’s so important to reapply throughout the day! ?

+ Have you experienced the dreaded tacky face of doom? What do you do to combat it?


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