You went ahead and spent a fortune on the latest and supposedly the most effective skincare product to add to your routine. You’ve been using it regularly and you gave it enough time. But the product doesn’t seem to do anything. If you’re wondering why your age-defying cream or your antioxidant serum isn’t working, you might want to start with yourself.
Rather than blaming the products and giving up, there’s a good chance it has something to do with skin penetration. So don’t toss anything away until you find out how to make your skincare products absorb better and work more effectively.
The outer layer of your skin is not an easy hurdle to cross. Your skin is inherently resistant to outsiders. It’s designed to prevent outside elements from getting through. And when you’re trying to use a face cream to make your skin smoother and softer, you’re swimming against the current.
At the same time, if your skin doesn’t absorb your products properly, they won’t work effectively. They will sit on the surface of the skin and just pile on. And you may experience skin pilling as a result. It’s when you rub your product on the skin but it just seems to roll up into tiny clumps.
To avoid such incidents and to make sure you get the most out of your skincare products, below are the best tips on how to make your skincare products absorb better.
How to Make Skincare Products Absorb Better
1. Cleanse Properly
Makeup residue, dead skin cells, dirt, and dust are already preventing your products from penetrating the skin. You need to properly get rid of them and apply your products to your clean face.
Use a type of cleanser suitable for your skin to make way for your upcoming products. Don’t even think about layering your moisturizer on top of residual moisturizer from the morning.
If you generally have oily skin and your skin feels a bit velvety after cleansing, there’s a chance your cleanser isn’t being through. Try foaming cleansers to achieve squeaky-clean skin.
2. Use a Cleansing Brush
You can also consider a cleansing brush to use with your facewash to thoroughly purify the skin. This is especially important if you have enlarged pores as dirt tends to get trapped inside the pores.
Using a cleansing brush can significantly enhance your facial cleansing game and make your skincare products absorb better.
3. Try Face Steaming
Face steaming is a great way to loosen up the skin, open up pores, and increase skin penetration. It’s not very practical to steam your face every time you’re about to apply your moisturizer.
However, steaming your face 2-3 times a month will keep your pores clean and prevent them from clogging. That way, your serums, and moisturizers have a better chance of penetrating your skin.
Alternatively, wash your face with lukewarm water to get a similar effect. Warm water, just like the warmth that happens with steaming, also increases skincare absorption.
Exfoliating is elaborate cleansing. It takes your facial cleansing to a whole new level. Its benefits include smooth skin, increased circulation, and collagen stimulation.
But more importantly, exfoliation is one of the most effective ways to get your skin to better absorb products. Instead of physical exfoliants like scrubs, go for chemical exfoliants.
Products with glycolic acid or lactic acid remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. So the next time you apply your moisturizer, it doesn’t cling onto dry patches but effectively absorbs into your skin.
5. Try Peel Pads
Another way to make sure your skin is squeaky clean and ready to absorb what’s about to come is by using peel pads. Peel pads are like exfoliating toners that come in ready-to-use form.
After washing your face, use a glycolic acid pad or salicylic acid pad to exfoliate and resurface your skin. This will get rid of the blockade between your skin and your products. Plus, using a peel pad has amazing anti-aging benefits.
6. Layer Your Skincare Products in the Right Order
You should apply your products from thinnest to thickest. Toner, serum, cream, moisturizer, and oil. Your skin will not absorb your products if you don’t follow the right order. In addition, there’s a good chance you’ll cause skin pilling.
Using a face serum on top of something occlusive like a facial oil or a thick cream will cause the products to collect on top of your skin.
Make sure you apply water-based products first and give them a couple of minutes to fully absorb before you move on to the next step.
7. Apply Tiny Amounts
Whether it’s your moisturizer or your serum, start with tiny amounts. Give your skin time to absorb. This will also make sure you’re not wasting your product.
If you’re not sure about the right amount to use, we have a whole guide on how much skincare product you should be using.
And rather than smearing the product on your face and moving it around, dab it onto your skin. Your skincare products will absorb better with the heat of your fingers.
This is especially important if you use a lot of products underneath SPF. Tiny amounts will prevent sunscreen from pilling.
8. Apply Your Products on Damp Skin
Damp skin is relatively more permeable than dry skin. So applying your serums and moisturizers on wet/damp skin can increase their efficiency.
There’s a reason why dermatologists encourage us to apply moisturizer on damp skin. Additionally, consider using a face mist in your skincare routine. You can use it to dampen your skin between steps to increase absorption.
Having said that, you might want to avoid using a retinol serum on wet skin as it may cause high sensitivity. Apparently, there are some products you don’t want your skin to absorb too much of.
9. Pay Attention to Your Products
If you want to increase your chances, you might want to pay attention to nerdy skincare. Advanced delivery systems make it possible to deliver active ingredients into the skin without losing efficacy.
Products that contain liposome-encapsulated or microencapsulated ingredients ensure skin penetration because they’re specially made to do so.
If you want to increase the efficiency of your treatment products like retinol products or antioxidant serums, try products made with encapsulated ingredients.
If I were to add one more thing you can do, it’d be at-home dermaplaning. It’s when you shave your skin to remove peach fuzz. It’s like a very superficial way of exfoliating. But it does make a difference.
I’m old-school, so I don’t like to do this very often fearing that it may make peach fuzz come back worse. But I can recommend doing it two times a year.
If you ever try it, you’ll see that your skin feels super smooth. And without that hairy barrier, your products absorb better.
So these are some of the best ways to make your skincare products absorb better and, therefore work better. Remember to exfoliate regularly, apply your products in the right order, and don’t apply more than what’s necessary.