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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 literally designed to prevent chemicals, germs, unknown substances, and microorganisms from getting through. And when you’re trying to use a face cream to make your skin smoother and softer, you’re actually swimming against the current.
Fortunately, this is no longer an issue. However, the way you apply (or don’t apply) your products is not helping. You might be making things worse simply by layering products in the wrong order or using an amount more than you should.
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.
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.
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.
4. Don’t skip exfoliation.
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.
Using a physical exfoliant like a facial scrub or a chemical exfoliant like a hydroxy acid product can sweep off the build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. So, the next time you apply your moisturizer, it doesn’t cling onto dry patches on your face but effectively absorbs into your skin.
5. Maximize your toner.
If exfoliation sounds like a whole thing, get a targeted toner to use after cleansing. Using an exfoliating toner can make your facewash work double duty.
Try a glycolic acid toner to slough off dead skin cells preventing your products from penetrating the skin. Or try a salicylic acid toner to clean up clogged pores that cause breakouts or blackheads.
6. 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 premade exfoliating toners. After washing your face, use a glycolic acid pad to dissolve the bond between the dead skin cells.
This will get rid of the blockade between your skin and your products. Plus, using a peel pad has amazing anti-aging benefits as well.
7. Layer your products in the right order.
You should apply your products from thinnest to thickest. Toner, serum, cream, and moisturizer. 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 be fully absorbed before you move on to the next step.
8. 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.
9. 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 may increase their efficiency.
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.
10. 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.
So these are some of the best ways to make your skincare products absorb better, therefore work better. 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.
Read Next: Why You Should Include Lactobionic Acid in Your Skincare Routine