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How to Apply Moisturizer for Soft, Hydrated Skin

This essential skin care product is not one you ever want to skip.
June 28, 2023

Cleansing, wearing SPF and moisturizing are three essential skin care steps that all skin types can benefit from. Today, we’re talking about the latter — moisturizer, which is such a basic and necessary component for healthy skin in any skin care routine. Applying moisturizer goes beyond just slathering any ol’ skin cream onto your face and hoping for the best because it’s all about finding a product that’s formulated for your specific skin type and applying moisturizer strategically. 

That’s right, the way you apply your moisturizer can determine how dry or moisturized your skin feels. Ahead, learn how to apply moisturizer so you can achieve plump, hydrated, glowy skin with this essential step of your skin care routine. 

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What Is the Correct Way to Apply Moisturizer?

Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to apply moisturizer. If you’re doing it incorrectly, then your skin isn’t getting all the hydration benefits. When you’re done washing your face, don’t dry off your skin completely. Applying moisturizer to a damp face helps lock in hydration and the same thing goes for the rest of your body — apply lotion to damp skin after showering. 

Instead of rubbing your moisturizer all over your face, delicately pat it in with your hands to aid absorption. This will also help the rest of your skin care products better absorb and it’s the most gentle technique. It's common for people to think that face cream should only be applied to the face, but that’s not entirely true. You also want to bring it down and apply it to your neck and chest, too. This delicate skin is just as susceptible to dryness, sun damage and visible signs of aging as your face is. 

How Do I Moisturize My Face?

Before you apply moisturizer, always start by washing your face and applying your serums. The best way to apply your skin care products is from thinnest to thickest consistency, so with this in mind, moisturizer should be the last step of your night routine. In your morning routine, SPF is always the last skin care step. 

It’s important to note that using too much moisturizer can have adverse effects on your skin like clogged pores and oily texture. Follow the directions on the product’s packaging to see how often you should apply and how much you should use. Typically, you’ll only need a dime-sized amount to cover your face.

Choose a formula of moisturizer that best suits your skin type. For example, a dry complexion may need a heavier cream, whereas a lightweight lotion may be a better option for an oily visage. 

For a nice, lightweight hydrator formulated with hyaluronic acid, try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Micro Hyaluronic Acid + Ceramides Line-Plumping Water Cream. If you have dry or aging skin, the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Skin Care Cell Renewal Midnight Cream, Antioxidants has a rich, soufflè-like texture that repairs the skin barrier when you sleep. 

Should I Rub Moisturizer In or Let It Sit?

With clean hands, pat your moisturizer on damp skin with your fingers to help your skin care product absorb. When you’re applying your moisturizer to the skin, you may also apply it in gentle upward motions to give your visage a lifted effect. The most important thing to remember is to maintain a light touch when you’re applying moisturizer. Don’t use harsh, aggressive motions that tug at the skin when you’re applying it because it can stretch the skin, leading to wrinkles and sagging.

When and How to Apply Moisturizer on the Face

Moisturizer should be a part of your morning and evening skin care routines. In the morning, apply your moisturizer after cleansing your face and before you move on to SPF and makeup. In the morning, try the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Moisturizer and follow up with an SPF of your choice. This pick includes glycolic acid, vitamin C, and Pro-Retinol to firm, lift and brighten your complexion.

In the evening, moisturizer should be applied after cleansing and applying your serums. As we mentioned above, lightly pat the cream into your skin for gentle yet effective moisturization. Reach for the aforementioned Revitalift Derm Intensives Micro Hyaluronic Acid + Ceramides Line-Plumping Water Cream if you have oily skin, or Age Perfect Skin Care Cell Renewal Midnight Cream, Antioxidants if you have dry or aging skin. Don’t forget to bring the moisturizer down to your face and neck, too. 

Next: What’s the Best Skin Care Routine Order for Actual Results?

Photographer: Nelson Huang, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Producer: Becca Solovay, Beauty Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Wardrobe Assistant: Jazmine Alzado, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Digi Tech: Jacky Jiang, Photo Assistant: Tyler Andrews, Model: Mecca Allah

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