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Everything You Need to Know About Patting, the Trendy Japanese Skin Care Technique

May 08, 2018

How do you apply your skin care products? You may think there isn’t much to it—you can rub them in and be good to go—but you’ll have to reconsider your stance. The way you’re slicking your skin with facial oil and slathering on moisturizer actually does matter, a fact you’d be sure to find if you were to ask women in Japan. In Japan, it’s preferred to pat your products into your skin—as opposed to rubbing them in. And they seem to be onto something, which is why this technique is catching on! Ready to learn more? We’re sharing all the details about patting, so you can try out this newly trendy way to apply the skin care products in your skin care routine.

What Is Patting?

There isn’t too much to say on the topic of what patting is—you can probably get the gist from the technique’s name! The term refers to a popular practice in Japan and South Korea, involving patting your skin care products in, using your palms or fingertips to gently work the products into your skin with light tapping motions.

Why Is Patting Beneficial?

There’s no doubt that taking the time to pat a moisturizer in will be more time consuming than quickly smoothing one on. So, why are people doing it? The answer is simple: it’s good for your skin! Patting is a gentler way to apply your skin care products, which means it helps to minimize how much you’ll pull or drag on your skin. Since rubbing—which is the way many people tend to apply their skin care products—can create friction on your skin, it can cause irritation and inflammation, and even lead to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The truth is, it’s always better to treat your skin with a light hand as it can be more fragile than you’d think. Some proponents of the technique even suggest that patting can help skin care products to penetrate better. So, it’s well worth a try.

How Do You Pat Your Skin Care Products?

Want to give patting a try? Here’s what you need to know about how to pat when applying different types of skin care products:

Facial serum: Facial serums are already potent enough; aggressive rubbing isn’t necessary to make them work any better. Rather, you can focus that energy on patting them onto your face.

Moisturizer: If you have dry skin, you’re likely willing to try just about anything to make your moisturizer absorb better. And here’s your chance! Instead of massaging the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Extra Dry Skin (or whichever Hydra Genius moisturizer suits your skin type) into your skin, pat it in. Just think of the extra time you’re spending applying your moisturizer as a new form of self-care!

Eye cream: If you want to choose just one place to pat in your products, we suggest around your eyes. Since the skin surrounding your eyes is thinner and fragile than the skin in other areas on your face, it’s more likely to be damaged by repeating rubbing motions when you apply eye cream. Dab the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Triple Power™ Eye Treatment on under your eyes using the cooling applicator tip, then use your ring finger to pat the product in.

Toner: You might assume that patting isn’t suited to skin care products with liquid consistencies—but think again. There’s no rule saying toner has to be applied via a cotton pad. (In fact, cotton pads and makeup wipes are considered complete no-nos by this technique’s supporters.)  Instead, you can pat toner on just like the rest of your skin care products! Next time you use the L’Oréal Paris HydraFresh Toner, pour a little into the palm of your hand, then splash it on your face. Finish by patting your skin—and that’s all there is to it.

Interested in taking more beauty inspiration from other skin care-savvy countries? Check out the Ultimate Guide to Korean Beauty Trends.

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