When it comes to our skin and hair regimes, both quality and quantity matter.
Slathering on moisturiser but find that your skin is only getting drier? Dabbing eye cream onto your dark circles every morning and night but they're only getting darker? Religiously applying SPF but still burning? While you might be thinking it's because eye cream is well and truly a myth or that the moisturiser you picked up in the supermarket is too cheap to show results - it turns out the reason why you're not seeing any results could actually be down to just how much product you're applying.
Directives usually advise us to “use a dollop” of moisturiser, “swipe on” eye cream, and “coat our faces in a thin layer” of serum but, really, what do these nondescript terms really mean? How much product quantifies a dollop, drop or a swipe?
Considering my entire skincare regime comes to a little over €200, the very thought of overusing any product on a daily basis and running out of it before absolutely necessary makes my head, heart and bank account hurt. With that in mind, I tend to skimp on the amount of serum (read: my most expensive product) I use. The bottle says to use a drop and by that, I press ever so slightly on the dropper until the smallest possible drop falls out, ensuring my serum lasts longer. But with that logic, I may as well just stop buying it, as underusing it makes everything I love about this serum redundant. Turns out, you actually need to use more than just a single drop to be able to see the age-defying, hydrating and protection it offers.
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On the other hand, using too much product guarantees that we'll get through our beloved bottles far quicker than we should. This isn’t just a burden on our bank accounts, but it also contributes to the on-going issue of beauty waste and how damaging that can be environmentally. Not to mention, when it comes to more potent products, overusing can cause irritation, redness, peeling and breakouts.
So, how much is too much? How little is too little? We tapped Bobbi Brown's senior PRO artist, Warren Dowdall to glean his expert advice on the matter.
"With skincare, we often think that a little is great so a lot must be amazing! This isn’t the case and not only is using too much of a product bad for your wallet but it can also potentially cause irritate and oversaturate your skin.
The rule of thumb is the lightest texture to heaviest texture. This allows the lighter, often water-based formulas to be absorbed into the skin quickly to maximise the benefits."
How much of each skincare product should you use?
Cleanser: For your cleanser, aim for about the size of a 20 cent coin.
Serum: For active products like serum, a pea-sized amount is more than enough, as these are usually quite concentrated products.
Moisturiser: You should be using moisturiser on your face and neck so about a 50 cent size is plenty.
Eye Cream: For eye cream, a rice grain-sized amount is perfect for both eyes.
SPF: The only product you cannot use enough of is SPF - apply about a €2 coin-sized amount daily for all-over protection and long term skincare benefits.
Main image by Bobbi Brown