You spend a lot of time, effort, and money on building your skin care routine, but how do you know that the skin care products you’ve chosen are working as hard as they can for you?
The truth is, if you’re not taking steps toward improving skin care absorption, your active ingredients will have a hard time penetrating your skin to provide you with the results you’re looking for.
Have you ever had your skin care products remain visible on top of your skin, or even begin to pill during the application process? These are signs that your skin care products aren’t absorbing properly.
There are many reasons why your products are sitting on top of your skin instead of absorbing into the deeper layers of your skin. The good news is that there are a few very simple steps you can take toward improving skin care absorption—and they shouldn’t add too much time, effort, or money to your existing routine!
Step One: Exfoliate
Exfoliation is the skin’s natural process of sloughing away dead skin cells. Believe it or not, healthy skin sloughs off roughly 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells per minute.
If you suffer from skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema, those numbers may be a bit different. Additionally, if your skin is dehydrated, under stress, or compromised due to the environment or even illness, your skin may have a hard time letting go—literally.
Manual exfoliation is simply the process of helping already dead skin cells slough away more efficiently. This makes your skin smoother, softer, more radiant-looking, and better at absorbing skin care ingredients since those pesky dead cells aren’t standing in the way.
For most skin types, gently wiping with a soft, damp wash cloth is all the help your skin needs. Many people prefer to use a scrubby formula or chemical exfoliant. While these choices aren’t inherently bad, it’s best to talk with your dermatologist about the best exfoliation choice for your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin or diagnosed skin issues.
After exfoliating, your skin care products will have a much easier time penetrating the top layer of the skin in order to deliver active ingredients to the deeper layers of the skin, thereby enhancing their efficacy.
Step Two: Layer Products Properly
Did you know that the order in which you apply your products is just as important as the products themselves? If you’re having trouble getting your skin care routine to absorb problem, this is one of the easiest things to change!
Active ingredients used to target specific skin issues (retinol or antioxidant vitamins are a good example) are permeable and feature small molecular weights, so they are readily accepted by skin cells. Meanwhile, ingredients often seen in thicker creams and moisturizers aren’t as readily accepted by skin cells.
If you apply a skin care cream before a retinol serum, you can guess what’ll happen—the cream will block the serum, and neither will work as you intended. Applying smaller molecules before larger ones will ensure that your skin care products work for you.
Not an expert in molecular weights? No problem! Just go thinnest to thickest texture. After cleansing, you’ll turn to your toner or mist, then spot treatment products, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, and SPF. In the evening, swap your SPF for a thicker nighttime moisturizer or oil, depending on your skin’s needs.
Applying your products in the proper order doesn’t take any more effort, and the benefits are enormous. If you’re applying your products out of order, switch today and see the difference!
Step Three: Apply to Damp Skin
One of the cornerstones of Korean skin care is applying serums to damp skin. After cleansing, your skin is at its most supple and ready-to-absorb.
When you finish cleansing, gently pat your skin semi-dry, and get to applying! Following the order above, apply your toner or mist, see to your eye area, and get your serum on before your skin fully dries.
Applying your skin care in the still-steamy bathroom is the easiest way to ensure that your skin stays damp, but if you know your routine, you’ll be able to get your products on before your skin dries no matter what. Finish up with your moisturizer, which is also ideally applied to damp skin.
The good news is that each product will keep the surface of your skin damp, so you’re good to go as long as you don’t get interrupted!
By making these three small changes to your skin care routine, you’ll be sure to improve skin care ingredient absorption, and therefore your results!