Skincare routine basics: how often and how many products should you use

Everything you need to know about using your skincare products properly.

If you’ve read our complete skincare routine guide for all skin types you are probably an expert by now; still, there’s a couple of more details we need to cover when it comes to the perfect skincare routine.

To be fair, there’s no such thing as the perfect skincare regimen – every skin is different and has different needs. 

Every skin is different but some rules always apply.  

Still, you could follow some rules in order to do the best for your face and to make your skin look happy and healthy. 

How much skincare products to use? 

Let’s start with how much of your creams, gel, serums and oils you should use daily. Whether you are using prestigious brands or budget-friendly skincare products, there’s no need to waste more than you need.

Cleanser: 1 or 2 pumps

Take a small amount of your cleanser on your fingers and equally massage into your skin. 

Exfoliator: 1 or 2 pumps/drops

Exfoliator should be used too often as it can strip the skin’s protective barrier. Same goes with quality – a couple of drops/pumps will go a long way. 

Toner: a few spritzes or drops enough for the whole face

Apply your toner on the cotton round (enough to cover in, not to soak it), or splash on your hands. If you are using a mist, spray it lightly over the clean face.

Serum: 2-3 drops

Apply a small amount to fingertips or directly to the face (a drop at forehead, cheeks, neck) and gently massage into skin. Leave it to get fully absorb before moving to the next step.

Moisturiser: 2-3 pumps or pea-sized amount

Apply 2 to 3 pumps or peas sized amount evenly to your face in a gentle pressing motion after serum. Leave it to penetrate before moving to the facial oil, alternatively, mix it with oil and skip the next step.

Facial oil: 2 drops

A little goes a long way so use your facial oils sparingly. They are usually rich in texture so you don’t want to overdo it. 

SPF: 2-3 pumps or two scoops

Similar to moisturiser, apply your SPF generously into the face, neck and décolletage using enough cream to cover the whole area in a thin layer. 

Mask: enough to equally cover the whole face 

Depending on the type of the mask, a general rule is to use enough to equally cover the whole face. Apply a generous layer using circular motions and leave to dry before rinsing.

How often should you apply skincare products?  

The frequency of applying your products is equally important as the quantity. However, it’s crucial to adjust it to your skin’s needs. Every skin type is different, as well as a concern your skin might be facing.

There’s no magic product or ingredient that will give your perfectly healthy and glowing skin but consistency helps.

Here are some general rules that apply when it comes to how often you should use your products.

Cleanser: every day

If you follow a regular skincare regimen, your first step is probably cleanser (or makeup remover as part of a double cleanse routine, followed by your cleanser). You should cleanse your skin every day, even if you’re not wearing makeup. Simply, it helps to remove dirt and other impurities that build up on your skin throughout the day.

Exfoliator: 1-2 times per week

There are so many theories on how often you should exfoliate your skin and the answer is simple; no more than twice a week. Exfoliating is an important part of the skincare routine for all skin types (even the sensitive skin) in order to remove dead skin cells and impurities, however, it’s even more important not to overdo it. 

Toner: every day

Toners are used to prepare skin for follow-on products, allowing better absorption and extra hydration. This way you are not wasting too much product and making your skin extra smooth and soft. They should be used after a cleanser as part of your daily routine.

Moisturiser: every day

Moisturiser is a holy grail of a regular skincare routine. Even if you are skipping some steps and simplifying your routine (which is perfectly fine if that works for you!), this is the one you should always stick to. Use it generously in the mornings and evenings

Serum: every day

Serums are perfect for treating specific skin’s problems such as acne, dehydration, redness or blemishes, or just regularly boosting skin hydration so use it every day. You can apply it both in the mornings and evenings.

Facial oil: 2-3 times per week

The next step in the skincare routine is facial oil. You should apply your oils every 2-3 times a week. If you have a simple morning routine or don’t want to wear heavy oil on your face during the day, use it in the evenings to properly hydrate and regenerate our skin overnight. 

SPF: every day

Finally, the sunscreen comes as the last step of a morning skincare regimen. Use if every day no matter the season. It might not look sunny outside, but there are still harmful UV rays that can pass through clouds and damage your skin. 

Mask: 1-2 times per week

Lastly, you can introduce masks in your weekly, more advanced skincare routine. Use them to deep cleanse your face in the evenings – apply the desired mask on dry freshly cleansed skin (avoid the eye area) and leave for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Follow with serum, moisturiser and facial oil. 

Remember, the skin is the biggest human organ and it’s constantly changing. Treat it right and take care of it, but be realistic and patient with your skincare products. The results won’t come overnight.


Editor’s note: All images including feature image via Shiny Diamond.