This Is Why Your Moisturiser Isn’t Working
Call us impatient, but we like to see fast results with our skincare. If the label says it will be a few weeks before any noticeable changes, we get antsy. Case in point: our moisturiser. Especially in the hot, summer months when we're exposed to the sun and salt (a lot), we find ourselves slathering on more product than we then feel defeated when dry, flaky skin still happens. After going through countless bottles and tubes of different formulas, our emotions and bank accounts start to feel drained.
But we come bearing goods news: There are things you can (and should) be doing to make your moisturiser perform way better. Top skincare experts lent us some incredible advice for having the softest, most hydrated skin by just changing the way we moisturise.
Want to learn how to improve your moisturising methods? Keep scrolling!
La Mer The Moisturising Soft Cream ($225)
First order of business: Stop rubbing and wiping. If you normally just slather your moisturiser all over your face, Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, co-founders of Glow Recipe, say that's a key reason your moisturiser isn't working: "Instead of your usual application method, try gently patting your skincare in. This action increases pressure and also heat, both elements that help your skincare to absorb better." Chang and Lee add that "patting" in your skincare products is a time-honored tradition in Asia and Korea (and we can't get enough K-beauty, so we're taking this patting method as gospel). Additionally, Dr. Ava Shamban of Beverly Hills says to apply moisturiser just after washing your face, when your skin is still damp, for best results.
Chang and Lee explain that the buildup of dead skin cells over time doesn't allow your products to properly penetrate the skin. To remedy this, remember to exfoliate and cleanse regularly, which will "clear a path" for your moisturiser to absorb better. Not sure what to choose? We like SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion, which will simultaneously clean and hydrate. Win-win!
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum ($130)
"'Moisture magnet' ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, ceramides, and natural alternatives to hyaluronic acid such as tremella are good places to start—these create a moisture 'reservoir' of sorts in the skin and anchor moisture where the skin needs it the most," say Chang and Lee. We're currently obsessed with these ceramide capsules from Elizabeth Arden that you can just break open, squeeze out, and apply to your skin for a seriously softening experience before hitting your moisturiser.
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion ($40)
As you could probably guess, if you have oily skin, you'll want to avoid thick, heavy, greasy moisturisers, not to mention how heavy creams can actually make your skin immune to their effects! Says Shamban, "Overuse or overly thick creams can cause the skin to become dependent on the moisturiser and not work as well. Excess moisturiser can suffocate the skin." Noted. So if your skin is particularly greasy, even when we come to the dry winter months, Shamban suggests a light, oil-free moisturiser.
For dry skin, we recommend adding a facial oil to your night moisturiser when you're feeling a little dry: Kora's Luxurious Rosehip Oil ($50) is a good place to start.
Lastly, for combination skin, Shamban suggests using two different moisturisers: a light, oil-free moisturiser for oily areas and a richer cream for dry skin.
Last but certainly not least, Shamban says it's crucial that you get into a groove and stick to a moisturising routine. "It is so, so important to have a daily skincare routine and use your skincare! We have all these great moisturisers sitting in our medicine cabinet, but if we don't use them, they won't work! Using moisturisers in tandem with an effective cleanser, toner, and other sporadic use can disrupt skin's healthy sebum production (the oil your pores release), wreaking havoc on your overall complexion. TL;DR: Be consistent with your moisturising routine.