How Much Moisturizer Should I Use?

How Much Moisturizer Should I Use?

There are many challenges to assembling the perfect skincare routine for your skin and individual concerns — after all, simply reading an ingredients list can sometimes be overwhelming. The trick is not just determining which products to use or what order to apply these products in. 

You also have to know how much of each product to use on your skin. When it comes to moisturizer, join me as we dive into the types of moisturizing ingredients and how much moisturizer you should use to support your skin.

Why Is Using the Right Amount of Product Important?

This is important for a few reasons. It’ll stop you from overusing a product and having to buy the next bottle by helping you stretch the product you already have. It’ll also stop you from rendering a product ineffective by not using enough of it.

Knowing how much of a product to use can make a difference to your skin, too — not just your wallet. If you apply too little moisturizer, your skin might still be in need of hydration. But if you apply too much, you could end up with shiny, oily skin or even breakouts if your product clogs your pores.

Determining the right amount of moisturizer for your skin isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach because it depends on a wide variety of factors, including your skin type and the formulation of the moisturizer you’re using. 

How Much Moisturizer Should You Use?

Generally, you should be using somewhere between a dime and nickel-sized dollop of moisturizer — roughly one or two milligrams of product, if you’ve got a good eye for that sort of measurement. But as I mentioned above, there are many factors that can influence how much or how little moisturizer you should use beyond this simple rule of thumb.

The easiest one to parse is your skin type. If you have oily skin, a dime-sized amount of moisturizer should work perfectly well for you. If you have combination skin, you may want nearer to a nickel. And if your skin is extremely dry, you may even want to go slightly larger than the size of a nickel when dispensing your moisturizer.

It’s also important to apply your moisturizer correctly. A mistake in this area can find you using too much or too little moisturizer to compensate and result in less-than-ideally-hydrated skin. For example, if you immediately start moisturizing after washing your face or applying your serum and your face is still damp, you may feel like you need less moisturizer than your skin actually craves.

It’s important to allow your serum to dry completely before moving on to the next step of your routine. Your skin should be dry to the touch before applying your moisturizer. This way, your product won’t become diluted or prevent your serum from absorbing properly.

The last thing you need to keep in mind when applying the right amount of moisturizer is being certain you’re applying your moisturizer at the right point in your routine. The general rule of thumb when it comes to layering your skincare products is to go from thinnest to thickest.

This means that your moisturizer is typically going to be the last step of your routine. During the day, sunscreen should be the last step.

What If Your Skin Is Extra Dry?

If you have dry skin, are trying to rehab your skin barrier, or have dehydrated skin for any reason, it can be tempting to layer on your moisturizer or reapply it multiple times throughout the day. However, this generally isn’t the best way to address your dry or dehydrated skin.

Hydrating Serum

Before you even reach for your moisturizer, swap out (or add onto) your go-to serum with one dedicated to delivering hydration. I recommend my Moisture Boost Plumping, which is a hydrating serum packed with snow mushroom and glycerin to help hydrate the skin and minimize the appearance of fine lines. 

Using a hyaluronic acid serum can help support your skin’s moisture levels because hyaluronic acid is a specific type of molecule called a humectant. Humectants attract water to themselves and bind to it, holding the water in the skin.

This means that hyaluronic acid doesn’t just hydrate your skin at the moment of application. It can also help your skin retain moisture throughout the day and support your skin barrier. Your skin barrier is crucial for preventing TEWL, or trans-epidermal water loss, which can often cause dry skin in and of itself.

Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is thinner than almost anywhere else on your face. This makes it especially vulnerable to some of the negative effects of dry skin, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Moreover, fine lines and wrinkles tend to form more easily when your skin is dry. Plus, this is all made worse by the fact that your skin tends to be more prone to dryness as you get older.

To help keep your skin hydrated and youthful-looking all over, working an eye cream into your skincare regimen can make a world of difference if you’re battling dry skin. My Intensive Eye Renewal Cream is a luxurious, all-in-one formula that melts into your skin, infusing your eye area with nine age-defying actives and potent hydration all at once.

Apply your eye cream after your cleanser and serum in your morning and evening routine to help support your delicate eye area.

Traditional Moisturizer

Not to point out the obvious, but if you have dry skin, the right moisturizer is so important. Knowing how much to apply is also key, but if you’ve chosen a moisturizer that isn’t the right formulation for your dry or dehydrated skin, then it’s still not going to be enough.

Instead of reapplying, look for a more heavy-duty hydrator. My Hydration Peptide Cream is a rich moisturizer that’s also oil-free. If you’re worried about clogging your pores as you try to nourish your dry skin, this moisturizer can help you achieve that balance.

Powered by moisture-drenching Hydrosella™, plumping peptides, and replenishing squalane, this rich cream moisturizer can deliver deep hydration, support your skin barrier, and help you avoid congested pores and breakouts. 

The Bottom Line

Finding the perfect balance with your moisturizer application is crucial to maintaining healthy, radiant skin. Remember, your individual needs will be unique to you. These needs can change depending on your complexion and environmental factors like the climate and season. Your skin’s needs may even change if you switch up your skincare routine.

So, in addition to knowing how much moisturizer to use, it’s also important to remain flexible and listen to your skin. With time and practice, you’ll become a pro at knowing exactly how much hydration your skin needs at any given point and being able to adjust accordingly.


The Hype on Hyaluronic Acid | Harvard Health Publishing

Transepidermal Water Loss in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Update | National Library of Medicine

Aging Changes in Skin | Medline Plus

Exploring Ingredients - Occlusives and Emollients | Michigan University


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