Are you using too much skincare?

We decode how much product you should really be using
Photography: Stocksy

Now we’re spending more time at home and focusing on our skincare regime more than ever, there’s a danger you could be going a dollop too far with your favourite products. It’s time to find out how much you actually need to be using.

The smart guide: how much to use

Follow this simple fruit-based guide from consultant dermatologist at The London Skin and Hair Clinic, Dr Martin Wade:

  • Cleanser – A grape
  • Serum – A pea
  • Day cream – A blueberry
  • Face SPF – A blackberry
  • Night cream – A strawberry
  • Eye cream – A cranberry

Can you have too much of a good thing?

Simply put, yes. ‘Excessive use of serums containing retinols can cause irritation, inflammation, redness, and even hyperpigmentation’, says dermatologist Dr Michelle Henry. Even slathering your day-to-day products can create problems, too. ‘A moisturiser containing oils or heavy occlusive ingredients (like silicones or petrolatum) can cause blackheads and breakouts,’ she adds. So, stick to the fruit sizes above.

The cost on your purse – and the planet

The more product you waste, the more money you spend. A good rule of thumb: a 30ml serum, such as Avène Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum (30ml), should last around three months.

Investing in a luxurious item might be smart idea if it means you savour it. Think about how mindfully you apply that indulgent night cream you treated yourself to, compared with the way you squirt a palm-full of cheap shampoo out without a thought.

With a great focus on eco beauty than ever before, if everyone re-stocked fewer products, less packaging would be created in the first place. Opt for refillable bottles (check out Beauty Kitchen’s offerings) where you can – as you’re not generating a demand for more packaging.

Order, order

If you find product application a minefield, we’re here to help. This is the order you should apply them to get the most out of them:

Day routine:

  1. Cleanser 
  2. Toner 
  3. Serum 
  4. Eye Cream 
  5. Moisturiser 
  6. Facial oil (optional) 
  7. SPF

Night routine:

  1. Double cleanse 
  2. Toner 
  3. Serum
  4. Eye Cream 
  5. Spot Treatment (optional)
  6. Moisturiser 
  7. Retinol (optional) 
  8. Facial oil (optional) 

Find out more about what each one does here. You could even screenshot and keep, so you can look back if you forget.

Don’t forget the rest of your body

While we’ve got a little more time for self-care, there’s no excuse for neglecting the rest of your body, including your legs and feet. After you’ve washed, slather a foot cream all over to help dry, cracked heels. If you’re pressed for time, Sanctuary Spa Wet Skin Moisture Miracle (200ml) can be used in the shower and locks in moisture faster than you can say ‘hydrate.’ The good news? Because these products tend not to have active ingredients, you can be as generous as you like!