You've Probably Been Using Your Moisturizer Wrong All Along

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Skincare products seem to be everywhere from television ads to TikTok to celebrity advice on Vogue's YouTube channel. However, sometimes content related to skincare only covers brands and products, leaving out how to properly use them or how to best incorporate them into your skincare routine. Moisturizers are no exception.

As with all skincare, buying a moisturizer but using it incorrectly is simply a waste and may lead some to assume that certain brands or products do not work as well. This is why it's important to first purchase a moisturizer that matches your skincare needs. Then understand how to properly use it. This involves everything from looking at the ingredients to how much product is too much or too little. 

There are also certain times of day when it's more beneficial to apply moisturizer. Luckily, dermatologists are ready to help everyone improve their skin and reap as much of a product's benefits as possible.

Moisturizing before bed helps your skin retain moisture

Byrdie asked three skincare experts to break down how everyone can get the most out of their moisturizers. Krista Eichten of Sanitas Skincare explained that using a moisturizer before bed is essential. "Skin goes into repair mode while we sleep," she stated. This is why applying moisturizer to our skin before bed gives it the best chance of adequately absorbing nutrients.

Board-certified dermatologist Aanand Geria, MD, cautioned those with dry skin to choose moisturizers without alcohol, glycolic acid, or added fragrances. Such ingredients can actually dry your skin out more. Fellow board-certified derm Marisa Garshick, MD, also says that you should use a moisturizer on damp skin and not stop at the face either. Other important places to moisturize include the hands, feet, and lips. 

Applying a moisturizer after bathing or showering helps your skin hold onto the moisture. Aside from applying the product to damp skin, you should also first cleanse and exfoliate as normal. Moisturizer is always the final step of a beneficial skincare routine.

Always check the ingredients in your moisturizer

Krista Eichten, Aanand Geria, and Marisa Garshick all pointed out what a moisturizer should include as well. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and antioxidants are all hugely beneficial for the skin. Hyaluronic acid and ceramides help it hold onto moisture while antioxidants shield the skin from irritants in the environment, as they informed Byrdie

Products that include hyaluronic acid and ceramides are CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion and Ole Henkrisen Strength Trainer Peptide Boost Moisturizer. Likewise, TULA Overnight Moisturizer has antioxidants like vitamin C and green tea leaf extracts. Applying a moisturizer the right way, at the right time, and with the right ingredients will yield the best results. 

Moisturizing helps prevent signs of aging and protects the skin from possible irritants. The skin is the largest organ in the body and our first line of defense against infection. Keeping it strong is in all of our best interests.