Every female should know the correct way to apply skin care cream to the face and neck. And yes, there is the right way (and a wrong way) of doing it. Applying the cream correctly not only increases its efficacy, but also starts (or ends) the day with a nice facial massage. And who would refuse a massage?
There are a few common mistakes that fair ladies make when applying skin care products, and while they can be minor, their cumulative consequences can negate the intended effect of the creams, gels, and other products being so painstakingly used on a daily basis.
- Not cleansing the skin properly before applying product. Plain water cannot cleanse pores; use a cleanser or toner.
- Rushing: our life happens at a mad pace and we're always in a rush. Jerky, careless motions stretch delicate skin, making it sag and wrinkle.
- Applying products in a rush without following the massage lines also stretches the skin in directions it should not be stretched.
- Using too much pressure and jerky motions when applying product to ensure it is well rubbed-in. There is no need to bruise tissues; light, massaging motions are the most effective.
If you have never heard of massage lines, let us introduce you. Tapping lightly with fingertips, trace the following paths on your face:
- From the middle of the eyebrows outward toward the temples
- From the nostrils outward toward the cheekbones
- From the tip of your nose to the area under the eyes
- From the middle of the chin upward and outward toward the cheekbones.
Face creams should be applied with light, horizontal motions. Do not press down too hard; the cream will absorb by itself, and its efficacy will not increase from being vigorously rubbed in.
See the image below for the diagram of the massage lines.
It is very important to remember that the skin around the eye area is very thin and very delicate. Using incorrect technique or too-strong pressure can be not only useless relative to the intended effects of the eye cream, but may also hurt.
Instructions for proper application:
- Choose a light-textured cream that is age-appropriate, be it nourishing or moisturising. Skin goes through drastic changes during the aging process, so a 60-year-old would have needs different from a 30-year-old.
- Do not use regular face cream for the area under the eyes, as it is too heavy for the delicate skin.
- Your ring fingers are the weakest of them all, which makes them perfect for eye cream application. Start in the inner corner of the upper eyelid and move across and out. At the outer corner, reverse direction and return inward over the area below the eye.
- Light tapping motions when applying eye cream will reduce the appearance of wrinkles caused by facial expressions.
- Using circular motions when applying a moisturiser or a nourishing face cream helps smooth wrinkles and relaxes skin. And, ultimately, it feels good, which leads to better mood and fewer frown lines.
- If stored in the fridge, remove the face cream ahead of time to bring it to room temperature.
- Cleanse the skin of the face and neck (use a cleanser)
- Scoop (or squirt or squeeze) some cream onto fingertips to warm it up. When warm, the cream's active ingredients do a better job of penetrating through the deep layers of epidermis.
- Using light circular motions, apply the cream with fingertips, following the massage lines. Do not press down too hard. This gentle massage will improve circulation.
- To increase its efficacy, apply a moisturiser to slightly damp skin.
- Day creams should be applied before going outside. Night creams are applied a couple of hours before going to sleep. Excess product can be blotted with a napkin or tissue.
- Use the minimum amount of cream necessary to cover the area. Too thick a layer will block pores and prevent oxygen intake, trapping sebum inside and causing pimples and irritation.
- Nourishing/rich creams should be applied every 3 days, to let the skin rest. Use moisturising cleansers and creams in the meantime.
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While many consider taking care of the face to be part of an essential daily routine, sadly, most forget about the neck. A fresh, youthful face above a saggy neck is a very sorry sight indeed and, unfortunately, a rather common one among women. Do not be one of those women!
Here are some tips to help you remember to take care of your neck:
- Cleanse the neck together with the face. Use a gentle product, such as cleansing milk or cream, which will not dry out skin.
- Once a moisturiser is applied to the face, apply it to the neck: start in the middle and move out to the sides, using upward motions (do not help your skin sag by pressing downward).
- Most women do not ever think about the backs of their necks. While the skin there is less susceptible to sagginess, it still needs to be pampered!
- From the ears to the shoulders, the product is applied with a downward motion (this is the exception).
- Use a light, massaging motion.
- Excess product can be blotted with a napkin or tissue. If using alcohol-containing toners, always follow up with a moisturizer. Alcohols dry out skin, and cause the appearance of wrinkles.
Observing these simple rules and guidelines will help your skin retain freshness and youthfulness. Spend a bit of time taking care of your face, and your glowing skin will reward you and delight others!