3 Common Reasons Your Moisturizer Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)

Woman putting moisturizer

According to Dr. Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, not everyone understands the significance of skin hydration. And those who do may not know how to do it correctly. Moisturizer application is just like putting on your face paint. There’s the right way of doing it so you get optimal results.

If you’re wondering why the face moisturizer you just bought does not seem to be working its wonders, you could be doing at least one of these mistakes:

You’re using the wrong one

The most common misconception about moisturizers is that oil can be used as one. Oils can hydrate and soothe your skin, but that doesn’t mean you can use it instead of a real moisturizer. The latter has the capacity to lock in hydration or water molecules into the skin. On the contrary, oil is designed to target only the surface level.

So, if you want to use oil to soothe your skin, make sure you still apply moisturizer on top of it. Buy the face moisturizer that suits the type of skin you have. If unsure, talk to your dermatologist first.

If you have combination skin, another mistake you could be doing is using only one type of moisturizer for your skin. The term combination should give you a hint that this also applies to the skincare you use. For the oily parts of your face, particularly the T-zone, use a grease-free one. For the other parts, use one with a richer cream.

You’re applying it on dry face

If you think applying moisturizer on your face is best done a few minutes after stepping out of the shower—when your face is dry—, think again. The best time to do it is right after washing your face, which means your face is still damp. This will give the moisturizer a chance to lock in hydration from the water.

After washing your face, don’t towel-dry it. Apply the moisturizer right away and let the skin absorb everything. You may feel that it takes a longer time for your skin to absorb the moisturizer completely, which is why it is necessary not to saturate your skin. Don’t slather a gigantic blob on your face or you’re at risk of clogging your pores. A quarter-sized blob should suffice.

You’re rubbing it in

Woman putting moisturizing cream

Your facial skin is delicate and should be treated with care. If you’re used to rubbing moisturizer on your face vigorously, you’re traumatizing your fragile epidermis. What you should do, instead, is pat and dab the moisturizer all over your face until it’s fully absorbed. This dabbing method increases the heat and pressure on your face, which helps in better absorption.

Using the tips of your fingers, start dabbing on the T-zone, and then work your way outwards and upwards. The upward motion is critical so your skin won’t sag, according to anti-aging expert Fumiko Takatsu. Don’t do it in a circular motion nor downwards. The same principle applies to your neck.

Keeping our faces hydrated is only half the equation. Knowing how to hydrate them correctly is the other. By avoiding the three mistakes mentioned above, you’re on your way to getting the soft and young-looking face you want.