Six different ways to apply skin care products

Recently, I placed an order for a product that I didn’t like so much in terms of application. I had some problems applying the product the first time but because I had loved the results from using it, I decided to re-order the product and then apply it a different way. This first time around, I blended the product into my palm and then patted on my face using my fingers instead of sweeping the lotion over my face! It was a lot easy and better this time! So this got me thinking of writing this post about the different ways we can apply our skin care products.

1. Apply a pea size amount with your fingers
This should be the most common way where you squeeze a pea size amount into the center of your palm, and then using the fingertips of the other hand to apply onto your face. This is probably the method I use most frequently and I typically start by applying the product onto both my cheek area before my chin area, my forehead and then moving down to my nose. I usually use this when applying face cream and sunscreen.

2. Warm the cream using the center of your palm
This method is good for really thick cream, which I learnt when I was using Creme de Lar Mer a couple of years back. Because the cream is so thick, you should use a pea size amount or even lesser, place it into the center of your palm then rub, or pat both your palms together to “warm up the cream”. Certain creams may liquify but others may just turn a little less creamy, which allows you to easily apply onto your face without the thick consistency.

3. Apply 5 dots on your face and blend
I hope I won’t offend anyone by saying this but somehow, I associate this method with the old school of skincare. In the past, many beauty consultants seem to encourage this approach of skin care application and it’s even stated on the instructions of some products. The 5 dots denote applying a small blob of cream on your two cheek area, your nose, your forehead and your chin. I believe it is still a common skin care application technique and I find myself going back to this approach when I apply my face mask. However, I tend to apply more than usual when I use this 5 dots method.

4. Pat the cream or lotion into your face
This is a common way to apply facial toner if you don’t use a cotton pad. Pour the toner into the center of your palm and then using your fingers to lightly pat or tap into your face. Actually, I’m not very gentle whenever I use this method. I literally slap my face in an energetic fashion whenever I apply my face toner. It’s kind of for fun and at the same time, I believe it helps to aid blood circulation and increase absorption of the toner.

5. Press the lotion or oil into your face
If you’ve use some of the Japanese lotions, then you should be quite familiar with this technique. Again, you’ll pour the lotion into the center of your palm and then using the other palm, press both hands together and then continue to press the lotion into all areas of your face. I use this method when applying my facial oil.

6. Massage the cream, lotion or oil into your face
This is actually an extension of any of the above methods, followed by a more intensive massage on your face. I do that using my facial oil. After I have pressed the oil onto my entire face, I then proceed to massage the oil on my cheek area, using one or two hands in an upward, outward sweeping fashion starting from my jawline to the area near my ear.

So how do you normally apply your skin care products? Are there any other ways you can share with us?


  1. stella says:

    i use methods 2, 4 and 5 with my basic skincare unless it’s a massage product; less wastage and seems to be working well… i also recommend method 2 with liquid foundations, gives a natural finish!

  2. Stephanie Rountree says:

    Great tips . . . and above all, make sure hands and face are clean before starting!

  3. Sylvia says:

    Interesting. I may be even less structured. I just take some cream with my finger then apply it straight away on face with the same hand. Then go back for more….

    I use the dotted method when I use foundation though..

  4. pf1123 says:

    Generally, I pat, press, and also do the 5 dot with cream. I don’t use so much because the determined amount is already scooped out on a spatula. Its just distributing the 1 blop into 5 dots. hehehehe…

  5. Swathy says:

    If think how I apply, I would say I hate the dotting method which my mom and one of my friends seems to endorse…like you I always end up with more product and no so well moisturized face….I prefer the pressing method and then massaging but somewhere I read that the anything applied to the face should be patted into the face for better absorption including moisturizers and other things apart from toners and astringents…patting avoids rubbing of the skin which might happen while massaging and hence prevents lines on the face…..tried to do it but I always forget and then I find the pressing and massaging so much easy….

  6. sesame says:

    You’ve raised a good point regarding patting. It’s good to aid absorption of the products. But I realized for some products, kind of difficult to pat on cos they dry up pretty quickly on the skin….moisturizer is one of them.

  7. sesame says:

    Ah, that’s a good idea. With the 5 dots method, I tend to apply the dots directly,

  8. sesame says:

    Somehow, I like to squeeze product onto my palm…

  9. sesame says:

    Oh method 2 for liquid foundations? I shall try that when I get the chance. Am currently not using any liquid foundation.

  10. Audris says:

    4, 5 & 6 ?

    Except that for 6, I tend to pat the product in an upward motion rather than actually massaging my skin with long strokes upwards.

  11. N. says:

    Great tips! I usually use the 5 dots method.

  12. sesame says:

    I picked up the massage tip from MVO as a way to exfoliate using oil. Don’t know whether there’s much exfoliation taking place but definitely favor the lifting effects. ?

  13. sesame says:

    Try some of the others and see if they’ll work for you too. ?

  14. pf1123 says:

    Yes. And end up with well moisturised palms.

  15. Swathy says:

    yes thats true…even I ended up buying one such product….I find it pain to apply on the skin…my palms are so greasy by the end of the application….the patting method is best for oils as you said…

  16. Swathy says:

    I have heard that oil can be used for exfoliation…guess from the same source…tried it….donno how much it worked but my skin was definitely cleaner…

  17. sesame says:

    Oh it’s clearer…I think so too cos I find my skin tone improving. Last time I only pressed the oil on my face and didn’t massage so much so it must be doing something right.

  18. sesame says:

    Ladies: not only my palms become oily, everything I handle too – like water bottle and my sink is looking really dirty. ?

  19. vernz says:

    you talked about oil .. I use olive oil with brown sugar to exfoliate… sounds funny but works well for me..

  20. Berry Mii says:

    errmm.. i basically put 1 drop of facial oil on the tip of my left middle finger.

    Then I tap on it with my right 3 fingers (pointer, middle, ring) to spread it to the same 3 fingers on the left hand.

    Then I massage the oil on my face in circular motions. LOL. I find that this method spreads the oil evenly around my face & I have a better control of where I want to distribute the oil to.

  21. sesame says:

    Sounds good to me…most important is you’re comfortable applying that way. ?

  22. sesame says:

    Oh that’s a nice recipe. I used it to exfoliate my hands and they felt nice.

  23. Cass says:

    For me, i tend to use a combination of #3 & #4 for my skincare. I only use #6 when i’m using my cleansing oil to remove my makeup.

  24. sesame says:

    Ah…I don’t massage during the 1st round of cleansing cos of the impurities. So only massage on a clean face.

  25. mangomadness says:

    I use a facial loofah to wash my face with ABS. I spritz on my water/aloe vera/honey toner mix. I use methods 2 and 6 to apply my shea butter/aloe vera/honey moisturizer mix.

  26. sesame says:

    I’ve not tried using a loofah but my husband likes using it. He said it really cleans out his face.

  27. Kaz says:

    I also use sugar and olive oil as a scrub. Works brilliantly for me!
    Kaz last post is: Will Idol Lash Really Lengthen Your Lashes?

  28. Sesame says:

    That’s great! I tried brown sugar with honey and olive oil as a hand scrub and it was brilliant.

  29. Shannon says:

    Question…. What is good for skin that is already oily? It seems that no matter what I use to wash or exfoliate my face my T-zone is still oily. I don’t where any type of foundation or facial makeup. Any tips?

  30. Sesame says:

    If it’s not excessively oily, it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. However you can use an oil-free lotion and up the hydration in these areas. It is oozing more oil because it is lacking water.

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