Why you may be applying your skincare products all wrong

Not seeing the results you’re looking for from your skincare  products? It could be because of what's in them, but also because of how you’re applying them too.

It’s something that cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting , frequently sees in her clinic - patients investing in worthwhile beauty upgrades but missing out on some of their benefits because they’re using them incorrectly. In her latest YouTube upload, Dr Sam highlights the most common mistakes, as well as the easy yet effective tweaks that could make all the difference. It's a must-watch for anyone looking to get the most out of their regime.

1. You’re not applying your products consistently enough

Dr Sam recommends treating your skincare routine with the same dedication that you would a doctor’s prescription - you wouldn’t take your medicine in a haphazard way, and the same goes with your actives if you want to see results.

A visual guide can be handy in her experience, especially for pricier products such as face serums and sunscreens. Dr Sam suggests starting with half a fingertip length and building it up to a full fingertip over time. For products that carry a greater risk of irritation, such as a retinol  or salicylic acid  exfoliator, try using them every other day, slowly building them up to daily use. If your skin’s particularly sensitive  though, she advises keeping use to every third day for two weeks and then every second day for two weeks, before finally switching to using them everyday in the final phase.

2. You’re not applying products in the right places

It’s important to tailor the way that you apply a product so that it suits its particular purpose. Dr Sam gives the example of using a retinoid , which she prefers applying to the entirety of the face, rather than just concentrating on areas that say, are blemish-prone .

Another example where even application trumps targeted application, is with a product that contains actives such as salicylic acid and azelaic acid  because its key objectives (brightness, texture and pore clarity) are helpful all over. A great way to ensure the ingredients get to where they need to is to use Dr Sam’s ‘13 dot technique’ across the forehead, cheeks and nose, avoiding irritation-prone points such as the eye areas, lips and creases of the nose.

3. You’re not encouraging absorption

Swap patting for firm massage in order to increase the likelihood of your actives reaching the dermis. Very often, we don’t focus on this stage enough and so run the risk of our products just sitting on top of the skin and causing potential irritation to the epidermis. To reduce the chance of sensitivity further, wipe clear any accumulated product in delicate or sensitive areas before moving onto your next skincare step.

4. You’re not giving your products long enough to work

For concerns such as blemishes, blackheads , fine lines and pigmentation, be wary of products that say that they can provide immediate results. Dr Sam explains that it can take anything between six and 12 weeks in order to see a difference, a full skin cycle, provided you’ve chosen your ingredients wisely.

The video’s main message is consistency - in the amount of product that you use, how you distribute it and the period of time that you use your products for.

Read more: Dr Sam on how to layer your skincare actives.

Follow Dr Sam on  Twitter  and  Instagram .