When it comes to beauty, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s no harm in going heavy on the anti-ageing serum or slathering on a tonne of moisturiser for extra effect. But is using too much product causing damage to your skin and your wallet? To save waste and protect your complexion, here’s how much you should really be using...
If you use a cleansing gel or foaming wash, apply a 50p-sized amount directly to damp skin and work in a circular motion; avoid using a cloth or flannel as it will absorb too much of the product, causing unnecessary waste. For a cleansing lotion, apply the same amount to dry skin. Be wary of using cleansing oils as they can leave behind a residue that acts as a barrier, preventing the rest of your skincare from properly absorbing.
While it can be tempting to apply a generous amount of scrub to your face, stick to an almond-sized amount – too much can have an abrasive effect on the skin, leaving it dry, red and irritated.
This depends on the type of mask you’re applying – purifying masks containing charcoal and clay can be drying, so use a 50p sized amount and stick to problem areas like the T-Zone. However, if you’re using a hydrating and firming mask, you can afford to be a little more generous.
A few drops of toner is plenty – you want your cotton pad to be damp, not completely saturated, otherwise less product might be absorbed.
The anti-ageing properties of serum may tempt you to be over-zealous in your application, but you only need a coffee bean-sized amount to see results. As serums are very concentrated, using too much can overstimulate and damage the skin’s barrier.
Two peanuts worth of product will cover both face and neck, any more than this and the product will likely not absorb properly and just sit on the skin’s surface, not allowing it to breathe. Apply when skin is still slightly damp after cleansing to maximise the benefits.
Aim for around a rice grain-sized amount per eye, if you pack on the product, it won’t make it more effective. It could, however, creep into your eyes and irritate them. Using a small amount, dot the product with your ring finger onto the brow bone and about half an inch underneath the eye.
Think quality over quantity – a drop the size of a pumpkin seed is plenty to cover your face. Massage into slightly damp, freshly cleansed skin for best results.
When applying sun cream, divide your body into three sections (feet and legs; arms, face and neck; torso and back) and use at least a grape-sized amount for each. If you’re tall or broad, using more than you think necessary is always best. When applying SPF to your face for day-to-day wear, aim for a 10p-sized amount.
Facial Fake Tan
To avoid looking too orange, stick to the size of a chocolate button; go overboard and you’ll likely be left with a streaky and unnatural finish.
For long hair, aim for a walnut-sized amount of shampoo, but those with shorter strands or finer hair can get away with half that amount. Apply shampoo to your scalp, raking it through your hair and stopping around halfway down the lengths – the majority of dirt and oil collects at the roots, so you don’t need a lot of product on the more fragile ends.
If you have thick or especially dry hair, aim for a golf ball-sized amount of conditioner; those with shorter or finer hair should use half the amount.
A drop the size of a grain of rice is plenty for those with finer hair types while those with thicker hair should aim for a portion the size of a 20p coin.