To pat or not to pat? That is the question we’re often asking ourselves as we’re dabbing our fingers into our moisturizers and eye creams. While there are instructions on the labels of every skincare product you pick up at Sephora, how important is it really to follow these guidelines? We turned to a top dermatologist to demystify how you should actually be putting on the products stuffed in your medicine cabinet.
“The reality is that gentle application is important so the product reaches its target location that is your skin,” explains N.Y.C.-based dermatologist Dr. Jeanine Downie. While she stresses that the actual products you’re using should be your ultimate focus, practicing a soft touch should also be a priority.
So, how should you really go through the motions of your everyday regime? If you’ve been massaging the majority of your products including moisturizer, serums, toners, lip balms, cleansers, and exfoliators, breathe a sigh of relief and give yourself a high-five because you’re on the right track. “Rubbing these products in still gets them in the top layers of the skin where you want them, so this is an effective and acceptable method,” says Dr. Downie.
As for eye creams and spot treatments? These are two areas where extra attention is required. “Eye creams need to be patted on because that is gentler, preferably with the ring finger,” says Dr. Downie. Rubbing on eye cream can lead to broken capillaries and dark circles that can show up in as little as three months of harsh use. “Spot treatments are just that and should be patted on the affected spot area only,” she adds. Well, there you have it.