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How Much Product Should I Be Using?

How Much Product Should I Be Using?

Whether it’s a cleanser, moisturiser or serum, it’s important to know the optimal amount of skin care product you should be using. Applying too little may prevent you from experiencing the maximum benefits of your cream, gel or lotion. At the same time, using too much may just not be needed or can produce irritation or sensitivity. That excess quantity could be put to better use and make your product last longer, too.

That's not all!

Applying more than the required quantity of a product may also increase the risk of a few side effects; hence, it’s important to know when enough is enough. 

If you’re not sure how much of a moisturiser, cleanser or serum you should apply, read on to find out what the ideal quantities usually are.


For cream and gel cleansers, a small quantity of product, typically the size of a five pence piece, is all that’s needed. For foaming cleansers, just one pump should be enough to get the job done.

Apply the cleanser on your face and neck once or twice per day, and for removing makeup when the occasion arises.

Overusing cleansers can make the skin dry and irritated without producing any extra benefits. If you use too little, it may leave makeup, dirt, and debris on your skin, which leads to clogged pores and breakouts.


A blueberry-sized amount of serum gives your skin that much-needed boost of ingredients to help with exfoliation, hydration, breakouts and dullness.

Using too much serum may leave an accumulation of concentrated active ingredients on your skin. Exfoliating serum, when used in larger amounts, may also cause stinging and peeling.

If you use too little, you simply won’t get the benefits you’re looking for.


Excessive use of topical forms of retinoids can make the skin more sensitive. Therefore, the best way is to start with dabbing a five pence-sized quantity of a retinoid-based product across the entire face. You may increase the amount gradually if your skin can tolerate it.

If your skin feels too sensitive, mix it with moisturiser before application and use more infrequently – no more than once per day or once every other day.

Using more than the recommended quantity of retinoid products can lead to dryness, peeling and redness.

Remember that a little bit of retinoid is all that’s needed to improve your skin. However, it can take longer to produce results and that’s why it’s recommended to use retinoid products regularly, albeit in conservative amounts during each application.

Eye Cream

It may seem like a good idea to slather this on, but applying a pomegranate seed-sized amount per eye is enough for each peeper.

If you use too much eye serum, it can make the delicate skin under the eyes more sensitive, clog pores and cause eye irritation. Using too much eye cream may also make it difficult for you to apply makeup evenly.

Alternatively, using too little can leave the skin dehydrated and won’t help makeup settle properly on the skin.


If you are using a moisturiser, a five pence-sized amount is usually enough for the entire face.

Overdoing it with the moisturiser can make your skin look shiny and increase your risk of breakouts. Using too little may make your skin look flaky and dull due to inadequate hydration.


A grape-sized amount of sunscreen cream or lotion is an ideal amount for the face. Using too little increases your risk of sunburn, especially if your skin is fair and sensitive. Inadequate protection against harmful UV rays also increases your risk of premature wrinkles and skin cancer.

Facial Scrubs

If you are using a facial scrub, dabbing a small amount onto the face  somewhere between the size of a five and ten pence coin, is enough to stimulate exfoliation. It is advisable to use a scrub with round beads instead of jagged edges in order to avoid small tears in the skin.

If you use too much, your skin may be left dry, red and sore. In comparison, there are few downsides to using too little.

If you are using chemical exfoliants containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) or beta hydroxy acids (BHA), you need to be more cautious and avoid overusing these products. Whilst AHA and BHA are effective at rejuvenating the skin, the excessive application of these compounds may leave your skin red and raw with increased photosensitivity.

Applying facial scrubs in excessive quantities may cause thinning of the skin, premature ageing and abnormal pigmentation.

Night Cream

Spreading a ten pence-sized amount of night cream on your face and neck is enough to support the skin’s repair processes  during night time. It also helps to rejuvenate your skin and delays signs of ageing.

Using just as much of the product as needed is the key to deriving optimum benefits for improved skin health, whilst avoiding the potential side effects.