6 Common Moisturizer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

June 16, 2021
Kate Marin
By: Kate Marin | skincare.com by L'Oréal
6 Common Moisturizer Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Moisturizer may be the most straightforward skincare product to apply — there’s no wrong way to slather it on your face, right? Think again. Application mishaps are pretty common — from being too generous with your favorite cream to missing some key areas that absolutely need attention. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your moisturizer and are using it correctly, avoid the mistakes below. 

Not Washing Your Hands Before Applying


It’s imperative to wash your hands before applying any product to your face, especially if you’re dipping into a jar or tub of moisturizer. Bacteria love dark, damp areas so it’s best to take the necessary precautions to help prevent any cross-contamination. Wash those hands before diving into your favorite hydrating cream or use a skincare spatula.

Being Too Generous

We all want to get the most out of our skincare products, but using a large amount does not necessarily mean it will perform better. In fact, using too much moisturizer in one application can actually leave your skin feeling weighed down and greasy. The best way to know exactly how much of a product you should be using is to read the instructions listed on the packaging.

If you feel like you need an extra boost of moisture beyond your usual facial cream, try incorporating a serum formulated with hyaluronic acid into your routine. One of our favorites is the Vichy Mineral 89 Face Serum

Vichy Mineral 89 Face Serum

Skipping Moisturizer When You Have a Breakout or are Feeling Oily

Many acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can be drying, so providing your skin with a layer of moisture after using spot treatments can help address signs of dryness or flaking. On a similar note, don’t skip out on your moisturizer if your skin feels greasy or oily. It’s a common misconception that oily skin does not need moisturizer, but neglecting to apply your face cream can actually cause the skin to overproduce oil.

Moisturizing on Dry Skin

Most moisturizers perform best when your skin is slightly damp. Massage your moisturizer in as soon as you get out of the shower or after applying a serum — waiting too long to apply can be keeping you from reaping the full hydration benefits. 

Using the Same Formula Twice a Day

If you’re using the same lightweight moisturizer morning and night, you’re missing out on an opportunity to intensely hydrate your skin while you sleep. At night, reach for a replenishing cream like the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. The whipped formula is made with squalane, glycerin and glacial glycoprotein to provide 24 hours of intense hydration. In the morning, reach for a lightweight moisturizer or one formulated with broad-spectrum SPF for protection. 

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

Only Applying on Your Face

Make sure you massage a bit of moisturizer onto your neck and chest or consider investing in a cream specifically made for the décolletage area. One of our favorites is the SkinCeuticals Neck, Chest & Hand Repair, which can help brighten and hydrate the skin. Apply it the same way as facial moisturizer — twice a day after cleansing.

Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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