How much skincare product should you really be using? We break it down for you

How much skincare product should you really be using? We break it down for you

When it comes to skincare there's a lot of talk about which products you should be using, the right order to use them and even how many steps in a skincare routine will give you glowing healthy skin.

But how many of us know how much of each product we should really be using?

Using too much could lead to a myriad of problems like breakouts, irritation and clogged pores. Use too little and your skin won't reap the benefits of the nourishing ingredients.

To help you master your skincare routine, we've rounded up how much product you should be using per step. Read on to find out.


Cleansing is the foundation of your entire skincare regimen. Using the right amount of cleanser will remove dirt and impurities, leaving skin clean and fresh to absorb the goodness of skincare products applied thereafter.

When you use too much: If you use more than you need to, you not only are wasting products, but also might end up drying out or irritating your skin.

When you use too little: Using too little could result in a buildup of dirt and dead skin cells, leading to clogged pores and breakouts.


Toners help in removing leftover dirt, makeup and impurities on the skin and boost hydration - it’s almost like a primer for the next skincare steps.

When you use too much: Instead of prepping the skin, it will just leave excess product on skin, potentially clogging your pores and leaving dry patches.

When you use too little: An insufficient amount of toner will reduce the absorption of nutrients but in excess, toners are counterproductive.


While most serums are light and liquidy, they contain high doses of active ingredients, making them very potent. Used for various purposes from re-texturising the skin to hydrating and balancing oil and water levels in the skin, serums penetrate deep into the skin to deliver nutrients.

When you use too much: Because they are so potent, a little goes a long way; overindulgence could result in irritation and/or breakouts.

When you use too little: Serums are used to target specific concerns, and using too little might render it ineffective in dealing with those concerns.


Our sunny and humid climate in Singapore might make you want to dial back on moisturiser, but resist that urge because it’s an important step in your skincare routine.

When you use too much: Using too much moisturiser might cause white bumps called milia. It will also cause your makeup to slip and slide. If your skin feels dry even after using the right amount, switch to a richer formula.

When you use too little: Not giving your skin that moisture boost might cause flakiness, a rough texture and a dull complexion.


Facial oils are commonly combined with moisturisers to act as a protective barrier and lock in the benefits of the previous layer. They are also great for dry skin, making it look dewy and healthy.

With oily skin, they help balance sebum levels making skin look less greasy over time.

When you use too much: Different oils come with different benefits, but use too much and you will have clogged pores.

When you use too little: Too little facial oil will deny your skin of its benefits.


Your eye area is extremely delicate and requires great care, which means that moderating your product use is crucial.

When you use too much: Excessive eye cream could leave the eye area hypersensitive, irritate eyes and cause milia.

When you use too little: Skimping on eye cream may prompt creasing, fine lines and dehydration.


With our tropical climate, sunscreen is extremely important. You need at least half a tea spoon or a blob the size of a dried apricot to ensure your skin is adequately protected from the sun.

When you use too much: Too much sunscreen doesn't give you any added benefits. Instead, you'll end up wasting product. It's more important to reapply sunscreen every two hours when exposed to the sun to really get all the benefits of sun protection.

When you use too little: Not using enough sunscreen means you will still experience sun damage which is usually seen in the form of dry skin, pigmentation, lines and wrinkles.


Using a scrub at least two times a week is a great way to remove dead skin and brighten complexion. With dead skin out of the way, skincare is better absorbed and you're on your way to happy healthy skin.

When you use too much: Too much scrubbing and your skin will become dry, irritated and sore and you may even experience a stinging sensation when applying your other products. Instead of using more scrub, it's better to use the right amount but gently work the product onto the skin for a little longer. And remember to always use light pressure when using a physical scrub.

When you use too little: Without enough product and active ingredients to slough off the dead skin cells, you won’t get a thorough exfoliation and your pores will remain clogged.

This article was first published in CLEO Singapore.

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