How Much Skin Care Product To Use: Are You Applying The Right Amount?

Wondering how much skin care product to use for each step? When it comes to your skin care, size matters — and applying a drop versus a dollop can make all the difference in the effectiveness of your routine. Apply too little product and you may miss out on its full benefits; apply too much and you risk irritating and overloading the skin. The trick is to find a happy medium. Read on for our guide to applying your skin care products properly.

Cleanser | Toner | Essence | Exfoliant | Face Masks & Treatments | Serum, Oil Or Concentrate | Moisturizer For Face Vs Body | Eye Cream | SPF | When To Apply Skin Care

How Much Skin Care Product To Use 

One of the most common skin care mistakes is applying too much product. When applying professional skin care products in particular, it’s important to keep in mind that they are highly concentrated. This means that you need to use even less to experience their full benefits. Follow this guide for application quantities that are just right:

Are you applying the right amount of products?


Blueberry-sized amount

Over time, using too much cleanser (or washing too frequently) can compromise your skin’s moisture barrier. This jeopardizes its natural ability to keep your skin hydrated and balanced, leaving you with a dry and irritated complexion. On the other hand, using too little face wash can impede a thorough cleanse. When dirt and debris are left behind, pores can become clogged, potentially causing breakouts

We recommend using a blueberry-sized amount of your favorite cleanser to clear buildup and keep the skin’s moisture barrier intact. For example, you cleanse using the Stone Crop Gel Wash, which contains botanical extracts to help even the look of your complexion and minimize the appearance of blemishes. Follow our cleansing tips and be gentle with your skin! Use lukewarm water and avoid rubbing your skin too vigorously. 


3 spritzes

Toners complete the cleansing process and prep your skin for the rest of your routine. These fast-absorbing mists remove lingering impurities and replenish the skin with essential moisture and hydration. Eminence Organics Lead Skin Care Trainer Natalie Pergar calls toning the “conditioning” step of your skin care routine: It balances your complexion and provides a base layer of hydration. This helps your skin to better absorb the subsequent skin care products in your routine.

Toners should be used morning and night, immediately after cleansing. Apply three spritzes of toner directly onto the skin — or, moisten a cotton pad and gently sweep the toner across your face and neck.

Pro Tip: Apply toner while your skin is still slightly damp — this helps its active ingredients absorb more efficiently.


A large blueberry-sized amount

You can use an essence after cleansing and toning, and also before your finishing products. Essences help to prime your skin for all of the additional products to follow. Filled with beneficial ingredients, essences are designed to help skin appear more hydrated and smooth. For example, you can apply the Kombucha Microbiome Balancing Essence which is formulated with pre, pro* and postbiotics to enhance the skin’s luminosity. Dispense a large blueberry-sized amount of essence into your hands or on a cotton pad. Apply by pressing it into the skin until fully absorbed and leave it on.


Raspberry-sized amount

Exfoliating regularly is an essential part of a healthy skin care routine. While your skin turns over naturally, it can get bogged down by a buildup of oil, dead skin and impurities on its surface. Exfoliation helps boost skin cell turnover by sloughing away dead skin and clearing the way for new skin cells to rise to the surface. 

While we agree that exfoliation plays a major role in skin health, it can be easy to overdo it. Exfoliating too often — or with abrasive products — can cause more harm than good. To gently and effectively exfoliate your skin, we recommend the following:

  • Powder Exfoliant: For a powder exfoliant like our Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant, dispense three shakes into the palm of your hand for a raspberry-sized amount. Add a few drops of water and gently massage the paste into your skin. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Exfoliating Peel: Dispense a raspberry-sized amount (or one to two pumps) of exfoliating solution onto a cotton round. Apply in circular motions covering the face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Leave on. 

Face Masks & Treatments

Cherry-sized amount for the face and neck

Masking is one of the best ways to give your skin an immediate boost. Face masks contain concentrated amounts of vitamins and nutrient-rich ingredients that are delivered under occlusion which helps them to absorb more efficiently. There is a mask for every skin type and skin concern. All skin types benefit from hydration and the Strawberry Rhubarb Masque does just that. It contains a Botanical Hyaluronic Acid Complex that is deeply hydrating and smoothes and plumps skin to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

When it comes to applying a face mask, less is more. Natalie recommends applying a pantyhose-thin layer over the entire face or neck. Simply emulsify a cherry-sized amount of mask in your hand with a few drops of water. Apply evenly and allow it to dry for five to ten minutes. Gently remove with lukewarm water. Natalie’s top mask recommendation is the Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Masque, a refreshing mask that contains a blend of citrus, leafy greens and avocado oil to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. 

Serum, Oil Or Concentrate

Pea-sized amount or about 2-3 drops

When it comes to oils, serums and concentrates, a little goes a long way. These potent formulas contain concentrated amounts of active ingredients that boost the skin’s overall health and target specific skin concerns and conditions. They can be used separately, or layered to enhance their benefits and tackle multiple problems at once. 

Because they are so highly concentrated, you only need a small amount of oil, serum or concentrate to experience its full benefits. For a serum or oil, we recommend pressing three drops into clean skin. One powerful hydrator for your skin is the Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum. Apply a thin layer over the entire face, or apply to the areas you wish to target one to three times per day for a youthful-looking glow. 

For concentrates like our Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Concentrate or Bamboo Firming Fluid (which have a lotion-like texture), even less is more. Apply just one to two pumps for optimal results.

Moisturizer For Face Vs Body

Blueberry-sized for the face
Cherry-sized amount for the body

We’re all guilty of being a bit heavy-handed when it comes to applying moisturizers, but more isn’t necessarily better. Applying too much moisturizer can actually limit the skin’s ability to properly absorb its beneficial ingredients and cause product to accumulate on its surface. The result: Congested pores and lackluster skin. 

For your face skin care routine, get the most out of your moisturizer by applying a blueberry-sized amount to your face, neck and décolletage. Use gentle, upward-sweeping motions, starting from your chest and moving towards your hairline. This action stimulates circulation and gives your skin a healthy-looking glow. You may enjoy the Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Hydrator, a lightweight vegan gel-cream that transforms the look of a dull complexion into a youthful-looking glow. Natalie recommends the Firm Skin Acai Moisturizer with botanical hyaluronic acid to plump and nourish the look of your skin.

When it comes to body care, you can apply a cherry-sized amount of moisturizer to improve dryness anywhere on your body. Slather it on your legs, arms, hands, neck, elbows, stomach — you get the idea! The Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Body Lotion is a delicious choice and infuses the skin with immediate head-to-toe hydration thanks to aloe, panthenol and a Botanical Hyaluronic Acid Complex that hydrates and preserves moisture in the skin.

Eye Cream

Grain of rice amount for each eye

The eye area is the thinnest and most fragile part of your face. For this reason, it can quickly display dryness, dark circles, puffiness and the visible signs of aging. Packed with vitamins and nutrient-rich ingredients, eye creams moisturize and soothe dry skin as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles under eyes. 

This delicate area needs to be treated with care. When applying eye creams, a pea-sized amount is plenty for the entire eye area. We recommend dispensing one pump of your favorite eye cream and gently patting it into the skin around both eyes, taking care to avoid pulling and stretching. 

Watch this video from Natalie to learn the proper technique:


Pea-sized amount
1/4 to 1/2 tsp of the Radiant Protection SPF Fluid

Applying sunscreen is non-negotiable: Sufficient sun protection is key to protecting your skin from irreversible sun damage. Whether you choose a physical (mineral) or chemical sunscreen, this is an essential skin care step that shields skin from the drying and aging effects of UV exposure. But how much sun protection is enough? A pea-sized amount of our all-mineral SPF moisturizers covers both the face and neck. When it comes to our Radiant Protection SPF Fluid, we recommend using 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. For more information, you can watch Natalie as she demonstrates the right amount of product to use in your daily routine.

When To Apply Skin Care

When you apply your skin care is just as important as the amount of product you use. While most skin care products should be applied both morning and night, there are weekly and monthly treatments that you can add to enhance your daily skin care routine. Here’s our guide for what to apply when:  

Daily (Morning And Night)

  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Serum/Oil/Concentrate
  • Moisturizer
  • Eye Cream
  • SPF
  • Weekly (1-2 Times)
  • Exfoliate (after toning)
  • Mask (after toning and/or exfoliating)


Find the right products for your skin care routine at an Eminence Organics Spa Partner — Use our Spa Locator to find a spa near you.

*Does not contain live probiotic cultures.

This article was originally written in October 2016.

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