Dylan Mustapich is a NYC-based lead esthetician who has been featured in New Beauty, Teen Vogue, Wired, and The Huffington Post. With a lifelong love of all things skin, he is incredibly knowledgeable about skincare ingredients, routine refinement, and personalized skincare, and follows emerging technology closely.
When it comes to how much skincare product you apply, most people fall into one of three camps. There are those who feel they need to use triple the recommended amount of everything in their medicine cabinet, those who carefully measure out every millileter of product, and those who are just naturally able to determine the correct amount necessary for them. While I can’t really explain how our product usage habits are shaped (I’m an esthetician, not a psychologist), I can help you better determine how much of each product you should be applying during your skincare routine.
How much should I use: approximately 1.25 mL (or a nickel-sized amount)
With most cleansers on the market, you’re better off going with variety over quantity. In most cases, if you feel that you still have residue after cleansing, try switching to a different cleanser or double cleansing with an oil or balm. Our Atolla cleansers are an exception because we specifically formulated them so you can double cleanse (or use a little extra for stubborn makeup) with our custom textures.
How much should I use: approximately 0.25–0.5 mL (or a dime-sized amount for oil-based serum and penny-sized amount for water-based serums)
Less is more with serums. Unlike most other skincare products, you should apply serums by gently patting them into your skin. This makes spreadability less of a concern. You want to ensure that you’re using enough product to evenly distribute, without overdoing it and causing texture issues like stickiness and pilling. We’ve found that usually water-based serums that absorb quickly need a little more than oil-based.
How much should I use: approximately 2.0-2.5 mL (a roughly a quarter-sized amount depending on the consistency)
It’s all about spreadability with moisturizers. A pump of a super light moisturizer could be enough to cover your face and neck, while the same amount of a heavier cream might not make it past your cheekbones. The skin can only handle so much moisturizer before it stops absorbing. If you find you always have a lot of product sitting on your face after applying moisturizer, you’re probably overdoing it.
How much should I use: approximately 5 mL (or a quarter-sized amount 2x)
When in doubt, apply sunscreen. More is more in the world of sun protection; you want to be 100% certain that all areas are covered with a nice even layer. This is more difficult with spray sunscreens, particularly if there’s wind involved (2-3 additional passes is a must). It’s always best to go with a dedicated broad-spectrum sunscreen instead of makeup containing SPF, as makeup simply isn’t thick enough to offer the same level of sun protection.