One of life's questions we desperately need answers to is: What is the secret to clear skin? From this query, it branches out to these follow-up q's: Should we try out new hyped-up releases? Are we supposed to use high-end stuff? Should we do the tedious 10-step Korean skincare routine?
Maybe doing the said things would help, but learning how to manipulate your current skincare regimen can garner just as excellent results. The best part is, you don't have to spend an extra peso! Below, we've listed down all the ways you can make your current products more effective—without shelling out more money:
1. Use them in the correct order.
Sadly, you can't just pile products on your face at random and hope for the best. To be sure that all the good ingredients are being absorbed by your skin and are not just laying on top, remember the "thinnest to thickest" rule. Those with watery consistencies should go on first (such as toners and serums), while thicker ones (like moisturizers and face oils) go last. Of course, make sure to top it off with sunscreen during the daytime.
2. Apply your products on a damp face.
The belief that you should wait for your skincare products to dry first to be "absorbed" by your skin before proceeding to the next step is old news. Damp skin is like a sponge—it absorbs everything that's massaged on to it. The same principle goes for applying lotion right after getting out of the shower while your skin is still wet. The water helps lock in hydration.
3. Ditch the cotton pads.
It seems like toner is incomplete without cotton pads, but did you know that patting products on using your hands give you the same effect for free? (They'll get absorbed much faster, too!) Not only are cotton pads wasteful on the environment, but you'll also use up your toners, serums, and essences at a much faster rate.
4. Exfoliate weekly.
You might have the most extensive skincare regimen, but they won't be able to work their magic properly if they can't penetrate your skin. To make sure dead skin cells don't build up and create an unwanted barrier, dermatologists recommend exfoliating once or twice a week.
5. Know which direction to apply your products.
You may have got the order of your skincare products down to a tee, but did you know that the *direction* you apply them matter too? According to celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas, if you're dealing with inflammation and redness, you should massage your skin downwards to the side of your neck to encourage lymphatic drainage. If your complexion is looking dull or dry, however, do it upwards to help boost blood circulation.
6. Learn how to combine products.
Certain skincare ingredients pair up well with each other, such as Vitamin C + sunscreen and niacinamide + retinoids. Learning how to combine products to maximize their benefits on your skin is important because they add what the other needs and lead to quicker results.
7. Store them properly.
Certain skincare products oxidize when exposed to sunlight, thus making them ineffective. (Vitamin C serums are a good example.) To avoid waving goodbye to products bought with your hard-earned sweldo, store them in a dry, cool place, or you can place them inside your fridge. Not only will this protect them from warm temperatures, but they'll also feel cooling when you apply them on your skin!
* This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.