Are You Using An Excessive Amount of Product?

Aly Walansky

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We’ve all been there – those instances where we apply a serum and just to play it safe, we slather on some more. Or, we have a breakout and dab on our spot treatment – and just to be sure, use it again. You can’t possibly have too much of a good thing, right? Actually, you can. And applying extra isn’t really the best idea.

“Healthy skin should be the utmost priority for women, whether they wear makeup or not. I typically follow a “pocket change” rule when it comes to skin care products. For example, a nickel-sized amount for moisturizer and a dime-sized amount for cleanser. Using these small amounts will not only save your product, but prevent dry or oily skin, as well as breakouts,” says Christina Carter, owner and creator of red beauty bar in Michigan.

Different skin types require different considerations
When it comes to moisturizers, most of us overload our skin in an attempt to avoid lines and wrinkles. The end result may be clogged pores, congested skin, and rough textures from dead cell build up. If your skin is oily and tends to breakout, only use creams or moisturizers on dry areas and avoid using these pore clogging products on areas where you have more oil glands and tend to get pimples and blackheads, says Wendy Lewis of Beauty in the Bag. Oily skin doesn’t need more oil. Oily skin also doesn’t respond well to over-cleansing which dries it out.

MORE: 10 Things You Don’t Know About: Your Pores

Cleansing and exfoliating
With most cleansers, a little goes a long way. With foam, one pump should be plenty. Over-cleansing can dry out and irritate skin.

On the same note, over scrubbing and exfoliation with facial scrubs can wreak havoc on your face. Whether you’re looking to help soften skin texture or tone, these products should be used only once or twice a week. Even then, easy does it. Look for products that soothe, rather than irritate your skin. For instance, Surya Brasil has a new facial scrub made with natural coconut, not microbeads.

Mind your sensitive skin
Sensitive skin that gets easily irritated reacts to too many ingredients and overusing products. More is not necessarily better. Stick with formulas with fewer ingredients and use a small amount as needed. Don’t layer one product over another, because if you start itching or get a dermatitis, you wont be able to isolate which product is the culprit, says Lewis.

Too much scent
Everyone has been in a car with someone who got way too carried away with their fragrance. Spraying on too much perfume can be toxic for everyone – including those colleagues that sit near you at work. Solid perfumes help solve this issue. For example, Carthusia has a beautiful collection of sophisticated fragrances in travel jars that help you apply just enough without wasting or turning anyone off.

MORE: The Right Way to Take Off Your Makeup

The same goes for hair products
It’s easy to use too much shampoo, especially when it’s been a few days since that last wash and we feel pretty gnarly. A quarter-sized amount of shampoo should be enough unless you have a ton of hair. Concentrate the scrubbing for the root and then lather through length. That drying squeak isn’t a good thing. It means you’ve gone too far, and are drying out your hair. Pump dispensers on shampoo bottles help keep your hair clean without using too much.

Once you are washed and conditioned, the same goes for overdoing it with hair oils and serums. Using too much hair product is a great way to look like you need to wash your hair!

A little goes a long way, but not on everything…
Most of us are using too much of the wrong products, and too little of the right ones. “For example, you need to use one shot glass full of SPF to cover your face. Most people only use a fraction of that amount!” says Lewis.