Why the "HOW" Matters

Author Team Essentialist

If you’ve done even the most basic skincare research you will know that how you apply your products is almost as important as what products you use. Think back to your last facial and try recall how the professionals handled your skin. Is it different than how you typically treat yours on a daily basis? We want you to start treating your skin in terms of both product and application technique. Why not learn to do it like the pros? In Japan and South Korea rubbing products onto your face has been ruled as a big no-no, here we'll introduce you to their technique. 

It's called the patting method and it is the mode of choice for most experts. If you think about it, it makes sense intuitively; patting products into your skin is gentler and less abrasive, meaning less friction and minimized risk of damaging the skin structure. This is especially true for the extremely delicate skin around the eyes. Fans of the patting method also claim that the act of rubbing is really just moving product around, while patting allows for even distribution and more optimal product absorption.

Though dermatologists won’t give credence to the claim that “patting” helps increase absorption, it’s undeniable that this method will help stimulate blood flow, aid in lymphatic drainage, and help tone your facial muscles. Overall your skin should begin to look brighter and less fatigued. For us the biggest takeaway is that it’s really about making skincare a ritual and bringing a meditative element to your routine. Skincare is part of self-care so anything that forces you to slow down, relax, and enjoy the process is a plus. 

Note: Techniques vary, some tap their fingers in rapid motions while others press with slow palm-heavy motions. Try both techniques and see what you like best! We'll admit, we weren't as nimble as we thought we'd be. The patting takes some getting used to but there's no time like the present to learn something new! Happy patting!

How to:

Step 1. Make sure your face (and hands) are clean and your skin is damp, not soaking wet.

Step 2. Warm product on fingertips/in palms before applying *studies say products absorb more readily when they are warm vs. cold. 

Step 3. Place both hands vertically on either side of the nose, then horizontally over the forehead and chin, hold for a few seconds in each spot.

Step 4. Begin at the centre of your forehead and work down your face going from the inside to the outside (this follows the lymphatic pathways). Use the palms and/ or flat pads of your fingertips to gently pat or press the product onto the skin of the face, neck and décolletage. Remember never pull or rub, it's friction we're trying to avoid! 

Do this with each product in order of usual application: essence, serum, cream, then oil.

*Pro Tip: Start with eye cream first (using only your index fingers to apply).