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What's the Perfect Skin Care Dose?

In an effort to maximize the efficiency of skin care products, it’s often tempting to slather on creams and serums with abandon. But to achieve the best results from your skin care, how much is too much?

Often, the answer is quite simple: A little goes a long way. Clinical skin care products are typically formulated with high concentrations of potent ingredients like retinol, vitamin C and alpha hydroxy acids. When these products are not applied in controlled doses, the skin may react by becoming dry, red and irritated.

Retinol is arguably one of the strongest—and most efficacious—topical skin care ingredients on the market. When using retinol or a prescription retinoid, only a pea-sized amount is needed to cover the entire face. Increasing your dosage won’t enhance your results and may only contribute to worsened redness, peeling and irritation, all common side effects of retinoid use.

Depending on the formulation, topical acne treatments are often intended for spot treating only and should not be used all over the face. When small amounts are applied directly to blemishes, acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are less likely to irritate surrounding skin.

The one exception: Sunscreen. Experts suggest using at least a shot glass full of sunscreen to cover the entire body, and while using more won’t enhance your level of coverage, it may help ensure that all exposed skin is adequately protected.

Many of SkinMedica’s top rejuvinating treatments, including TNS Essential Serum® and TNS Recovery Complex®, are formulated to be applied with just one to two pumps per day. For optimal results, always follow manufacturer usage instructions or consult with a skin care professional to get the best performance from your products.