“Think of the surface of the skin—those dead cells—as a barrier. You have to remove it for products to get in,” says dermatologist Amy Wechsler. Basic cleansers free up pores by removing dirt and oil, but to truly increase absorption, you’ll need a grainy scrub with small, smooth particles, like Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula.
“Whatever goes on first penetrates best,” says dermatologist Jeannette Graf. So whether you’re fighting wrinkles, zits, or sun spots, the most active ingredients should be applied first. If you’re using two products for two different problems, apply one to bare skin in the morning and the other to bare skin at night. After treatments are in place, smooth on other items in order of density, from thinnest to thickest.
Damp skin acts like a sponge, quickly absorbing whatever comes its way. (That’s damp, not wet.) This rule applies to almost every product—even retinoids.
When you wash your face with lukewarm water instead of cold, you raise the skin’s temperature slightly, causing blood vessels and pores to dilate in an effort to cool you down. “Space between the cells means there’s a greater surface area for absorption, which helps product get in,” says dermatologist Heidi Waldorf.GET THE REST HERE!