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Post in Skincare Aware

Right Way To Use Moisturizer

I have been struggling recently on the right way to effectively use my Face moisturizer. Time and time again I have been told or read somewhere that face moisturizers/cream should be used on a damp skin which brings me to the key reason of my confused state. If I ought to use my Toner and Serum before my face cream/moisturizer then how do I keep my face damp before applying my moisturizer especially when been told to wait at least 60 seconds or more before moving to the next step in daily routine skincare use.


Will appreciate a detailed way to keep my skin damp enough to apply moisturizer and FYI you awesome folks will probably be saving a life right here (LOL) by responding with effective and easy method to achieve this.

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer


A  big thank you to you guys for the replies. Been away for a while so I couldn't reply nor even read your replies but now that I am seeing it I am grateful at the abundant of information that is here for me to learn from. As of today I have start to implement some of the ways listed here and I hope to give feedback in the near future.



                                                                                               Thank you so much.

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer

You don't need to wait 60 seconds between products, @Beekim19. You can apply your moisturizer immediately after your toner or serum and that will provide some dampness. That said, it's not necessary to use moisturizer on damp skin. You certainly can, of course, but moisturizers are formulated to work just fine on when applied to dry skin.

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer

I notice that when I apply the Fenty Fat toner serum it takes at least 10 seconds to dry cos' if I apply my moisturizer on top of it immediately it kind of feel very sticky since the Belief cream is gel like... So, even if I don't wait 60 seconds I at least need to wait 30 seconds before applying my moisturizer. But for my night routine I did try applying my night serum, night oil and moisturizer immediately and so far I have not had any breakout plus it glides though on my face in a very silky way.

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer

@quspork @Beekim19  Quick clarification: it’s not necessary depending on your skin type/behavior. If your skin is often dry or dehydrated throughout the day, it can be very helpful to give your moisturizer a layer of hydration to seal into your skin. Moisturizers are formulated to prevent water loss; they’re not all formulated to also hydrate. For some of us with dry and dehydrated skin, even super occlusive petroleum won’t moisturize well if applied to fully dried-down (not damp) skin. It ends up sealing in dryness instead. 

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer

I agree totally. I actually was using an acne treatment a year ago which seems to be drying off my skin after weeks of usage and my moisturizer just seems to stay on top of my face so I had to skip serum and toner and use my moisturizer immediately (when my face is quite damp) after cleanser which helps with my dryness but then after a couple of moths I started breaking out then I had to incorporate toner and serum back into my skincare routines and that just solved my acne problems.

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer

As someone with dehydrated skin, I agree that for some it can be helpful to layer hydrating products under moisturizer, @WinglessOne. That said, most moisturizers (at least good ones containing humectants, emollients, and occlusives) are still formulated to be used when applied to dry skin. Using them on damp skin can be great, it's just not necessary for everyone (addressing the confusion in @Beekim19 's original post).

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer

Hi @Beekim19 ! The simplest way to do this is to tap a little water on your face after your toner and serum sink into your skin, then apply moisturizer while your face is still damp from that water. You can just use your hands to do this, or fill a misting bottle with water for this purpose. 


I'm one of those folks who keep their face damp throughout their skincare routine. (I do this with skin on the rest of my body, too.) Instead of plain ol' water, I use a hydrating mist: either COSRX Centella Water Alcohol-Free Toner (it's marketed as a toner but for me, it's an inflammation-reducing mist) or Timeless HA Matrixyl 3000 Cucumber Spray (gives me a little extra peptides boost). I use these 2 mists to address my particular skin's issues, and because they have simple ingredient lists without anything my skin hates. You don't have to use a hydrating mist; water will do the job for many people. 


Depending on which toner you use, you could try putting some of it in a misting bottle and then use it as a hydrating mist right before you apply moisturizer. I don't recommend doing this with an exfoliating toner (anything that contains glycolic, mandelic, or salicylic acid, for instance) or a toner that contains lots of alcohol denat. Otherwise, I figure most water-based hydrating toners should work fine as a mist. Or instead of going the mist route, you could just apply another layer of your toner (if it's water-based) with your hands and then apply moisturizer while your skin's still damp with it, rather than waiting for your skin to dry down completely. 


EDIT: I missed your tagged products before, and now I see you use the Fenty toner. It's water-based but it's also kinda thick in texture, right? (I've never tried it.) If your skin's fine so far with that product, you could try applying a second layer before your moisturizer. You might want to just tap or mist some water on your face instead, though. 

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer

The Fat Toner Water takes a while to dry off so maybe I'll try the water. I do have a question though, do you ever breakout from sprinkling water on your face after toner and before your moisturizer?

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer

@Beekim19  Nope, my hydration method doesn't cause acne on my skin. Applying moisturizer to clean damp skin shouldn't clog pores, as long as the moisturizer itself isn't bad for your skin. 


My acne seems triggered by certain foods (especially excessive dairy), hormones, and stress. Also, if I don't rotate and change my pillowcases frequently enough, or I skip a couple nights of washing my face, I'll end up with an acne breakout. Certain active ingredients can cause "purging" (sudden new acne); retinoids are infamous for this because they boost the skin cell renewal cycle, which includes speeding up the acne cycle. It's just the retinoid evicting crud from deep within skin. 

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer

@WinglessOne I read another thread that described how you keep your skin damp throughout your whole skincare regime.  I incorporated that step into my process and it has worked wonders!   Thank you. @Beekim19 

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer

Good to hear a positive feedback. A big thanks to @WinglessOne for this.

Re: Right Way To Use Moisturizer

Yay, I'm so glad it's helped your skin, @tjffc ! 


My dermatologist deserves most of the credit: it was one of the first recommendations he gave me, and one of the main reasons I chose him. I was shopping around for a new derm (after getting fed up with my old one) and had a list of questions I'd asked other derms. His answers, and the way he delivered them, won me over. Other derms had mentioned applying moisturizer to damp skin, but he took it a step further based on my skin's condition/behavior and suggested I keep my skin damp throughout my routine. I no longer get dry patches on my face unless I slack on that hydration effort, or I over-exfoliate (resulting in more than just dry patches), or my skin reacts badly to something. 

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