Posted by Roland Beverly, MD on Oct 13, 2015 under


An often over-looked or misunderstood part of skin care is how much to apply! Sometimes there is confusion because the instructions say something vague such as “a small amount.” How much should that be? “A small amount” may mean a dot to you and a teaspoon to me. It’s subjective, leading people to apply too much or too little. Other times the directions are more specific, but get ignored. This post will hopefully bring some clarification to this topic!


Why Amount Matters

The amount given is what has been studied, clinically or otherwise, as the proper amount to achieve the desired effect. Applying more will not typically bring about faster or better results because the skin will only absorb and work with a certain amount of the active ingredient(s). Using more will just waste the product, and cost you more in the long run. Over-application may also increase the risk of irritation from certain ingredients. Applying too little in an attempt to conserve the product and save money may actually end up costing you MORE because you may not be applying enough to see any improvement, or any benefits may take much longer.


Determining Vague Amounts

For those instances where the product just says to “apply” with no amount given or states something subjective such as a “small” or “moderate” amount, here are a few basic recommendations:

Face Wash – about a dime sized amount

Eye Cream – no more than a pea-sized amount per eye that is gently dotted around the eye area

Facial Serum – approx. a pea-sized amount for the entire face

Facial Moisturizer– about the size of a quarter or a hazelnut. Skin type can change what type of moisturizer you use, but the amount should not change too much.

BLOG DISCLAIMER: Information on this blog is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or treat any skin ailment. Please make an appointment with your physician for personalized medical advice. 


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