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Should You Pat or Rub Your Skin Care Products In?


Everywhere you go, you're told you need to pat your skin care products in because it helps the product to absorb better, that somehow this patting motion helps the ingredients penetrate our skin more effectively, leading the product itself to do an overall better job on our skin. The term penetration is used to describe a characteristic of cosmetic ingredients in which they migrate from the surface of skin into the lower layers of the skin cells.

However, this may not be so true, after all.

In fact, patting your skin care products in doesn't actually make it penetrate your skin better - and neither does rubbing!

In case you're thinking I'm cuckoo, or maybe you haven't read my e-book - let's have a little Science of Skin 101: our skin's outermost protective layer is called the stratum corneum (I'm sure you've heard me talk about it before!). Our stratum corneum serves a very important function as protection for our body from the outside world, and in fact, it isn't easily penetrable. If the stratum corneum is easy to penetrate, it's likely you've got some damage on your hands. A damaged stratum corneum can be caused by many things and has symptoms like dry, red, irritated and inflamed skin.

I talk more about healing a damaged moisture barrier here.

At the end of the day, whether you pat or rub your skin care products in, the stratum corneum only allows products to pen