How Much Lotion or Moisturizer Should You Apply?

How Much Lotion or Moisturizer Should You Apply? ( photo: )

In order to fully reap the benefits of your skincare regimen, it's crucial to use your products in the correct manner. Below, discover the appropriate amount of moisturizer to apply for supple and well-hydrated skin.

Once you've invested your hard-earned money in high-quality skincare products, it's important to ensure that you're using them correctly and not wasting any of them. When it comes to moisturizers, figuring out the appropriate amount to apply can be challenging, and it's one of the most frequently asked questions posed to Kiehl's skincare experts. Applying too little moisturizer could mean that you don't reap the full benefits of the product, while using too much could result in greasy, oily skin and the need to replace the product more frequently (which isn't ideal if you're on a budget or trying to reduce your environmental footprint).

To help you out, we've put together a comprehensive guide that explains how to determine the appropriate amount of moisturizer to use. We'll cover different types of moisturizers, when to use them, and how much product you should use on different parts of your body. Additionally, we've included some recommendations for the best Kiehl's moisturizers to incorporate into your skincare routine. Keep reading to discover how much moisturizer you should use for skin that looks and feels healthy and well-hydrated.

How Much Moisturizer Should You Use?


The amount of moisturizer you should use largely depends on several factors, such as your skin type, the product's ingredients, and the type of moisturizer (for instance, body lotion requires more product per application than face cream due to its larger surface area coverage). In this article, we'll discuss four common types of moisturizers and provide guidance on the appropriate amount to use for each one. Additionally, we'll suggest some of the best Kiehl's moisturizers to include in your skincare regimen. Keep reading for a comprehensive guide on how to moisturize your skin correctly.

Facial Moisturizer

Facial moisturizer refers to any cream or lotion specifically formulated for use on the face and neck. Typically, the product's packaging provides a general indication of how much to apply. However, to determine the appropriate amount of moisturizer for your face, you should take into account the product's formulation and your individual skin type. For instance, rich, occlusive moisturizers that are meant for severely dry or dehydrated skin should be used sparingly at first (and you can always add more if necessary). Similarly, oil-based creams are best applied in small amounts to avoid leaving the skin feeling slick or greasy. For these types of formulas, we suggest starting with a pea-sized quantity for your entire face and neck. If your skin still feels tight or dry after application, you can gradually add more cream to the dry areas as needed.

Ultra Facial Cream

For all skin types, facial moisturizers tend to have lightweight formulas that don't feel heavy on the skin, allowing for a bit of flexibility in application. One such product is Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, a perennial favorite that contains a blend of lightweight hydrators, including olive-derived squalane and glacial glycoprotein. This cream provides lasting hydration for up to 24 hours and is clinically proven to soften and smooth skin within a week of regular use. Even the driest areas of the skin have 2.3 times more moisture. For optimal results, it is recommended to apply a dime-sized amount of the formula to clean skin twice daily.

If you have oilier skin, a water-based moisturizer like Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream may be preferable. This unique face cream contains weightless humectant moisturizers like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, providing 24-hour hydration without a heavy or sticky feel. Because the gel is so lightweight, a nickel-sized amount can be applied generously to cover the face and neck for a fresh, shine-free finish.

Expert tip: advises checking the packaging of facial moisturizers with potent active ingredients like retinol or chemical exfoliants for specific application instructions. If you experience any irritation or sensitivity, reduce usage and consult with a dermatologist.

Hand and Foot Cream

Moisturizers that are occlusive, such as lanolin and petroleum jelly, are typically thick, rich, and heavier than everyday body lotions. These moisturizers are generally designed for extremely dry or damaged skin. They function by creating a physical barrier on the skin that traps in moisture to prevent water loss and subsequent dryness. Because these formulas are so rich, they should be used sparingly; too much will likely result in a greasy finish or a tacky feel.

For areas of extremely dry skin on your hands or feet, start with a small amount of your selected formula. We recommend Ultimate Strength Hand Salve or Intensive Treatment & Moisturizer For Dry Or Callused Areas. The former contains avocado and sesame seed oils and creates a glove-like barrier against moisture loss, while the latter contains a combination of emollients and occlusive moisturizers, such as shea butter, avocado oil, and cocoa butter. Intensive Treatment is specially formulated to deeply hydrate severely parched or callused skin.

Take a pea-sized amount of either moisturizer on your finger and apply it evenly to dry skin as necessary. If you find that it has a tacky feel after a few minutes, gently blot any excess product off with a clean tissue.

Expert Tip: To repair extremely dry hands, generously apply this thick lotion to your hands before bed and cover them with breathable cotton gloves. This will help seal in the moisture and prevent the lotion from rubbing off while you sleep, resulting in noticeably softer, smoother skin by morning.

Body Lotion

Similar to face cream, the appropriate amount of body lotion to use varies depending on several factors, such as the amount of skin you need to cover and the consistency of the formula. Lightweight, water-based lotions require less product than thick creams, making it easier to cover a larger area of the body with less lotion. While there is no set amount of lotion to use, we recommend using slightly more than a silver dollar-sized dollop for your entire body, which can be adjusted as needed. For best results, apply lotion to damp skin after showering to improve spreadability and lock in moisture.

For daily body care, Kiehl’s Deluxe Hand & Body Lotion is an effective blend of natural moisturizers, including aloe vera, olive fruit oil, and glycerin. It helps seal in moisture for smooth, soft skin when applied immediately after showering. The Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter is a lightweight, air-whipped texture that absorbs quickly and can be used every day, morning or night.

If you have rough or uneven-feeling skin, Superbly Restorative Argan Body Lotion is an antioxidant-rich formula that contains fairly-traded argan oil and olive-derived squalane. It helps protect your skin against environmental aggressors while improving overall texture. This hydrating formula is suitable for all skin types and absorbs quickly with a lightweight feel. Kiehl’s Creme de Corps is another rich moisturizer that contains squalane and cocoa butter, making it suitable for all skin types. It moisturizes dry skin while improving its texture, leaving it soft, smooth, and beautifully moisturized.

Expert Tip: To reduce packaging waste, don't discard your moisturizer bottles when empty. Instead, consider repurposing them as vases, cotton swab holders, and other useful items.



Guidelines for applying sunscreen differ from those of face cream or body lotion. It is crucial to use the right amount of sunscreen to ensure maximum protection. According to studies, adults typically use only 25 to 50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen.

So how much sunscreen should you use? Experts advise using a shot glass-sized amount, which is approximately one ounce, for your body. For your face, a nickel-sized amount is recommended. For everyday use, Kiehl's suggests the best-selling Super Fluid Daily UV Defense 50+. This non-comedogenic cream sunscreen offers long-lasting protection from the sun's harmful rays. It contains skin-friendly antioxidants and shields your skin against environmental stressors such as pollution. Apply the fast-absorbing formula to your entire face and neck at least 15 minutes before going outside. If you are outside for an extended period, reapply the sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating, even if it is a waterproof formula.

Read More: A Comprehensive Guide to Safely Exfoliating Your Skin

How to Choose The Best Moisturizer For Your Skin Type


Fortunately, if you're searching for the ideal facial moisturizer for your skin, you've come to the right place. In this article, we're disclosing our top moisturizers for each skin type and concern.

It cannot be stressed enough: a proper skincare routine is incomplete without an effective face moisturizer. Regular moisturizing is vital to maintaining your skin's natural moisture barrier, which is crucial for achieving smooth and healthy-looking skin. However, using just any face cream is not sufficient. To achieve the best-looking and feeling skin, you must choose a moisturizer that caters to your skin type and specific skin concerns. If you have dry skin, you'll need a hydrating moisturizer with ingredients that can soothe and nourish your skin. On the other hand, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, a lightweight, oil-free face lotion may be a better choice.

With so many moisturizer formulas available, it can be daunting to find the ideal one for your skin. To assist you, we've compiled a list of our best facial moisturizers for every skin type and concern. Keep reading to discover how to select a moisturizer that suits your skin.

How To Pick The Best Face Moisturizer For Your Skin


To choose the ideal face moisturizer for your skin, you need to start by understanding your skin type. There are various skin types, including dry, oily, sensitive, blemish-prone, and combination. If you're not sure what your skin type is, you can refer to our article "How To Determine Your Skin Type" for assistance. Once you've identified your skin type, you can find the best Kiehl's face moisturizer to suit your requirements below.

Best Daily Moisturizer For All Skin Types

The Ultra Facial Cream with Squalane is the best daily moisturizer for all skin types. This formula is a cult classic and is suitable for everyone. It contains olive-derived squalane, which is a signature ingredient of Kiehl's. This moisturizer is our best-selling face cream worldwide and is known for its ability to absorb quickly into the skin, providing hydration for up to 24 hours. It also helps to replenish and protect the skin's natural moisture barrier. For best results, we suggest applying a dime-sized amount to clean skin in the morning and at night to achieve soft, healthy-looking skin.

To provide additional protection against UV rays, you can try using Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30, which offers the same 24-hour hydration as the original formula but also includes broad-spectrum sunscreen to help your skin look its best. For a comprehensive guide to Kiehl's top face lotions with SPF, you can refer to our complete guide. Alternatively, you can choose to apply a layer of broad-spectrum sunscreen, such as Super Fluid Daily UV Defense SPF 50+, on top of your regular facial moisturizer.

That you adjust your choice of moisturizer based on the season. During the winter when the skin is more prone to dryness, you may benefit from using a heavier face cream. In hot and humid weather, a lighter facial lotion may be more appropriate.

Best Moisturizer For Oily Skin

The best moisturizer for oily skin is the Ultra Facial Oil-Free Moisturizer. Although you may feel reluctant to moisturize oily skin because it could make it oilier, all skin types require hydration. This non-comedogenic gel cream is perfect for oily skin, as it provides long-lasting hydration without weighing it down. It delivers a refreshing burst of moisture that lasts for up to 24 hours, leaving your skin feeling hydrated and fresh. With regular use, this moisturizer can also visibly reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and shine, resulting in a healthy, balanced look.

Best Moisturizer For Combination Skin

The Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream is the best moisturizer for combination skin. If you have combination skin, it's likely that you have both dry and oily areas, and the best way to care for it is by using a lightweight moisturizer. This ultra-light moisturizer is made with concentrated calendula extract and provides all-day hydration, helping to soften the skin. With consistent use, it can boost radiance after just one week, while also improving the appearance of dry fine lines, redness, and unevenness. This results in fresher, more radiant-looking skin.

Best Moisturizer For Blemish-Prone Skin 

Breakout Control Acne Treatment Facial Lotion. While occasional breakouts happen to everyone, blemish-prone skin can be more susceptible to frequent breakouts. If you're struggling with blemishes, try the Breakout Control Acne Treatment Facial Lotion. Regular use can also prevent new blemishes from forming, revealing smoother and clearer skin. Incorporate this effective facial moisturizer into your daily routine or use it as needed to address breakouts.

Best Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin

Centella Sensitive Cica-Cream. Sensitive skin requires a mild, fragrance-free face cream, such as the Centella Sensitive Cica-Cream. This hypoallergenic cream contains Centella asiatica extract and vitamin B5, providing intense hydration while protecting and calming sensitive skin. The ultra-gentle formula is dermatologist-tested and clinically proven to repair the skin's natural moisture barrier, minimizing rubbing and offering long-lasting hydration for visibly healthier-looking skin.

Best Moisturizer For Damaged Skin

Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream. If your sensitive skin is not properly cared for, it can become red, flaky, and uncomfortable. That's when you need to use Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream. This cream is formulated with colloidal oatmeal to repair and restore the skin's natural moisture barrier, alleviating the symptoms of irritation, including redness and discomfort. Use it as needed to soothe and strengthen dry, damaged skin.

Read More: How to Get Rid of Back Acne


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