The One Skincare Technique That Changed My Skin

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I’m not someone who necessarily believes in miracles when in comes to my skin. Instead, I think the slow and steady outlook is the best one to adopt with skincare. I don’t expect my issues to be resolved overnight, although if I need an instant boost, I can put on this sheet mask that triples my moisture levels in 20 minutes flat. But real talk: Having naturally glowing skin takes some effort.

I adhere to a full-on, multi-step routine morning and night. And while the consistency has paid off, there’s a little K-beauty secret that I recently started doing that’s made the biggest difference in my skin. One word: Patting. So simple, yet so effective. I started patting, instead of rubbing, in everything from my toner to serums to face oils, and everything changed. I immediately noticed that my skin was plumper, more hydrated, and more receptive to absorbing every last drop of product I was applying. To find out exactly how this easy tweak can make a huge impact, I reached out to celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas, who uses the same technique on her clients like Greta Gerwig and Elisabeth Moss to improve results. “Gently pressing oils and serums into your skin help to release active ingredients,” she saya. Here are a few reasons why you should be patting—not rubbing.

Everything Absorbs Better

As Vargas mentions above, this all has to do with the active ingredients in your skincare. By pressing in products that contain powerful actives like vitamin C, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid (which you can find in products like Blithe Vital Treatment Essence 9 Essential Seeds, $42; Make P:rem Radiance Peeling Serum, $44; and Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer, $39, respectively), you’re activating those ingredients with the heat of your hands. The heat also helps dilate pores and blood vessels ever so slightly so your skin is more receptive to absorbing all those ingredients, leading to better penetration and ultimately glowier results.

You Wind Up Using Less Product

A big plus to patting: Because your products are working better, you end up having to use a lot less! This was especially true with my oils, which seemed to sink into my skin so much better—and faster—thanks to the heat of my hands. Instead of six to 10 drops of my go-to moisturizing oil (we like Whamisa Organic Flowers Facial Oil, $40), I was able to feel fully hydrated with just three to four. And that means your products last longer, which is never a bad thing.


You Aren’t Tugging At Your Skin

You know how experts always say you shouldn’t rub the delicate skin around your eyes, including when you’re applying eye cream (try Whamisa by Glow Recipe Chai Tea Eye Cream, $26)? That’s also true for your entire face. Tugging and rubbing can mess up the elasticity of your skin, which means you might start sagging and seeing fine lines earlier than you would naturally. Patting helps minimize the possibility of sagginess and takes less of a toll on skin over time.

It Feels Ultra Luxurious

For me, this is possibly the most important part. My patting technique doubles as a mini massage, which I love at the end of a long day. It’s a little moment of luxury that reminds me to slow down and focus on myself. It’s a perk that doesn’t exactly have anything to do with your skin per se, but it does add a little pampering and self-care to your regimen, which we all deserve, if you ask me.

Share your best skincare tip in the comments below!

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