While we're fans of low-maintenance beauty, there's something cathartic about strategically applying your skincare products, slowly taking the time to move through each step with intention. It's a sensorial experience we know is contributing to the overall health of our skin, and it feels good to nourish and protect our unique outermost shells.
If you were to go through each of the editors' vanities at Byrdie HQ, it wouldn't be atypical to find a slew of products, each of which we'd vehemently argue serves a purpose. We may use a lot, but it's those extra steps each night and morning that we solemnly stand by. Plus, twice a day isn't really that time-consuming.
Meet the Expert
Renée Rouleau is a celebrity esthetician based in Austin, TX. She is also the founder and creator of her eponymous skincare line.
If you're Elizabeth Hurley, however, it isn't so much the number of products you use but the number of times you repeat a single product throughout the day. According to an interview with UK magazine Woman & Home, as reported by Allure, the 54-year-old actress moisturizes her face six times a day and her neck 10 times. This begs a lot of questions: First, what moisturizer(s) is she using? (She's said she uses Estée Lauder Resilience Crème, $92.) Second, if she's continuously moisturizing, does this mean she doesn't wear foundation? Most importantly, though, we were curious if applying that much moisturizer is actually beneficial, so we reached out to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau for her thoughts.
In terms of frequent moisturization, Rouleau is in agreement that more than twice daily could prove beneficial. "Depending on how a moisturizer is formulated, some can be short-lasting in their ability to hold moisture into the skin," she explains. "Combine that with having a damaged moisture barrier (tiny, invisible cracks in the skin often due to retinoids or over-exfoliation) and moisture can easily evaporate out of the skin within hours." As a result, adding a few more applications into the mix could improve your skin's natural moisturizing factor.
Excessive application may only be just that: excessive. "It's important to understand that the skin can only absorb so much," Rouleau says. "When Elizabeth keeps reapplying, it may not be offering any more benefit after a few applications even though it may feel like it." Also, her moisturizer of choice may lack a key protecting ingredient: SPF.
Rouleau continues, "What concerns me is that more than likely, there isn't sunscreen involved in all of this. If her main goal is to create healthy-looking skin, there is not a more effective way to do this than by keeping your skin from seeing daylight. Ideally, she would be more focused on reapplying sunscreen throughout the day or by dusting on an SPF-infused mineral powder over makeup to ensure the skin is staying protected from damage." After all, Rouleau says protecting your skin from the sun is way more important in terms of anti-aging than making your skin feel consistently dewy and plump with moisturizer.
Lastly, adding an oil into the mix will greatly help with moisture levels, too. "If [Hurley] put a skin oil on over [her moisturizer], it would retain that feel as well as hold moisture in the skin longer so she wouldn’t have to keep applying as often," says Rouleau.
The Main Takeaway
Moisturizing a few times a day with a noncomedogenic, barrier-repairing moisturizer won't harm your skin, but make sure you're also re-applying SPF. As for 10 applications? This isn't necessary, and moisturizer is usually quite expensive, so you're better off conserving.