Cheat Sheet – How much product should you use?

So yesterday I was quietly minding my own business on Twitter when Stylist tweeted out the picture below, linked to a post, saying ‘Thank God, now we know how much to use!’.
I excitedly opened it only to find myself saying out loud ‘Erm, no. No. No. Yeah maybe. WHAT? NO.’ Etc etc You get my point. The cause of my distress?

 Now in absolute fairness to Stylist, which I love, read weekly like a Bible and have absolutely no issue with, this was originally written by makeup.com almost 18 months ago.

When you look at the actual article they go further with their recommendations, explaining that the cleanser ‘hazelnut’ size is because ‘foam can cover a lot of ground but for cream cleansers you can up your serving size slightly’. It’s ok. I was sitting down when I read it.

There are other crimes, misdemeanours and blatant felonies in the original article, so I figured it was the perfect time write my own Cheat Sheet on ‘How much product should you use?’

Cleanser – because we won’t be talking about foam, I would break it down by the formula and what are you using the cleanser for – either makeup removing or skin cleansing.

First cleanse/makeup removal – balm: either a big fat grape or two grapes if they’re smallish.

First cleanse/makeup removal – milk: a heaped teaspoon or two pumps if applicable

Second cleanse/A.M. cleanse – a level teaspoon or one pump if applicable

Acid toning – dampen a flat cotton pad (never cotton wool balls) until 2/3rd’s of the pad are wet. Use both sides. Always. For pre-soaked pads, one pad used on both sides.

Eye cream – I think a ‘pine nut per eye’ is probably what I use. If your eyes are dry or showing signs of ageing, then you may want slightly more. But for younger skins, one pine nut on the edge of your ring finger, blended with the opposing finger, and applied to the eyes, is sufficient. You need enough to cover the entire orbital area, over and below your eye.

Serums – this is one of the ones that caused me to shout at the page. A pea. A PEA? A pea won’t go further than your fingertips. Serums are easy to gauge because the majority of them are in bottle with dispensing pumps, and designed to be dispensed one pump per application. Ergo, if you have a large face, *waves* use two pumps and for a smaller face, use one pump. For comparison purposes, about a 20p size is what you’re going for. For US readers that’s like a fat nickel.

Moisturiser – depending on your skin and face size, two blueberries, or 3 if you’re a dry, pumpkin head. Think 20p/fat nickel again.

Night cream – a blueberry? No. Two, at least. The original article says it will ‘end up all over your pillow if you don’t leave it for 5 minutes before turning in’. Well, dear reader, this we know to be nonsense because we all cleanse as soon as we get home in the early evening and sleep on silk pillowcases don’t we? 🙂

SPF – this category was my reason for writing this post. Mainly because the advice of a grape is not only wrong, it’s dangerous. Whilst you could ostensibly say that a grape would suffice for the face and neck, the recommendation of a heaped teaspoon for the face and neck is what is recommended by skin cancer specialists. For your body, it’s a tablespoon per limb. A tablespoon. One for each leg and arm, one for your trunk, one for your back and if you’re wearing skimpy swimwear/nude you need to add one lotion allowance for your bottom, hips thighs etc. If you follow the ‘grape’ advice I promise you are setting yourself up for a big fat burn.

While I don’t generally worry about hair products – each to their own etc.. I do also disagree with the recommendations for both shampoo and the ‘how to use’ conditioner.

Shampoo cleanses not only your hair, but your scalp. Conditioner not only acts as a moisturiser for your hair, it redresses the balance of your scalp. To only use shampoo on your roots/scalp and conditioner on your ends leaves the hair unbalanced, like doing laundry and using washing powder without fabric softener – think static. Just wrong. And no, I’m not a hairdresser. I know. I have worked with some of the best in the industry during my time at Aveda and through the years. That being said, they argue amongst themselves about this as well, so you do what you like. As long as you, you know, wash.