Portion Control - How Much Product To Use

When it comes to portion control and skincare, we have a lot of opinions about how much to use. The Skingredients range is measured in pumps, or in coin-sized amounts, which should give you an indication of just where to start when it comes to how much product to use.

In Team Nerd, myself and the team of Nerds and Nerdettes sat down and made an official terminology of how to phrase how much to use of each product, because people are using WAY too much. Your serum should not be dripping off of you - you are not a big stack of pancakes and even so, Pancake Tuesday is just gone. 

How Much Product To Use

If you’re using too little of a product, you won’t see the results. If you’re using so much that your skin isn’t absorbing it all, you’re wasting your money! 

Using too much, or too little product are equally unhelpful. Too much product can be a waste of money, as your skin can only absorb so much in one go, or can smother your skin.


When it comes to Skingredients PreProbiotic Cleanse, we suggest that a euro-coin sized amount is ideal. If we’re talking pumps, then we think two is optimum.  

This is true of PreProbiotic Cleanse, Probiotic Ultra Delicate Cleansing Milk or the IMAGE Vital C Cleanser as it doesn’t lather, since it doesn’t contain surfactants, like similar products do. 

Coin sizes differ - but mostly, skincare brands suggest using a fairly generous dollop of the cleanser of your choice. Using too little can mean that you’re not thoroughly cleansing the area. 

For gel cleansers, a chickpea sized amount is plenty. Add a drop of water and swish in your palms to emulsify them prior to massaging them in for 60 seconds. You should be cleansing your neck, behind your ears too - from your nipples all the way up. 


When it comes to serums, you definitely need to check the information supplied with the product, as portion sizes can differ so much. When it comes to Environ Skin EssentiA Vita-Antioxidant AVST Moisturiser 1, the correct measure it 2 pumps - for Environ Focus Care Colostrum Gel, one pump is enough. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that depending on your skin concerns and the specific product, you might be recommended a different amount.

how much product to use

Certain serums come with pipette measures, and these can mean three drops, five, or half a pipette per application - just be sure to read the instructions closely to make sure you’re getting the full effect from the serums!

Serums are super concentrated products which can deliver their goodness deeper into your skin as they have a smaller molecule size (very nerdie, eh?). This is why you can often do with less than you might think, and you definitely don’t need as much as the average moisturiser. Irish hoomans have a tendency to larrop it on without needing to. 

Different serums tackle different skin concerns, and it’s totally reasonable to cocktail several together to save time and tackle several concerns at once - that’s what I do. Skincare on the run is totally possible. 

Mixing serums usually means that they will spread a bit further, too, ensuring that you’ll get them all the way from nipples to hairline - always our goal. 


When it comes to moisturiser, the amount required can differ between products. For Skingredients Skin Good Fats, we suggest one pump of product, but that’s not true of every product out there. Be sure to check your product packaging to make sure you’re not going to end up over-applying. 

Realistically, you usually need less than you’re applying when it comes to moisturiser. 


When it comes to SPF, skimping is not going to do you any favours. Application amounts and styles can differ depending on the type of SPF that you’re using. Chemical SPF, for example, in an aerosol can be rubbed into skin - but mineral SPF, like Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50 PA+++ cannot be applied in this way. 

how much product to use

With a mineral SPF, we would recommend that you use a half a teaspoonful of product on your face, neck, and ears, and every limb, too. Spread this onto your hands, and then pat your hands over your face, and tap the product into your skin. For mineral SPF, you’re trying to avoid gaps in your protection as much as possible, so make sure you cover every square inch of that skin of yours. 

If you’re going to get really nerdie, then technically the measure is 2mg of SPF per square inch of exposed skin. If you want to know exactly how much to use, you could always follow Michelle’s method from Lab Muffin Beauty - although I don’t think taping your skin is really going to do great things for it.

Sun damage is the number 1 cause of premature skin ageing, and it’s preventable, if you SPF up every. Single. Day.

For the rest of your body, it is charmingly suggested that you use a shot glass full of suncream. At the end of the day, it’s all skin, and all skin needs and deserves protection!

Eye cream

We don’t strictly suggest that you need to use eye-cream as a rule, once you’re making sure that you’re getting the nutrients that your skin needs all the way up to your eyes (as long as your product of choice is ocularly tested) but if you prefer it, then more power to you. 

A grain of rice sized of product is perfect for use on both eyes. Be sure to tap it in nice and gently if you do choose to use it.


how much product to use

For masks, it really depends on the mask in question. A sheet mask doesn't really require portion control - and masks differ on what they recommend when it comes to application.

Check the instructions carefully, and pay attention to the differences - there’s a gulf between ‘a thin layer’ and ‘lorry it straight on’. 

Is There A ‘Best Amount’ Of Product To Apply?

As ever, the best possible amount of product is the amount that is recommended and makes the best impact on your skin - there’s no use slapping it on (too much or too little) and expecting miracles. That’s the point of instructions, friends. 

If you’re in any doubt, then you can always ask your Nerd or Nerdette through the Nerd Network. They will be poised to inform you on exactly how much of everything that you should be using, and with what frequency. If you aren’t already a member, you can join the Nerd Network here