When it comes to skincare products there's a fair amount to consider before a serum or moisturiser even hits your face.
You need to work out what products best suit your skin type; determine what order to apply them in and which ingredients are more effective at day and at night.
But how much skincare product to use is also a question worth finding out the answer to. Not only will you save money (British women spent over £1.5 billion on facia skincare in 2019, says market research group Mintel) but you can also avoid potential irritation.
If, for, example you're using a vitamin C serum or glycolic acid, you don't want to apply more than a coffee-bean-sized amount as these science-led ingredients are potent and could cause redness with overuse.
You need to be equally vigilant about how much SPF you use. Anything less than a 10-p sized dollop on the face and neck leaves you susceptible to skin cancer, as well as DNA damage including pigmentation and depleted collagen reserves.
So, to clear up the confusion Dr Kemi Fabusiwa, junior doctor and director at Joyful Skin Clinic, posted a picture on Instagram demonstrating the correct amount of skincare product we should be applying to our face without the heavy schmearing.
When it comes to cleansing, Dr Fabusiwa recommends both double-cleaning and doing so for 60 seconds. A trademark of Korean skincare, the first cleanse dissolves surface dirt. The second cleanse can either be with a cleansing oil, milk or gel to rid the skin of grime lurking under your make-up.
This "really does make a difference to the skin ensuring that the pores are deeply are cleared," says Dr Fabusiwa.
When it comes to clay facemasks and eye creams she recommends dialling back the amount you use; clay masks should only be applied where block pores are an issue and small amounts of eye cream will avoid millia from forming.
Serum-wise, use "enough to cover all areas of the face," says Dr Fabusiwa. "Hyaluronic acid is a great winter serum. Niacinamide is another great alternative." And moisturise liberally, especially at this time of year.
She stresses the importance of using SPF even in winter as UV rays still penetrate through clouds and windows.
Finally, she recommends you "allow each product to seep into the skin before applying the next. This helps to prevent piling."
This last point can actually make or break a skincare product. You can be using the most expensive serum but if it balls up when you massage it into the skin - a visible sign of 'pilling' - it isn't actually being absorbed.
So take your time with your routine to allow the products to be the anti-ageing fairytale you were hoping for.