We bet that as soon as you finish washing your face your first inclination is to grab your towel and pat it dry. It’s a natural instinct really. However, did you know that keeping your skin damp could increase the efficacy of any products you use following your cleanse? Damp skin acts like a sponge, and is quicker at absorbing ingredients that come into contact. Even worse, consider all the potential acne causing bacteria your towel could be harbouring. We’re here to help you kick your towel to the curb.

 Image: Instagram @emrata Image: Instagram @emrata


Drying your face after each cleanse has always seemed like the right thing to do. The natural thing to do. However, topical products will better penetrate the skin when it’s damp, which, if you’ve been investing a lot of money in your skincare, you want them to work.

Before you go jumping out of the shower and straightaway layering on oils, we should mention that your skin needs to be damp, not wet. There are little to no benefits found in layering skincare over saturated, wet skin.

Jocelyn Petroni, one of Australia’s leading beauty experts (renowned for her facials) and owner of salon Jocelyn Petroni, informs us that following a cleanse, the skin remains damp for a certain amount of time until the water in the skin’s surface evaporates. So it’s best to continue with your skincare routine quickly. If your skin dries out too much, “you can spritz with a toner to re-moisten the skin’s surface. I like Shemana’s Heart Activation Mist which is infused with Vanilla and Rose.”

Toners have come a long way these days, Jocelyn says. The function of toners have become more like serums that put much needed moisture and vitamins back into the skin, while working to balance our skin’s pH levels. Throughout the years, their names have evolved into ‘essence’ or ‘spritz’, so look for any of the aforementioned products to add moisture back into the dermis.

“All the benefits of essences are specific to your skin type and whilst they may not be a necessary step in your skincare routine, they certainly can visibly improve your skin, on a case by case circumstance.”

Don’t fret! Having damp skin is better for the activation and absorption of your skincare ingredients, but they haven’t been rendered useless if you’ve been applying on dry skin. “Skin care ingredients will soak into the skin and do their job regardless if your skin is damp or not upon application. However, the benefit of applying products to damp skin means you can apply products more quickly and you can also see better skin results”, Jocelyn says.

“For example I apply a serum each morning to my skin (Ultraceuticals Brightening Serum) and then I apply an oil (Shemana’s Ritual Face Serum) which I apply just before the serum has been completely absorbed, to help the oil’s penetration. The oil in turn helps my moisturiser soak in and my moisturiser helps my sunscreen soak in etc…”

Additionally, “applying product to dry skin also requires the product itself to moisten and soften the skin cells as it is being absorbed. Applying product directly to damp skin means less irritation for extremely dry and sensitive skin types that could otherwise become irritated by the speed of delivery of ingredients to dry skin.”

So next time you step out of the shower, avoid towering off your face first, and waste no time applying your favourite serum. We know it seems like this is just another step to add to your beauty routine, but at least it’s an easy one to remember!

Story by Yadira Galarza Cauchi

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