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Recently Hada Labo launched a “pledge to pat” campaign in Singapore, reminding us to pat our skincare products in. Then again, there are others who say that we should rub it in with an upward direction. DV decided to check it out and here’s what both camps have to say about patting vs. rubbing!

Camp Pat It On

The Hada Labo technique recommends that we warm the product by rubbing the palms of our hands together, and then systematically patting it on our faces (cheeks first!). Doing so enhances the absorption into the skin and boosts blood circulation of the skin.

Those who argue that we should pat products in also say so because it’s a gentler way of application. This is especially for areas around under the eyes, where the skin is at its thinnest. Patting also prevents us from pulling and over-stretching our skin. This can lead to a breakdown of elastin and collagen, in turn leading to wrinkly and saggy skin.

Camp Rub It In

applying moisturiser

The group that advocates rubbing in products in a circular motion believes this helps to stimulate blood flow. And if you apply your products by swiping it upwards, you’ll be giving your skin a lifting massage.

Our skin consists of several layers – the topmost being the stratum corneum. This layer is difficult to penetrate, and rightfully so since this layer basically protects us from the dust and dirt of the world. Perhaps from a more practical point of view as well, rubbing takes a shorter amount of time, and helps to get the product into the nooks and crannies of your skin.


attractive asian woman beauty image

There are obvious products that work better when you rub (cleanser, exfoliator) and others that are better when you pat (eye cream, lightweight serum). And if you have sensitive skin or acne-prone skin, generally, rubbing too hard may cause irritation, and you may want to avoid that.

We aren’t for either camp but believe that you should use the products according to what they’re intended for. Always check with the beauty advisors from the brands of the products you are using on the best way to use the product, and you might just find that they absorb better and show more efficacy.

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