Everyone knows moisturizing your skin is important to keep your skin health in check—but can you moisturize too much? It may seem like a silly question at first. How bad can it be if you put too much of a good thing on your body or face? Well, it turns out that moisturizing too much might actually do some harm.

Why Should You Moisturize Your Skin?

Before diving into what skin issues may arise when you moisturize too much, you should understand why exactly moisturizing is helpful. Put simply, moisturization is a key step in every skin care routine. Not only does moisturizer act as a seal to lock in all the products you've used, but it also makes sure your skin stays moisturized. A moisturizer's main goal is to maintain your moisture content, which impacts how well your skin's natural oils are balanced.

The benefits to moisturized skin are endless. It can keep dryness at bay, help in evening out skin texture, improve collagen production, and boost your natural radiance. When mixed with the right active ingredients, moisturizers can also treat acne and hyperpigmentation and support the skin barrier.

How to Know If You've Moisturized Too Much

So, can you moisturize too much—and how can you tell? Can you overapply to particular areas of the body? For instance, can you put too much moisturizer on your face? The short answer to these questions is yes. There are a few signs to tell whether you've gone overboard or not.

One sign is clogged pores. Pores can sometimes get clogged with heavy formulas and too much product, which can then lead to breakouts and more acne. If this occurs, it could be a sign you're using too much moisturizer.

Another sign is excess oil production. Because moisturizers maintain your skin's moisture level, too much moisture can cause your skin to look oilier than normal. If you notice excess shine and oil, you may want to rethink how often you're moisturizing.

Lastly—and ironically—too much moisturizer can actually lead to drier skin. Just as it can tip the scale to make your skin oilier, providing too much moisture might encourage your skin to stop producing oil on its own. This can then lead to drier skin and a duller complexion.

How to Moisturize Correctly

Ideally, you'll want to moisturize as the very last step of your skin care routine because it usually comes in a creamy, heavier consistency compared to other products. If you start with your thickest products first, it will prevent your other products from penetrating the skin.

You'll also want to make sure you're using the right type of moisturizer. Choosing the right moisturizer depends on your skin type. For example, those with oily skin will want to stay away from heavy creams that might clog pores and cause breakouts. Instead, opt for a lighter, gel-like consistency and one that's labeled noncomedogenic.

In the end, you'll want to find the right moisturizer for your skin type—one that will treat your most pressing skin concerns and is lightweight enough to wear everyday. The EltaMD Skin Recovery Light Moisturizer is a great option! Then, simply apply it at the end of your day and night routine. If you feel like you need to apply more during the day, don't. You might disrupt the moisture balance in your skin if you put on too much moisturizer, leading to more skin issues.

If you feel like you need more, it might actually be a sign you're using the wrong type of moisturizer for your skin, so look into using a new one. As always, you should turn to a board-certified Dermatologist to see what you should be using for your skin. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be well on your way to healthy skin.


  • Audrey Noble

    Audrey Noble is a New York City-based reporter specializing in features, celebrity profiles, and beauty topics. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR, Allure, Vanity Fair, Refinery29, and more. She is a University of Southern California alumna with bachelor's degrees in print journalism and creative writing.