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Pat is the new Rub

A new skin-care trend is starting to pick up, and beauty lovers in Asia swears by it. It’s a different way of how you should be applying all your skin care products onto your face, also how you should be drying it as well. It’s Patting. Patting is generally gentler than rubbing in skin-care product because you are not pulling or dragging on the skin - thus less damaging to the skin structure. Some might argue your skin also absorbs products better when you pat on the product vs rubbing it in with your hands or a cotton pad or wipes. This is because it increases the absorption and effectiveness of the ingredients, as well as stimulating the blood flow, giving a nice glow to the skin, while rubbing “creates a lot of frictional forces on your skin”. 

However from a dermatologist’s point of view, it’s said that while patting certainly would be less damaging to your skin vs rubbing, since it uses less force, patting won’t necessarily make your skin products absorb into your skin better, since “there is no specific scientific data that supports patting products on helps them penetrate better.” Instead, they say skin-care products with potent ingredients will sink into your skin no matter how you apply them. 

Regardless of medical evidence, most people that have adopted this technique says patting has a calming effect on them. “It’s really relaxing, it creates a relaxing ritual of skin-care application that becomes quite meditative and second nature.” And they do believe, even though there’s no scientific evidence to back it up, that products do absorb quicker. For example with eye-cream, you tap the product in, because it’s supposed to help with absorption with the delicate skin around the eye. So maybe they are onto something with this patting technique. 

So how should I pat?

Patters would suggest putting the appropriate amount of product onto the palm of your hands, rubbing it together to evenly distribute the product, then gently press your hands against the face, first on your checks vertically, then horizontally on the forehead and chin. However, if you don’t want to waste product, this could be done by putting the products on your fingers and patting it quickly in repetitive taps around the face until all the products gets absorbed into your skin.

What type of products are best patted?

Lightweight and water consistency products, like creams, serums, gel, toners and even the extra essence and products from a sheet mask. If a product is heavier, perhaps apply it on the face first spreading into a thin layer, then gently start patting the product onto your skin. Serums and essences specifically go hand in hand with this patting motion, since well-made serums are designed with ingredients that facilitate penetration into the skin and do not require rubbing it in. 

There’s definitely no harm in trying out this new skincare practice, let us know if you do decide to give it a go and if you’ve noticed any differences to your routine, and if it’s worth the switch from rub to pat!

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