The Ultimate Beauty Serving Size Guide to How Much Product You Really Need


We’ll admit we’ve gone back for seconds. There have been instances when that first round of anti-aging super serum just didn’t feel like enough and we needed one more pump to feel adequately anti-aged. Unfortunately, as it turns out that “less is more” adage that we have a love-hate relationship with rings truer than ever when it comes beauty products. Using more than needed doesn’t necessarily do more good for your complexion (not to mention the harm done to your wallet every time you cash another night cream). To save you from a lifetime of superfluous slathering, we’ve complied your beauty serving size guide. Trust us, this is one diet you’ll definitely be on board with.

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Skin Care Products:

Serving size: a hazelnut
Most face washes go further than you think, especially cleansers that foam. Foam can cover a lot ground so a dollop about the size of a hazelnut is all you need. For cream cleansers you can up the serving size slightly because creams don’t go as far.

Serving size: two raisins
If your moisturizer has SPF you certainly don’t want to skimp, but you can always add more. Start with an amount equal to about two raisins and begin the application in the areas you need moisture most. Add another raisin if two doesn’t cover it.

Eye Cream
Serving size: one pine nut per eye
One pine nut per eye will cover the entire eye area. Pat about three-fourths of the cream under your bottom lashes from the outer corner to the inner corner. Pat the remaining cream from crease to brow bone.

Night Cream
Serving size: a blueberry
If you’re slathering on a thick layer of cream every night, you’re wasting precious product. A blueberry-sized amount is really all you need. (If you live in a particularly dry climate, you may want to use a little more in the winter.) You could also be wasting product if you’re not allowing the moisturizer to sink in. Wait at least five minutes before turning in, or all that product is just going to end up on your pillowcase.

Retinol and Serum
Serving size: a pea
Retinols and serums are not only fluid, but highly concentrated too. That means you don’t need much to get the skin benefits. A pea-size squirt may seem puny, but it's plenty. Using too much of anything with potent anti-aging ingredients can irritate the skin.

Serving size: one grape per body part
This is probably the only product that you’re not using enough of. More is more when it comes to sun protection. Use one grape of sunscreen to cover your face (don’t forget the ears!) and neck, one grape for your torso, and one grape per arm and leg.

Hair Care Products:

Serving Size: a blackberry for short hair; a strawberry for long hair
It’s easy to go overboard with shampoo, but the truth is even if you have long hair you don’t need to lather from root to tip. Squeeze out a blackberry amount if you have short hair and a strawberry amount if you have long hair. Concentrate the suds on the roots and stop lathering about halfway down your hair.

Serving size: a cherry for short hair; two raspberries for long hair
Filling your palm with conditioner will weigh your hair down. Instead use just enough to coat strands from mid-shaft to ends. For short hair, that will be a dollop about the size of a cherry. For long hair, that means two raspberries. If you have especially coarse, dry hair you can add a little more.

Serum and Oil
Serving size: one or two macadamia nuts
Overdoing it with hair oils and serums can mean greasy strands. Depending on hair length, an amount eqal to one or two macadamia nuts will suffice. Use your fingers to comb through hair and distribute the product evenly.

Styling Cream
Serving size: one or two pumpkin seeds
Styling cream is best used sparingly as well. Avoid overloading your hair with product, by measuring out one or two pumpkin seeds worth of styling cream. Spread it evenly on your palms and apply to hair starting a couple of inches down from the roots.

Serving size: a crabapple
Mousse is light, but concentrated, and too much of it can cause the dreaded crunch effect. So use a ball the size of a crabapple (not a full-grown apple) to add little extra life to your tresses. Lightly pat between your palms and finger-comb the mousse from root to tip.

Wax and Pomade
Serving size: an almond
Less is more when it comes to products that stick. Waxes and pomades are meant to be strong hold, so a little goes a long way. Using an almond-sized amount will usually get the job done. If you’re not happy with the look, you can always add more.

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