Here’s The 3 Second Moisturizing Rule That Will Completely Change Your Skin

Hear us out – there’s science behind it!

K-Beauty is known for its innovative applications and product techniques. We’re talking about everything from masking with a toner to drenching the skin in a thick, AKA slugging occlusive layer. Therefore, it is not surprising that Korean women are known for following the 3-second moisturizing rule.

This clicking sound rule suggests you go straight into your skincare routine immediately after you’ve washed off, within 3 seconds.

While this may seem like just a ridiculous recommendation from an overzealous skincare fanatic, science tells us that hydrating immediately after cleansing is better for your skin! Here are the reasons why you should adopt this technique.

1. Your skin is more receptive to topical active substances when wet

The outermost layer of your skin, the stratum corneum or SC, has one main function: to serve as a barrier between living cells and the outside world. When you apply a serum (or any other skin care product) to your skin in what’s called a topical application, you want your skin to absorb as much of the active ingredients as possible. However, your HC will resist as best it can and will try to keep it away, because that’s its job (it just wants to make you proud!).

Most of the time, the skincare company will have engineered the product to convince your HC to let the active ingredients pass, using tricks like including penetration-enhancing ingredients like glycols, and lowering the pH levels of acids. Moisturizing your skin will also give it a boost.

2. The sealants in your humidifier can get trapped in the water

Moisturizing ingredients fall into three categories: humectants that hold water and prevent it from evaporating; emollients, which sink into your skin and smooth out any cracks; and occlusal, which form a film that can be trapped in water.

You’ll want to apply moisturizer ASAP because of the occlusion. Water evaporates, and scrubbing usually causes your skin to be more “leaky,” so you end up with more dryness after scrubbing if you let it dry and not moisturize. The buffers form an oil-based, non-evaporating film over the water to trap it, so it can re-enter your skin. The faster you get moisturizer on, the more water you hold in, and the less time you spend with dehydrated skin!

This is especially true when applying a body cream. While you will likely add more water to your face in toners and serums, your body is usually neglected except for moisturizer. If you apply a body lotion that does not contain a lot of water to dry skin, your skin will not have as much water to absorb. But if you wait too long, don’t worry—a moisturizer that contains water will also help moisturize if your skin isn’t damp.

3. Our hydrating and occlusive favorites

Then I Met You’s dreamy Renewing Rich Beauty Cream contains occlusives, emollients, and emollients to draw moisture into the SC. The hydrating chops are impressive, as squalene, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid live alongside ginseng and baobab.

The buttery formula that Sioris Enriched By Nature Cream provides is an added bonus when one learns that it is infused with ceramides and shea butter, which provide a protective layer on the skin, and do not allow water to evaporate from the skin barrier.

+ Now that we know it pays to go straight to your skincare routine right after cleansing, will it affect your skincare routine? Did you feel the difference? Tell us in the comments below!

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