Can You Over Moisturize? Find Out the Possibilities and Effects

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Ever heard that you can over-moisturize your skin? Yes, you read right. Of all the possibilities of getting something wrong with your skincare routine, people find over-moisturizing unbelievable and unthinkable. But it is possible, and it happens.

Knowing that there is a chance of using too much of your favorite hand lotion, body lotion, and face moisturizer sound a little bit…maybe strange. If you understand the facts and how it happens, then, you can moisturize your skin only as needed.

Read on to see how you have been over-moisturizing different parts of your body. Also, you’ll find that the side effects mentioned are completely relatable.

Can You Over Moisturize Your Face?

Whether it sounds believable or not, yes, you can over-moisturize your face. While you may think you are doing your face a whole lot of good, you are being counterproductive by using too much moisturizer.

Skin experts recommend that you use a facial moisturizer two times a day. This is because they are concentrated with ingredients that supply your facial skin with moisture that lasts up to 24 hours.

When you apply moisturizer to your face more than twice, you’re going overboard. Your facial skin is thinner than the skin on other parts of your body. Therefore, it easily gets bugged and weighed down with products.

Some of these products are too occlusive and they clog your pores. The molecules sit over your skin, sealing too much moisture and this tends to over-moisturize your face.

Furthermore, you may be using your hydrating face mask too frequently. During this condition, your facial skin produces less oil and moisture. Consequently, your face looks dry and gets flakey with a dull complexion.

Also, in a bid to protect your face from breakouts, you tend to use so many facial care products. These products contain a good deal of moisturizing agents. All put together, they lock in too much moisture and weaken your skin barrier.

Can You Over Moisturize Your Hands?

The hands get more contact with water than any other body part. Besides swimming, your whole body is immersed in water, laundry, cooking, and washing your hands as part of your hygiene are other instances.

In any of such cases, your hands lose moisture, and your go-to hand lotion makes up for this loss. While you want to protect your skin, you over-moisturize with too much hand lotion. Moreover, hand lotions are thicker than body lotions.

So, they take longer to absorb into your skin. As a result, it leaves you with greasy hands. Instead of using a little at a time, you may think it better to use all the lotion your hands need at once. This way, you’ll most likely go overboard.

Additionally, too frequent use of hand dryers can excessively dry your hands. And it is irresistible to not reach for your hand lotion to moisturize your hands. There is a great possibility that this happens more than twice a day.

Can You Over Moisturize Your Legs?

Naturally, your legs do not lose as much moisture as your hands do. So, they do not require as much moisturizing. For you not to over-moisturize your legs, apply body lotion or cream once a day, preferably at night.

During winter, when you hope to do your legs a favor, is when you tend to over-moisturize them. Your legs get dry due to the moisture zap, and they get itchy. To quell this itchiness, you apply a dollop upon a dollop of body lotion.

Consequently, it only worsens, and you irresistibly use more body lotion. A dermatologist, Howard Sobel, says, “excellent moisturizers are typically very concentrated and are meant to deliver small amounts for all skin types”.

He further went on to say that when you over-moisturize, you expose your skin to dryness and acne breakouts. And this sometimes results in combination skin.

Also, during summer when you spend time in the water, your legs lose moisture and get dry. To make up for this, you may apply moisturizer every time you make contact with water. Applying too much body lotion too frequently can make you over-moisturize and get flakey skin.

Can You Over Moisturize Your Lips?

You may overdo lip balm application. Applying lip balm to chapped lips can be very soothing, however, it may dry out your lips.

Also, fragranced lip balm may seem the best but the ingredients that give it the lovable smell are a part of the reason why your lips get drier after application. Every day and too frequent use of lip balm can be harmful to your lips.

Some of these products are occlusive. While they seem to lock in moisture, they can cause the skin on your lips to produce less of its moisture.

“These formulas create an artificial barrier to lock in moisture, but when overused, can cause lips to become lazy because the skin doesn’t have to work to maintain its hydration level,” says Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist.

The trick here is, your lips produce less oil and you are compelled to apply more lip balm. You go over this again and again and you are back to dry, chapped lips.

Can You Over Moisturize Your Hair?

Hair experts have a term for over-moisturized hair. It is called hygral fatigue. This is a condition where your hair strands swell when they are wet and shrink when they are dry. So, when you wash your hair, it creates a vicious cycle that eventually leads to hair breakage.

Admitting that you over-moisturize your hair can be quite difficult because moisture is one of the major ingredients your hair needs to thrive. This need might be extra if you are a part of the naturalista community.

Too frequent shampooing and conditioning, deep conditioning, overnight conditioning, and contact with water are the innocent steps you take and eventually over-moisturize your hair.

In addition, if you are in the habit of not properly drying your hair, you may be leading your hair strands to a state of being over-moisturized.

In this condition, your hair loses its elasticity. Also, it takes a longer time to stretch and does not return to its original state after pulling (like combing).

Can You Over Moisturize Your Tattoo?

From the tattoo parlor, you heard that you should apply lotion or moisturizer to keep it looking fresh. Also, it keeps your tattoo from peeling. However, there can be too much of that.

Naturally, the tattooed areas of your skin tend to dry out quickly because your skin is trying to heal from the needles. This lures you into applying and reapplying moisturizer to soothe the itching that the healing comes with.

Your tattoo needs to breathe as well as every area of your skin needs to. A thin layer of ointment or lotion will just be enough to moisturize the inked area. When you notice scabs and excessive dryness around that area, you have deprived the skin of its moisture.

These care products tend to clog your pores and cause breakouts which may affect the overall look of your tattoo.

Can You Over Moisturize Eczema?

Eczema can get very itchy, especially during dry weather conditions. During these times you probably want to be under the shower too often or apply an anti-itch cream, lotion, or any other moisturizer.

It is okay to do this but having too much moisture could be the reason why eczema looks worse. Typically, when your skin is deprived of its moisture, it gets very dry, and this could be bad for eczema.

Lotions, your go-to moisturizer, are not a good choice for treating eczema. They usually contain more ingredients that can irritate the affected area.

Moreover, lotions contain more water. So, it evaporates quickly and then you must apply more. This cycle goes on and on and leads to over-moisturized eczema. The area dries out quickly and aggravates the condition of your skin.

How Much Moisturizer Is Too Much?

Applying moisturizer more than twice a day is going overboard. When your tube or bottle of moisturizer empties in a space of a few weeks, it is too much already.

Moreover, applying another layer because you feel the first wasn’t enough is another step to over-moisturizing.

In addition, more than a nickel-sized amount of moisturizer is too much because your skin naturally produces its moisture.

Signs of Over Moisturizing

  • Dull and aging skin
  • Overcompensation with excess oil production on your face
  • Clogged pores and skin breakouts
  • Less effective skin barrier and skin sensitivity
  • Altered skin texture
  • Dry and tight skin
  • Facial bumps
  • Peeling tattoo
  • Limp, gummy hair strands
  • Hair breakage
  • Chapped lips
  • Clumps of moisturizer on your skin
  • Product empties quicker than expected
  • Need for more moisturizer


How many times a day should you moisturize?

Twice a day. Skin experts advise that you moisturize your skin in the morning and evening. And you should do this while your skin is still damp. In this damp condition, it is still hydrated and can make the most use of the moisture boost.

This way, you maintain steady, healthy moisture levels all through the day.

What happens if you over-moisturize your skin?

When you over-moisturize your skin, you expose your skin to what you intended to protect it from. For instance, when you apply too much moisturizer, your skin absorbs the quantity it requires, and the rest sits over your skin.

Eventually, it clogs your pores with dirt and leads to skin breakouts. Moreover, when you over-moisturize, you expose your skin to dryness and premature aging.

How do you know your moisturizer is too heavy?

When your moisturizer is too heavy for your skin, it makes your skin feel too tight and breaks out. It strips your skin of its natural oils and natural barrier and changes your skin’s texture. Your skin overcompensates and becomes too oily.

Additionally, it creates a burning sensation on your skin, and sometimes the product forms clumps on your skin. This is because it does not absorb as quickly as it should. When this happens, you may need a new formula.

How should you not over-moisturize?

For you not to over-moisturize your skin, apply moisturizer to your skin in bits. Also, exfoliate your skin gently once a week to slough off dead skin cells. And when you apply moisturizer, gently massage it in so it fully absorbs.


When your skin gets dry and itchy, it is only natural to reach for the bottle or tube of moisturizer. When it’s your hair, you feel the need to wash and condition it. However, your efforts to keep dryness and itchiness away can be ruining your skin and hair.

An esthetician, Nidah Barber-Raymond, says “overdoing it will send a message to your skin that it has enough hydration, proteins, and lipids and that it can slow down the production of these vital skin nutrients”. And this is not good for you.

Depending on your needs per time, experts advise that you only use a nickel-sized amount of moisturizer twice a day.

Besides, when you over-moisturize, instead of making up for lost moisture, you expose your skin to more loss and exacerbated skin conditions and hair loss. When it comes to moisturizing, less is more because these products are highly concentrated to deliver a moisture boost.

Finally, apply a little at a time and allow it to fully absorb before you consider adding another layer.

Thanks for reading.

Serum101 provides answers to your questions about how to use your skincare products correctly.