What Is a “Moisture Sandwich” and How does It Aid Dry Skin

May 7, 2022
What Is a Moisture Sandwich and How does It Aid Dry Skin

Ultra-nourishing skincare tutorial

Popularized on social networks TikTok and Instagram under the term “moisture sandwich”, this beauty tutorial teaches you how to moisturize very dry skin. 

Inspired by “Japanese layering” (a beauty routine that consists of superimposing layers of cosmetic products for the face), this method guarantees visible results all day long. How to adopt the ultra-nourishing treatment?

The “Sandwich” is recommended by beauty experts to moisturize very dry skin

 Some skincare terms immediately spark interest (think “Korean slugging”), and “moisturizing sandwich” is one of the latest beauty routine buzzwords that has caught our attention. 

And we can thank Charlotte Palermino, co-founder and CEO of Dieux Skin, for introducing us to it. She highlighted on Instagram the benefits of moistening the skin when layering face and lip products to trap water inside.

To better understand why you should incorporate this unique stacking technique into your routines, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. From how you should approach layering to the types of products you should use.

What is a hydrating sandwich?

As with most modern skincare terms these days, the phrase “moisturizing sandwich” likely originated on Reddit. It refers to the layering process of skincare products. 

Also Read: 10 Tips To Keep Your Skin Hydrated

The technique aims to trap water in the epidermis and reduce transepidermal water loss. By putting lighter, more watery products on damp skin and then piling on something thicker, that water is stored longer, resulting in more hydrated, radiant, and healthy-looking skin.

For the lips

It is recommended to moisten your mouth with tap water, apply a simple moisturizer, then follow with a thick balm. By moistening your lips, you give the moisturizer more chance to penetrate. 

This allows humectants or water-loving ingredients (like glycerin) in the formula to cling better. Then, by using a truly “occlusive” product (or an ingredient that reduces water evaporation), you give your mouth the chance to heal and absorb all that water.

For the face

Some people have acne, in which case care should be taken with rich creams as they can exacerbate breakouts. And if you have dry skin, petroleum jelly could be your new night mask. 

The rule of thumb for moisturizing dry skin on your face is to make sure you apply your moisturizer to moistened skin with a mist or tap water. 

From there, apply the moisturizer. This is where you could add a face oil and then something more balm-like, but it depends on your skin type and climate.

The benefits of moisturizing very dry skin with the sandwich method

Following the moisturizing sandwich routine will enhance your skincare experience. By doing this, you are only locking in moisture and allowing your dermis to better receive cosmetics.

Wetting your face makes it easier for the products to penetrate.

Moreover, this technique has some cosmetic advantages. For example, you can apply a highlighter to add shine.

Products recommended by experts

For your lip sandwich, use an affordable moisturizer like Neutrogena Hydroboost or CeraVe. Follow with Chemist Confessions Voyage Balm as a topping. 

You can use Vaseline or any other thick lipstick you have on hand. A good quality product is Hanahana Beauty’s Shea Lip Balm. It is perfect to put on top of a basic moisturizer.

For your face sandwich, there are a few products you can keep rotating — Deux Skin’s Serum, then SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Repair. Any moisturizer works best if you moisten your face first, so don’t feel like you have to spend a ton of money. 

Recommended brands are La Roche Posay, Avène, First Aid Beauty and Cetaphil.

Usually complete your nighttime routine by applying Aquaphor, Vaseline, or Voyage Balm from Chemist Confession. However, since these thicker waxes and balms are occlusive, they can intensify irritation, so avoid them on nights when you’re using a treatment that can also be a bit harsh.


Don’t use the “sandwich” method with retinol, exfoliating acids, or anything that can be irritating, just to be on the safe side. Also, be careful with petroleum jelly because, while it won’t clog pores, it can trap oil, dead skin, and bacteria, and trigger breakouts in people with acne-prone skin.

Other Recommendations for Products and Protection

To carry out a face care routine with the sandwich method, it is really recommended to favor gentle, repairing, and moisturizing products. This is the case for formulas based on hyaluronic acid or ceramides. 

However, certain formulas including retinol should be avoided. This element can be very irritating. The same is true for exfoliating acids and certain products that are irritating and aggressive in nature.

You also have to be careful with the use of petroleum jelly, as it can retain bacteria, dead skin and sebum. This action can cause rashes. Which is not suitable for people with acne-prone skin.


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Margaud Raynaud is a beauty expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and tips with others and has a particular interest in skincare and makeup. When she's not writing about health and beauty, Margaud enjoys trying out new products and experimenting with different looks. Follow her blog for expert advice and inspiration for living your best life.

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