How to Use Recovery Cream

Explore our Guides to the CleanserMoisturizer, Scrub and Mask.

Full disclosure: Recovery Cream isn’t like an official “thing,” it’s just our thing, and we think the name fits the purpose. But it’s a moisturizer. Or, more traditionally/specifically, a night moisturizer, because it’s a heavier barrier protector and it works really well overnight.

That said, we like it after runs and bike rides and days on the water or in the mountains. Which isn’t always night time. And some seasons (winter, usually), we use it in the mornings, too, because it’s a dry and cold time of year. So we call it recovery cream. Because it helps our skin recover — at night, in the morning or in the fresh air.

Here are the essential steps for applying:

  1. Cleanse before applying. Dry with soft cloth.
  2. Apply a nickel-size amount of recovery cream on your fingers.
  3. Apply to your skin, including around the eyes and eyelids.
  4. Let air dry.

Repeat daily, nightly and anytime after cleansing.

Why You Need a Recovery Cream

For a variety of reasons — weather, travel, exercise, over-cleansing, irritation, hormones, etc — your skin can sometimes become sensitized. Indicators include tightness, flaking or peeling, itchiness or redness.

And sensitized skin tends to be directly associated with a depleted lipid barrier. Lipids are the fats in your skin, and they help keep the water in and bad environmental stuff out (generally speaking). A good moisturizer will boost your lipid levels, helping you out when you’ve depleted them through living life to the fullest.

So a nice, heavy moisturizer will help hold in moisture and also protect from the microscopic stuff that’s floating around in the air and accumulates on your exposed skin (i.e. your face). After a long day, a few drinks, vigorous exertion or all three, your face needs some recovery love. Give it the best.

What’s the Best Recovery Cream

As we just discussed, we’re looking to help the lipids out. So, lipid-rich oils are going to be a key ingredient here. Our recovery cream uses liposome encapsulated rosemary (rosemarinus officinalis), which is a lipid barrier specialist.

Some soothing agents are always nice, too, for both feel and to reduce irritation. Sea whip happens to have the strongest soothing action of all sea plants, so we went that direction in our formula.

Beta-glucans (β-glucans) are also good in a moisturizer, as they help boost hydration and work with the skin barrier to repair itself. You can eat beta-glucans, too — oats, certain mushrooms, seaweed, algae. But topical application goes straight to the skin.

Methods for Applying

Operating instructions here are identical for a “regular” moisturizer. Start with cleansing. Then, scoop some onto clean fingers and gently dab or rub onto the skin. You can apply around the eyes and on the eyelids. Then, let air dry. If applying sunscreen (which you should if it’s during daylight hours), wait until the moisturizer fully dries.

Feel free to apply to the hands, neck and upper chest, if you'd like. 

Immediately after applying, if your skin feels slightly sticky, you may have applied too much. It'll absorb or rinse off on your next cleanse — so no worries. But next time, try a little less. The feel should be protected and full coverage, but not clammy.

Moisturizer versus Recovery Cream

This isn’t a splitting hairs debate, it’s an important distinction — and it’s one that reflects a more nuanced understanding of skin. If you’re just starting out in this realm, start with a light, hydrating moisturizer and then slowly see where or when you might want something more. If you’re a skincare veteran, you know that two moisturizers may just be the beginning (followed by toners, serums, masks, etc).

But the essential difference is that the lighter moisturizer is aimed at keeping your skin hydrated and balanced throughout the day, feeding some vital nutrients and helping the skin fight against that UV light (also why a sunscreen is vital during the day). Then, at night, when the skin goes into regeneration mode — collagen increases, skin cell’s repair and skin renewal rate increases — it’s helpful to supply those hard-working cells with some robust refreshments. A moisturizer can do the trick, but our recovery cream does it best.

Also, remember, you lose a lot of water at night. True for the body. True for the skin. So a rich barrier cream that helps the skin retain water will keep the skin from becoming dehydrated. Again, you can use our recovery cream during daytime and our moisturizer at night. Find what works for your skin. But if we’re going off generalities, it’s moisturizer for daytime, recovery cream for nighttime.

Recommended Products

Recovery Cream

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