I'm the opposite, I take the skin off before curing and make cracklins with it. Smoking with the skin on and then removing it leaves one side of the bacon unsmoked...
Also the cure doesn't penetrate the skin, removing it will move the process along a bit faster.
I don't wet cure my bacon, so I'm not sure how to address your question exactly... in my dry cure I use granulated garlic (size of sand granuals) and a little goes a long way for sure!
I'd advise starting off a bit conservative and make adjustments on your next batch. Can't go wrong with that!
Edit: Also, check out Cowgirl's blog for more info if you haven't already - http://cowgirlscountry.blogspot.com/