We’ve all been there; you purchase your latest skincare product and it seems to give unbelievable results almost from the first use. Your skin is glowing and healthy yet as the calendar flips over, the results seem to almost fade away? Is it possible that our skin can simply ‘get used’ to the products we apply or is it all in our heads?
Unfortunately, your skin can get ‘used to’ a product but wait, not in the way that you think! Before you go and throw out your existing routine it’s important to note that this is generally reserved for astringent acids or exfoliating products and a general degeneration in the potency of some skincare ingredients overtime. So, it could in fact be a multitude of reasons as to why your favourite product may seem less effective over time.
IT (COULD) BE ALL IN OUR HEADS
Dermatologists are united in the opinion that you always get the most robust response to a product immediately upon first use. This is mainly since over time, even though the product is still working, the visible results have diminished and may be more difficult to notice. Simply put, the better a product improves your skin, the results are likely to be less dramatic on day 40 in comparison to day 1. Simply seeing less drastic results may not always mean that the product is not working correctly. A great example of this is retinol. Many people think retinoids become less effective over time, but it’s often that your skin is just becoming more tolerant of the active ingredients. A lack of peeling or redness over time makes people think their skin is ‘used to’ it and that the product no longer working affectively but in fact the opposite is true. The product is still working, your skin just isn’t experiencing any adverse effects.
THE INGREDIENTS HAVE AGED
Some skincare ingredients are special cases, for example Vitamin C. It’s a well-documented fact that these ingredients naturally degrade in their potency when opened and exposed to light and air. Keeping in mind that certain ingredients can become less effective over time due to destabilization (e.g. opening and closing each day) can be a great way to keep them effective for longer. Avoiding leaving your bottles in humid bathrooms or in direct sunlight is an easy solution and in my experience it’s generally best to always try to store your products in a cool, dry place and immediately close them tight after use. This is particularly important with products containing natural ingredients, who by their nature don’t contain the complex chemical stabilizers included in most chemical based products.
YOU’RE A SERIAL SKINCARE SWITCHER UPPER
Whilst it’s a great idea to switch up your skincare when the seasons change, read all about my recommendations here, it’s important not to play skincare bartender. If you’re always distracted by the next ‘it’ ingredient and change your skincare products as often as you change your underwear it might be time for a re-think. Mainly, you might be using a mixture of ingredients that don’t play well together. For example, Vitamin C and Retinoids are better used in entirely separate routines (AM and PM) as they can become extremely irritating if used together. Another culprit is benzoyl peroxide which will oxidize Vitamin C if used together. The name of the game is to listen to your complexion, if you are experiencing unexplained or unexpected irritation you might well have introduced a new product into the mix that isn’t a team player! My advice would be to separate out your powerhouse ingredients by skincare routine session (such as AM or PM) in addition to cycling other ingredients on alternate days. That way you can benefit from all the potent actives without worrying about anything cancelling each other out or piling too much on.
It’s always best to consult a qualified dermatologist if you have questions about your skincare routine. They will be able to streamline your skincare routine through an individualised approach that best matches your skin’s needs. If you can’t get access to a dermatologist, then my advice is always generally less is more. Take it easy and don’t overdo it.
Founder of BEMORA Skincare
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