Sometimes it can feel like you've spent half your life experimenting with various skin-care products to find that magical unicorn of a cream that gives your skin what it needs without causing any unwanted side effects — hello, breakouts. And, once you've found your Holy Grail skin regimen, you're pretty much off the market for anything else. But, what happens when one soldier in your army decides not to work anymore?
First, you can't help but feel betrayed, so give yourself a moment. Then, make sure that your product has indeed jumped ship. Sometimes, you don't see as dramatic results as you did when you first started using it. That should be expected because, while the changes aren’t as amazing, your skin is in a healthy maintenance mode. You should be concerned when your moisturizer stops giving you the plump, hydrated skin you covet, or if the facial cleanser you’ve been using suddenly gives you zits.
The reason for this sudden shift in efficacy can be traced to the ever-changing state of your health and skin, as well as your age. "The most significant changes occur to your skin as you age,” explains Dermalogica’s director of global education, Annet King. “Typically your skin will produce less sebum and lipids as you age, which will make skin feel tighter and drier, especially after cleansing. Cell renewal also slows down so your skin may look dull and feel less smooth, and UV-induced signs of aging will also start to appear as brown spots, wrinkles, and lines."
AddsDr. Payam Saadat, of the Skin & Beauty Center in Los Angeles and Burbank: “Systemic medication like those to treat thyroid conditions, may also change your skin type. Changes in weather and stress levels can also be the culprits.”
Keep reading to learn how to remedy this frustrating problem.
The solution to this issue isn't a cut and dry one, as it depends on your individual needs and skin type. Sometimes, just like how you can plateau with an exercise regimen, your skin can need a kick or a boost for you to see results. It’s not that the product doesn’t work for your skin anymore, you just need some minor tweaking for optimal results. For example, if your favorite moisturizer doesn’t seem to be doing its job, maybe you need a hydrating serum to help boost the effects.
Dr. Alexander Rivkin of Westside Aesthetics in Los Angeles says, “It's always a good idea to switch your skin-care routine periodically; I recommend seasonally. Try alternating in new products with the old ones if you don't want to waste unused product.”
He adds, “You can switch to a new product for three months and switch back to your old product to make it work again. We recommend switching products every four to six months. Alternating is a good way to introduce new products without completely 'shocking' your skin. Use the old product one day, the new product the next. Allow your skin at least one month of using the new product to determine if you like it or not.”
King says that you should also be re-evaluating your products at certain age milestones:
Onset of puberty, ages 10 to 13: This is usually when puberty-related acne starts to plague your skin, therefore a good skin-care regimen and a treatment plan needs to be established.
Starting college, or at 18: Get a solid routine together so your skin doesn’t age prematurely. Dr Saadat also recommends seeing a dermatologist at this age to assess things like sun damage, acne, and other skin-related problems.
Your first job: You now have a paycheck so should be able to get bit more serious about your skin. Adding an eye product here is money well spent.
30s: Collagen production decreases by 1% every year after 30. Age-fighting products should be worked into your regimen.
Pregnancy and post pregnancy: During this stage in a woman’s life, there are big changes, from breakouts to stretch marks, increased sensitivity, dilated capillaries, and brown patches called melasma from the estrogen boost. You need solutions with ingredients like vitamin A, retinol, and high levels of salicylic acid, as well as certain detoxifying essential oils.
Then there are those times when a product has truly lost its magic mojo. In those sad instances, after you've played "Taps" and given it a proper memorial, you need to start the hunt for something new. Dr. Saadat recommends reading reviews online, trial-and-error, or seeing a professional or an aesthetician for guidance. Many of these pros actually have samples so you can try out the products first before you go out and buy them.
And, who doesn’t love samples, really?
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