We are firm believers that skincare is an investment rather than an expenditure. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that you’re making smart choices when it comes to taking care of yourself and your skin. However, it can be very frustrating when you’re doing skincare but your skin doesn’t care! You might be using the right products but in order to get the most out of your investment, you need to be using them correctly.
Are you reading the label?
Back during the dark ages of skincare (think St. Ives scrubs and alcohol-toners) products were limited to basic categories, and you could safely make assumptions about their functionality. Innovation has since meant that products are no longer confined to these categories and that stronger and more interesting formulations are continually being developed. It means that it’s important to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the best results from your skincare.
Are you doing too much?
Breakouts, hyper-pigmentation and other skincare issues can be extremely frustrating to encounter, especially when you feel like you’re doing all the right things. Unfortunately, doing all the right things could be the problem. Many products which target particular skincare concerns include active ingredients and using too many can throw your skin off balance. It becomes much more difficult to identify any ingredient which trigger reactions or irritation, not to mention risking over-exfoliation. This can lead to a compromised moisture barrier which leaves your skin sensitive and even more vulnerable to stress.
Are you using your products a real chance?
Repeatedly chopping and changing your routine is likely to lead to disappointment. With some exceptions, such as spot treatments, masks and products which make no claims further than immediate hydration, skincare products need time to work and to reap steady results. As you see yourself in the mirror daily, sometimes these results are not immediately obvious, so taking before and after photos is a very effective way to objectively measure progress. Generally speaking, you need to stick with a consistent routine for at least 28 days (and up to six months if this includes retinoids) to really judge whether they are effective.
Are you applying your products in the correct order?
Your skincare routine is chemistry at play so your products should be applied in the correct order for maximum benefit. Generally speaking, this means applying products in order of consistency: from thin and watery to thick creams. However, it also means recognising that actives must be applied immediately to clean skin before other products, and that pH-sensitive products should be applied together with a wait period so they can work most effectively. For example, low pH actives such as acids and Vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) can be applied one after the other on clean skin, but its best to wait for a few minutes before toning and applying the rest of your routine to avoid disrupting their pH.
Are you focusing on your face and neglecting the rest?
Make a habit of applying your skincare products to your neck, chest and hands. It is particularly important to pay attention to your neck area, as mobile phone use means that most of us are frequently looking down. Your neck and chest are also very vulnerable to UV damage as they are often exposed but not sufficiently protected so be generous with the sunscreen!