Raise your hand if you’re a skincare junkie – just me? Okay fine, I’m a nerd. I love reading about the science behind skincare products. I want to know about the ingredients, the molecular makeup and the potential side effects of combining different products. Skincare has become the topic of the year, but how much do we really know about what we are putting on our most prized feature – our face? The problem with skincare products is evident – here’s what you need to know.
Related: 3 Skincare Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Skin
The Problem With Skincare Products & How To Solve Them
No matter how you slice it, skincare is tough. The reason? Because no one’s skin is identical to another. We can read all the dermatology journals, inspect the ingredients, and dissect the reviews but ultimately it’s about taking a chance on a product before you know how it will react with your skin – and often times, it’s a costly experiment. Here are four tips to consider before investing in your next skincare product.
CHECK THE INGREDIENTS
While there isn’t a hard and fast rule on which ingredients you should stay away from, it’s widely accepted in the skincare community that fragrance and parabens are more likely to cause irritation than other ingredients. While that doesn’t mean that you should avoid all products that have fragrance in them, it does mean that you should take a second glance. Other known potential irritants include dyes, essential oils, and sulfates.
Related: How to Start a Skincare Routine for Beginners
SPOT TEST BEFORE FULL APPLICATION
You know when you’re bored and you read the back of a product bottle and it always says to spot test before use? I’m warning you – actually do it. I’m no stranger to skin allergies and since I’m putting my skin on the line all the time to try out new products for you guys, it’s essential that I test a small section first (usually behind my ear) before slathering a product all across my face. Be patient and test a product first and wait at least 48 hours to make sure no allergies develop. It’s probably nothing, but in the off chance that it is something you’ll be hella grateful that you had patience.
Related: A Top Dermatologist Answers Your Biggest Skincare Questions
ONLY TRY ONE NEW PRODUCT AT A TIME
There is no effective way to know if a product is working for you if you start using 10 new products at the same time. Similarly, there’s no way to find out which product isn’t working for you in case you start breaking out, reacting, or have redness from using something new.
Related: The Art Of a Double Cleanse
SLOWLY INTRODUCE THE SKINCARE PRODUCT INTO YOUR ROUTINE
Again, patience, my dear friend. Your skin needs time to be introduced, make friends and play nice with the new substance that you are adding to the game and no matter how much you put on – it won’t work any faster. In fact, you’ll probably run through more of your expensive product without seeing any return if you don’t go slow. It’s generally a good idea to start by using a new product a few times a week to start. For more intense products like retinol or retinoids start with once a week, every 3 days, every other day, and then potentially daily – increasing usage weekly.