Everyone’s skin is unique, so while there are basic steps we should all have in a routine, the amount and kinds of products, as well as the frequency of use, will differ from person to person. Our individual body chemistries might react differently to the same product ingredients that don’t bother someone else. If you’ve made changes to your routine or started a new one and you’re not seeing improvement in your skin’s tone, texture, or clarity, there are a few things you can reflect on to see if your routine needs some adjustment.
There are three main things we should do in a skincare routine: cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize. Washing your face first clears dirt, oil, and other surface buildup away, leaving the top layer of skin fresh and exposed to be exfoliated. A good exfoliation is gentle and can be done with a natural sponge, a cloth, or a topical product, with the goal of lifting dead skin and other superficial buildup to open pores and expose your healthy skin.
Moisturizing after exfoliation is important because your skin will be receptive to absorb the product. Not moisturizing can lead to dry skin, and not exfoliating can lead to buildup in and on your pores, which might result in acne, wrinkles, dryness, and other problems. When we don’t exfoliate, moisturizer might not be absorbing as best it could due to the impermeable layer of dead cells covering the skin’s pores.
If you’ve started using a new product and have experienced irritation like redness, itchiness, stinging, or breakouts, you might have a sensitivity to one of the ingredients in the product. Sunscreens and moisturizers often have additives like vitamins and minerals, but sometimes the product has an ingredient that doesn’t interact well with a certain skin chemistry. If a reaction is occurring, contact your dermatologist to find out the reason.
You might be using products that aren’t right for your skin type. If you have dry skin, you want a moisturizer that works a little harder, but if you have normal or oily skin, you’ll want to use a lighter product and a lesser amount. Cleansers and soaps are meant to remove oil from the skin, so whether your skin is oily, normal, or dry, removing too many oils will not only dry out your skin, it might encourage over-production by your body to replace the lost moisture. Using a hydrating product after cleansing and exfoliating is important for your skin’s health. If you don’t know your skin type, your dermatologist can help you with that, as well as putting together a good routine for your needs.
Sometimes less is more, and with a skincare routine, this is usually the case. Having a simple, everyday routine doesn’t need to be complicated. A few steps and just a couple of products should be enough to keep your skin clear and bright throughout the day. If your routine has too many steps, like washing multiple times, exfoliating too often or too aggressively, or using too many products, your skin might be left stressed, congested, or dry. Too much product can build up and look shiny, cakey, or end up clogging your pores and leading to acne breakouts. Repeating steps or overcomplicating a routine won’t produce the desired results.
If you have a skin condition like eczema, hives, or psoriasis, it’s essential to work with your dermatologist to make sure your products won’t irritate your condition. Schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists today to learn what kind of routine would be best for your skin!