For most of us, it’s a bit of a miracle when we finally settle into a skincare routine that keeps us hydrated but blemish-free while also being simple enough to do every day. That being said, as we move throughout life and change…so does our skin.
That skincare routine that did wonders in your early twenties might not be cutting it anymore. Or, a new feeling of dryness and itching might mean that product your skin used to love is now very irritating.
No matter the cause, there are a few signs that let you know it’s time to try something new.
Signs you should switch things up:
These situations don’t mean you need to change up every product in your lineup. However, making small changes here and there can make a world of a difference in both your comfort and your skin’s appearance!
1. You moved, or the weather changed.
When your climate changes, your skincare should, too. If you’ve recently moved from a humid climate to a drier one, there’s a good chance your lips started cracking and your skin started to feel brittle. That’s your sign to change up your skincare routine to better suit your new home (try out a heavier nighttime moisturizer!).
Even if your geographical location has stayed the same, the changes in season can wreak havoc on your skin. If you’re using the same products for winter and summer, you could be doing your skin a disservice. Don’t be afraid to mix things up!
2. You’ve taken up a new hobby.
This might change things more than you think! For example, if you’re getting ready to hit the beach every weekend alongside the warmer weather, you might need to drop products that make your skin sensitive to light (like retinoids) for a while. Or, if you’re sweating more than usual with your new gym membership (get it!), you might need products that work better with regular perspiration.
3. You’ve noticed new dryness.
As we age, our skin produces less oil. The products we needed as teens just to make it through the day without looking oily can now painfully strip the skin of the moisture it needs to feel elastic and bouncy. This increasing dryness can make the skin more sensitive over time, so keep an eye out for any developing irritation.
4. You’re experiencing major hormonal shifts.
The major two that come to mind for all of us are pregnancy and menopause. Particularly with pregnancy, you might have a new list of ingredients to avoid in your skincare routine. However, other hormonal shifts can still occur unexpectedly. If your skin is suddenly reacting to things, hormones could be the cause.
5. Your skin is having an allergic reaction.
Sometimes this is hard to pinpoint. Is it that new lotion you tried? Did you buy the wrong laundry detergent? Skin can be picky, but if it is red, itchy, or otherwise unhappy, it’s time to analyze what you’ve come into contact with, and which product is your most likely culprit.
Tip 1: Introduce one new product at a time.
My first tip on switching skincare routines is to implement one product at a time. If you suddenly ditch your whole routine and go for something new, it could act like a shock to the system for your skin, leading to unpleasant tenderness or even allergic reactions.
Adding one product in at a time gives your skin some time to feel it out (literally), and if you have a reaction or sensitivity, it’ll be simple to know which product it was (the one new product!).
Tip 2: Give new products a while to work.
It’s rare that anything is going to cause a huge difference overnight…as much as we might want it to! For the most part, two weeks is a good benchmark to tell whether you’re seeing the change in your skin that you’re hoping for.
To really be able to tell a difference, I’d recommend using before and after pictures to compare!
Tip 3: Do your research on skincare product interactions.
When I’m feeling a bit “extra,” I love to use all sorts of skincare products. (Yes, I think those videos of serums dripping onto perfectly smooth skin are super satisfying, too!) But it’s important to know who plays nice together (like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C)…and who doesn’t (like a retinol and vitamin C).
Tip 4: Add SPF with zinc oxide.
If you haven’t gotten on the train yet…here’s your sign. A good sunscreen is one of the best ways to fight aging (yes, even if it’s winter and you’re working inside most of the day). Make sure you grab one with a nice level of zinc oxide in it; zinc oxide is gentle on skin and blocks out all parts of the UV spectrum. It’s the powerhouse of sunscreen!
Tip 5: Add your neck to your routine.
If you’re already switching up your routine, then it’s a great time to form a new habit by taking care of the skin on your neck as well as your face. Sun damage on the neck and chest can make your skin age quickly. So, work that SPF down a bit and remember to moisturize down to the collarbones!
Still struggling to find the perfect routine?
When it comes down to it, having a dermatologist look at your skin and give suggestions for your individual case is the best way to shortcut the trial-and-error period (especially if you have particularly sensitive skin). Bring up your concerns as well as your goals! They’ll be able to help you build a solid routine that keeps your skin healthy and bright.