Ask the Expert: How Many Skin Care Products Is Too Many?
A quick scan of a medicine cabinet may tally up a long roster of spot treatments, serums, cleansers, toners…well, you get the idea. If this is your reality, we totally get you. While we love the benefits these products provide for our skin, it is possible to use too much of a good thing. Where to draw the line, however, is not so black-and-white. Long story short: There’s no universal answer. “It varies from person to person,” says board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com expert, Dr. Dendy Engelman. “But the object is to not get your skin irritated.”
Fair enough. She continues, “For some people, it may involve a 15-step regimen and multiple products, but others may only tolerate three steps and can slowly add in essentials as their skin ages.” Worried that you may be OD’ing on your skin care products? These tips may help you stay in the clear.
When in doubt, stick to the daily basics—cleansing, moisturizing, and applying SPF. Cleansing your skin at least once a day is necessary to remove makeup or impurities that have built up on the skin’s surface. Some skin types, especially oily skin, may be able to tolerate cleansing twice a day. Be sure to follow up your cleansing routine with moisturizer to nourish the skin and avoid over-drying. Opt for one that can provide hydrating benefits while targeting other skin concerns, like wrinkles, dullness or discoloration. You can even choose a moisturizer with built-in SPF, since applying sunscreen is not a step that can be skipped—by any means…ever.
Once you’ve got the basics down, slowly start to add in other products as needed. If dark circles are your concern, apply a brightening eye cream. For wrinkles, reach for a vitamin C serum or a night cream formulated with hyaluronic acid. It’s crucial to only use products that are formulated for your specific skin type, though, so don’t forget to check the label.
DON’T IGNORE THE WARNING SIGNS
If your skin looks irritated, red, or flaky, chances are you’re overdoing it. Avoid using products immediately if they’re causing a reaction. Where possible, opt for gentler products that are free of potentially irritating formulas.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
There are a lot of products out there that target the same skin concerns from fine lines to age spots and beyond. Instead of buying a bunch, do your skin—and your wallet—a favor and stick to one or two that get the job done.
Remember, skin care isn’t one-size fits all. Always consult your dermatologist for the best personalized skin advice.