Ask The Expert: Will I Break Out If I Switch Products Too Often?
Picture this scenario: After spending hours upon hours reading skin care product labels at the beauty depot, you’ve finally settled on a large shopping cart’s worth of goodies. On your way home, you channel your inner James Bond and weed through traffic like a pro, eager to (finally!) put some of your latest beauty buys to use. And then it happens—zits start to pop up on your complexion after just one application. Major bummer, to say the least. So much so that you’re tempted to toss your just-bought skin care arsenal in sheer disappointment. It makes you wonder: Are these breakouts caused by switching your skin care products? To find out, we asked board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com expert, Dr. Dendy Engelman. Read on for the answer. Hint: Don’t dump your newly-acquired products just yet.
“When you introduce a new product into a regimen, your skin needs a while to get used to it and to see results,” Engelman says. Basically, your skin becomes used to certain products over a period of time, meaning that a new product—aka a foreign formula—can sometimes induce a reaction. The key is determining whether that reaction is irritation—in which case, you should definitely toss!—or small, painless blemishes that may clear up on their own. “If, once you start using a product, it becomes an angry shade of red or your skin starts burning, wash your face and discontinue use immediately,” says Engelman. “You may have contact dermatitis as a result of an ingredient in the product.” There’s also a chance that the products you chose contain ingredients that are leading to breakouts on your acne-prone or sensitive skin, she says. “If that happens, I recommend falling back to your regular regimen—cleanser, moisturizer, antioxidant, and sunscreen.”
In some cases, it may be worth your skin’s while to keep a routine short and sweet (and consistent!) with tried-and-true products, rather than shock it with too many formulas, too often. But that doesn’t mean you have to avoid switching things up occasionally. To help keep breakouts and irritation at bay, always make sure to use products formulated for your skin type. If you’re uncertain about an allergy to certain products or ingredients in your routine—or whether a reaction you’re having is a cause for concern—consult a dermatologist.