What to Do When You Feel LIke Your Skin Care Products Have Stopped Working
Finding the right skin care routine can take some time. There’s the trial and error period, when you’re testing out different formulas and eliminating those that just won’t work. Then there’s the test run period, when you’re taking your newly-developed skin care routine for a spin for a number of weeks and waiting for results to kick in. When they do, it’s a momentous occasion—one that you’d like to last for as long as possible. That’s why when all of that comes to a screeching halt one day—the very moment you realize your skin care routine may not be as effective as it once was—it could surely cause panic to ensue. What exactly went wrong, and where do you go from here? For tips on what to do when you feel in your gut that your skin care products are no longer working, keep reading.
Tip #1: Check Expiration Dates
Just like you wouldn’t consume expired food, you shouldn’t apply expired skin care products onto your skin. That’s because beauty products used past their shelf life don’t hold the same efficacy. It’s possible that, with time, your skin care products have expired and are no longer delivering the key benefits you once enjoyed. Scan the packaging for an expiration date. Anything out of date should be thrown away.
If an expiration date is not clearly listed on the label, follow a general guideline of keeping skin care products for six months to one year. You can also smell the formula and look inside the jar or tube. If the formula looks or smells off, toss it to be safe.
Editor’s note: It can be hard to part ways with a half-used serum you spent your hard-earned cash on. Unfortunately, if it has expired it is best to stop using it. Beyond just a loss of potency, expired skin care products can cause skin irritation or even breakouts to appear.
Tip #2: Review the Order of Your Skin Care Regimen
Think the order in which you apply your skin care products doesn’t really make a difference in how they perform? Think again. Layering your skin care products the right way is crucial, and there is a proper method to follow. “It’s important to follow a skin care product order to allow for the best absorption of active ingredients,” board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Elizabeth Houshmand says. “Following the right order optimizes results.” So, just what is the proper skin care product order? “Start with the thinnest consistency product and move towards the heaviest,” Dr. Houshmand says. “Sunscreen should always be last in the morning.”
To learn more about the right skin care product order, click here!
Tip #3: Store Products Carefully
Did you know that proper storage of skin care products is needed to help prolong shelf life and ensure efficacy? Take vitamin C for example. Vitamin C breaks down in sunlight, which is why the best topical vitamin C formulations are those stored in a dark bottle in a cool, dry place. Other products should be kept away from heat and at a consistent temperature, so in other words not inside your bathroom cabinet near steamy baths or showers. If you haven’t been storing your skin care products properly, it’s possible they aren’t working as well as they used to for that very reason.
Tip #4: Consider Higher Concentrations
If you use retinol in your skin care routine and feel as though it’s no longer working well, it could be time to adjust your concentration of the ingredient. Retinol is powerful, which is why dermatologists recommend starting with a lower concentration and working your way up as your skin builds up a tolerance to it. If months have passed and you haven’t graduated to a higher concentration of retinol, this could be your skin’s way of letting you know that it’s ready for you to do so.
Editor’s note: Just because your skin is not peeling anymore when using retinol, doesn’t mean it has stopped working. It could just mean that the retinol is no longer causing dryness or irritating your skin, or that your skin has finally gotten used to the ingredient’s potency.