It can be tempting to totally renovate our skincare routine when our skin is not behaving. And for some of us skincare junkies, the arrival of a new active ingredient or miracle treatment can have us rushing to the online checkout and slathering our mugs with the latest buzzworthy potion. But we need to slow our roll.
Our skin needs time to acclimate to new ingredients, especially intense, effective actives. Otherwise, we risk reactions like dermatitis, peeling, dryness, redness, and breakouts. Here’s how we should go about doing that.
Read product reviews.
Ok, this may sound either boring or like duh to some, but there is some value to be found in reviews. Look for specifics, like if it made a rash appear, if it did nothing at all, if someone suffered a reaction. Some reviewers will share personal information about their skin so that we can compare. And to the people who do this, thank you so much. Sincerely.
If the product we’re trying out has intense, clinical actives in it, we want to make sure our face isn’t going to explode. Try it on an extra-porous area like the T-zone (opt for chin, near the nose, or on the forehead). This should give an idea, in at least 48 hours, whether the product is a major no-no for us. We can likely skip this step with most super-simple, natural, clean products unless we’re sensitive. In that case, always patch test.
One thing at a time.
There comes a time when we get fed up and want to try everything, right now. We want to try the new tincture, herbal supplement, face mask, cleanser, and serum all at once. Sometimes, the results are amazing! But other times, we suffer some consequences. In order to understand which products are helping and which are causing problems, we need to pare down how many new products we are using. Just stick to one at a time, and give it at least two weeks of consistent use (unless there is an immediate reaction; then stop immediately).
Don’t do it before a big event.
Just in case our skin will not be pleased with the latest active ingredients we have our sights on, it’s best we don’t get too excited before a date night or big event. The last thing we want is a rash or the beginnings of an inflammatory purge breakout just when we’d hoped to look our very best.
On the occasions that our skin simply is not loving our latest product, of course, stop using it right away, and rinse with cool water. We want to cleanse thoroughly and ice the area to keep inflammation down. When in doubt, always ice. Stay away from steams and hot water, which can make the reaction worse.