Some of the ideas I get for skincare posts actually comes from interacting with you guys. Sometimes you’ll ask me a question and it’ll get my wheels turning about other things. Or I’ll notice a theme around some of the questions I get and will come up with something. So from interacting with you all through the blog, social media, and in-person at events I’ve hosted, I knew I had to do this post.
So here’s some reasons why your skincare products might NOT be working…
The season changed
Typically for those of us who live in areas that get distinct seasons, we have to change a few things in our routines. And usually the thing you need to change first is your moisturizer. I have oily skin and when it’s warmer out (I’m talking say 60 degrees or higher), I need a lightweight daytime moisturizer—typically a mattifying moisturizer especially when it’s in the 80s or higher. When it gets a little cooler out but isn’t yet cold (say like 45-60 degrees) I need something a litte more hydrating than my lightweight moisturizer, but nothing too heavy. Then when it hits below 40 degrees, I need something a bit heavier. All year-round, I make sure I use SPF during the day no matter what—the sun’s rays can be just as harmful even in the winter.
Then there’s the unpredictable weather which is especially happening right now (at least it is here in NYC). It can be close to 75 degrees, then 40, and then 60 all within the same week :/ I often have to check the weather before deciding on which moisturizer (and sometimes cleanser) I’m using for the day. Because if I don’t, it can mean my skin being extra oily for wearing a moisturizer that was too heavy or my skin being extra dry for wearing a moisturizer that wasn’t hydrating enough.
You can take a look through my What I’m Using on My Skin Right Now category to see how I typically change products in my routine through the seasons.
Your skincare needs changed
This somewhat ties into my first point about possibly needing to switch out your skincare products as the seasons change, but also includes something else very important to note. Our skincare needs change. Sometimes they change over time as we age—for instance, my skin is still oily but not as oily as it was when I was in my 20s thanks to hormonal changes. Also thanks to hormonal changes, I’m noticing more breakouts than I used to get and more facial hair. And as if the presence of both is not annoying enough, they sometimes lead to lingering dark spots that also need to be treated.
Your skincare needs can also change at times that don’t have anything directly to do with aging. Things like prescription medications, reactions to something in the environment, or other allergic reactions may also incite a need to change your skincare routine.
You’re using them wrong
I know we’re all busy and sometimes feel like this skincare stuff is intuitive, but chances are you’re using a product incorrectly. There’s directions on products for a reason and while for *some* products you might be able to find secret alternative ways to use it, just do yourself a favor and read the directions carefully. Please.
You’re using too many products
Ten and twelve step Korean skincare routines are all the rage these days. I’ve broken down the differences between many of these skincare categories (i.e. essence vs serum) in a post you should totally read. A lot of these new products are enhancing products meaning they help the next product in the routine work better. But if you’re adding products all willy nilly to your routine and not using them correctly, you could actually be minimizing their effectiveness. If you find yourself doing the most but getting the least results, try taking one product out of your routine at a time and monitor any changes in your skin. Then slowly add the products back in your routine and take note of any changes. This could take a bit of time, but you’ll likely find the offending product.
Also, be very careful when mixing products with active ingredients (i.e. retinol, AHAs, BHA, etc.) as they could have a drying or irritating effect on the skin. Make sure you chat with a skincare professional first or at the very least research and do a patch test before mixing products with active ingredients. Don’t go burning your skin off, yo.
You’re not properly removing your makeup
I love a full-beat as much as the next beauty guru, but I also know the importance of making sure I properly remove my makeup and cleanse my skin. I typically do a double-cleanse routine when I’m wearing makeup (read more about it here AND watch a fun video on it). I also will do a deep cleanse about twice a week with my Clarisonic—I don’t want to have hidden traces of my foundation and contour all up on my skin blocking my skincare products from doing their collective thangs. I also use deeper exfoliating treatments as needed.
You’re not properly cleansing
Just because you don’t wear makeup doesn’t mean you’re out of the park when it comes to properly cleansing. There are things like pollution, free radicals, and other gunk in the air that can plague the surface of your skin. Not to mention the skin’s natural regeneration process tends to slow around this time of year as temperatures drop which means excess dead skin cells being playa haters on your skin’s shine. So in addition to cleansing, make sure you’re also exfoliating (whether physically or chemically) regularly.
You’re using products too often or not often enough
This is an extension of “not following the directions.” Some products are meant to be used daily, some twice-daily, some once a week, some twice a month, etc. Use them too often and you could cause irritation that dries out your skin (yikes, or even worse). Use them too sparingly and they may not work effectively.
Check out my post on The Problem with Using Black Soap for a prime example.
It’s just not the right fit for you
Just because something is a holy grail product for me, doesn’t mean it will be one for you. We all have different skin types and skincare concerns so not everything is going to be a match. Some of you might not even know what your skin type is and you’re using products that are all wrong for you. There are a number of quizzes available on the web to help you figure out your skin type. Keep in mind your skin type can change slightly as the seasons change and as you age.
So those are some reasons why your skincare products may not be working out—did you recognize any of these to be true of you and your routine? Wanna see certain skincare topics here on the blog? Have questions? Tell me in the comments!