Now that your skin has adjusted to your basic regimen, you might be wondering how to introduce new skincare products into your skincare routine. Here’s how to do it.
Once you get used to your basic skincare routine and your skin feels happier and healthier with the products you’re using, you can begin to venture into other products that target specific skin concerns like ageing/mature skin and acne.
You’ll soon discover there’s a whole wide word of essences, serums, direct acids and everything in between out there. It’s both exciting and intimidating but here are some tips to make the process a lot more manageable.
Choose skincare products according to your skin type
As always, everything starts with your skin type. Fortunately, knowing what skin type you are is simple and easy.
- Normal skin is well-balanced, healthy skin. You have small pores and you don’t normally deal with a lot of major skin issues.
- Dry skin is when your face often feels tight and parched. You’re more susceptible to flakiness and fine lines.
- You have oily skin when you produce an excess amount of sebum which causes that shiny, oily appearance. It’s also one of the leading causes of your regular breakouts.
- Combination skin is when you have dry or normal cheeks but an oily t-zone (forehead, nose and chin).
If you’re unsure where you fall under, there are two easy ways to tell what your skin type is. Check this out.
Read product reviews
It’s great when our friends and family recommend products they love. Remember though that you might have different skin types. In this case, Google is our friend.
Read product reviews and make sure to look for reviews from people who have the same skin type as you and share the same skin concerns.
Get familiar with contra-indications and active ingredients
With so many skincare products in the market, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed and buy all of the things. Before using them though, know that there are certain products and ingredients that work great together and some that you should not mix.
For example: niacinamide and vitamin C. These two are great on their own but using them in the same routine is not recommended because chemistry happens and they sort of cancel each other out. Waste of money right there.
You don’t need to check for all of the ingredients in a product; just the main ones. They’re usually the first few ingredients listed on the packaging.
Start with product samples
Speaking of packaging, sometimes a product is only available in 150ml bottles. And it costs $50. I personally don’t want to commit to that relationship yet!
Which is why I think product samples are great. I’m a product sample hoarder and a lot of the skincare products I’m using today are free samples I received.
So get samples if you can. Not all brands offer them but if you find one that does, it’s a great alternative to purchasing something you’re still unsure about.
How to do a skin patch test for skincare products
Skin patch testing is a good way to see if your skin would react negatively to certain products, especially if you have sensitive skin.
I don’t always do a skin patch test (for example, for a gentle cleanser with no known allergens) but I always do for products I’m using for the first time and that I know have ingredients I’m not used to, like retinol or direct acids.
What I usually do is pick a spot on my inner arm (somewhere hidden but still easily accessible by you – I mean, don’t pick a spot on your back!) and apply a small amount of product there.
I leave it, don’t rinse it, and if I don’t have a reaction after 24 hours I move to a spot closer to my face but still hidden-ish, like under my jaw and do a patch test again.
If I still don’t have a reaction after this test, I’m in the clear. This doesn’t mean I won’t ever get breakouts though. I’ve used products that broke me out after I’ve been using it a few weeks.
And remember that some products have a purging period.
Still, while not 100% accurate, skin patch testing at home is still a good idea when you’re adding a new product to your routine.
Time your skin experiments wisely
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t try a new product just before Christmas or your birthday or a big presentation in case you react badly. I usually give it a window of at least 2 weeks.
Try one new product at a time
Now that I’ve scared the heck out of you lol, it’s time to introduce new skincare products into your skincare routine!
For now, the most important thing to remember when you’re introducing a new product into your skin care routine is to do it one product at a time.
This is important because:
- In case you have break out, you’d know exactly why and you can trouble-shoot easily. If you stop using the new product, does your skin calm down? Maybe you’re using too much product. Have you checked the active ingredients?
- Adding several new products at a time might shock your skin and we don’t want that. We want our skin to get used to each product before introducing a new one.
When is the right time to add another product to a skincare routine?
This varies and depends on how well your skin is adjusting.
Other people’s skin, like my partner’s, is so low maintenance they can add new products every few days without issue. My sister has sensitive skin and has to wait longer.
I have semi-sensitive skin and give a new product at least 2 weeks before I introduce another one.
So know your skin and pay attention to how it’s reacting. You can usually tell when it’s ready.
Is there such a thing as too many skin care products?
You guys know I’m a fan of the 10-step Korean skincare routine but is there such a thing as using too many skin care products? Yes and no.
- Yes, if you’re using similar products doing the same thing. For example, you’re using an exfoliating cleanser, an exfoliating toner and a serum that also exfoliates. You’re definitely over exfoliating and that’s bad.
- Yes, if you’re reacting badly and can’t figure out why. You need to take a step back and reset your routine.
- Yes, if the products you’re using are contraindicated. For example, it’s not recommended that you use a mugwort mask and retinol in the same routine.
- No, if you’re using different products that target different skin concerns.
- No, if you’re switching up products according to the season.
It is generally recommended to keep serums you’re using per routine to 2-3 though. More than that and your skin might not be able to absorb as much of the good stuff anymore.
Try alternating your serums and use them on different days for more effective results.
Start slow and allow your skin to adjust
Transitioning into a new skincare routine should also be done slowly. Start using your new product once a week, then gradually move up the frequency.
We all want instant results but applying direct acids everyday from the get-go is going to do more harm than good.
How do you know if a skincare product is working or not?
It’s usually pretty easy to tell if a skincare product is for you or not. If you experience dryness and flakiness, or redness and irritation, then it’s time to stop using it.
However, what if you’ve used up a whole bottle and you still have wrinkles or acne scars or pigmentation?
Remember that these things do take time to get rid of, and usually not 100%. Bottomline is: does your skin feel healthier and well-balanced? Does it look brighter and more radiant?
I tend to stick to products that make my skin happy (happy skin, happy me!) and only switch things up when I break out badly from it.
As always, when in doubt, it’s best to consult your dermatologist or aesthetician.
Give new products time to work
Lastly, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. It usually takes 1-2 months for noticeable changes to show. But if you keep at it consistently, they will show!
Happy skin experimenting!
What new skincare products have you tried lately? Love them or hate them? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.