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12 Jun 2020

Product Overload: How Much Is Too Much?

If you’ve been on Instagram or YouTube lately, you may have noticed the *very detailed* routines some “skinfluencers” have. And by *very detailed,* we mean anything from a 10 step Korean skincare routine to a “mid-day freshen up routine”. You may be thinking, who has time for a mid-day freshen up routine? And, honestly, we have no answer to this because we are asking the same exact question.

With all that being said, we know that figuring out the right skincare routine can be a really exciting, fun, and, let’s be real, frustrating process. We also know a lot of women just simply don’t have time for a 10 step routine every morning and night, let alone a “mid-day freshen up.” So, we’re going to be really pragmatic about this one.

Does “The More The Merrier” Apply To Skincare?

In short, no, it doesn’t apply to skincare. Even the best, most effective products can be rendered ineffective if you use too many. Products counteracting each other is a real thing, as is the importance of the order in which you apply product. So, we are going to share some tips on keeping your product lineup lean and effective.

Keep Track of Active Ingredients

Active Ingredients are exactly what they sound like. It means they’re the ingredients that are muscling the products’ said operation. Active Ingredients, now more than ever, can be extremely potent and effective, so it’s important that you don’t overdo it. Using too many products with active ingredients or combinations of active products that don’t work for your skin’s needs can cause inflammation, redness, flakiness, and irritation.

Don’t Over Exfoliate

Whether your manual exfoliation product (think, scrub) uses natural or synthetically derived granules, we recommend exfoliating only 2x per week. Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, can vary in the recommended frequency of use. So it’s best to listen to your skin and reach out to your dermatologist when in doubt. A common sign of over-exfoliation is skin that is shiny but lacks moisture. Skin cells are important, and while you don’t want lots of dead skin cells hanging around, you also don’t want to lose the ones you need.

Be Seasonal About It

Summertime skin is different than Wintertime skin. Be intentional about why you’re using certain products in your lineup. For example, if you’re spending lots of time in the sun, you may want to limit the use of retinol or completely eliminate it depending on your skin type. Also, keep in mind the climate that you live in. Skin in humid climates vs dry climates has different needs!

Beauty Isn’t Always Pain

Have you ever heard someone say “If it’s burning, it’s working”? Well, we beg to differ. If it’s burning, causing redness (even if the redness goes away quickly), this means that your skin is experiencing inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response to a no-no ingredient or practice. So, when your skin speaks, listen!

So, What Are The Essentials?

Well, it depends on who you ask, but we believe a solid cleanser, serum, moisturizer, eye cream, and lip cream are essential steps in a skincare routine. From these 5 steps, you can build the rest of your skincare regimen.

What Ingredients Should I Avoid Mixing?

Proper ingredient mixing is key to an effective skincare regimen. It’s also important for avoiding irritation, redness, and inflammation. This could get really “sciency” really fast, but we will keep it simple. Here are some ingredients you should avoid mixing.

Salicylic Acid & Glycolic Acid

Both are chemical exfoliants that are fantastic at removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin, but if you use both at the same time, depending on the concentration, you might over-exfoliate your skin and possibly experience irritation and inflammation.

Vitamin C & Retinol

Many skincare experts recommend using Vitamin C for daytime and Retinol for nighttime. This is no mistake! Retinol makes the skin more sensitive to the sun, so please, always use this at nighttime. Both Vitamin C and Retinol are effective in combatting signs of aging as well as evening skin tone, but using them together could actually age and irritate your skin.

Oil-Based & Water-Based

Naturally, oil repels water. The same applies to skincare, oil will prevent water-based products from penetrating the outermost layers of the skin. If you apply a water-based product on top of an oil-based one, the product on top will absorb very very little, if absorbing at all.

We hope this helps clear some of the product-overloaded air. If you’re ever in doubt, stick to the basics, listen to your skin, and as always, feel free to reach out to us via email. We want to help you reach your skin goals and give real honest advice.