You’re spending lots of money. You’ve put in the effort. But you’re not reaching your goals. Why on earth would this be?
I spend my days talking to patients about their routines and examining them with a fine toothcomb. So I’ve seen everything. And ironically, the commonest reason for a skincare routine to fail, is doing too much.
Here are seven habits that are getting in the way of you getting the results you deserve!
1) Not using the right ingredients
The use of alpha hydroxy acids in acne is probably the commonest error I see. These water soluble ingredients don’t penetrate into the oily pore so they can’t exfoliate the sticky skin cells that block and from comedones.
The fix? Switch to using a retinoid, your first line in the battle against acne.
2) Chopping and changing too often
With brands like the Inkey List and the Ordinary increasing access to single actives, it's all too easy to succumb to their fast marketing and buy a new serum every 5 minutes. Skin doesn’t like lots of change. It likes consistency and to be conditioned by the right stabilising influences. Your skin does not know it's the weekend!
The fix? Pare it right back to just 2 or 3 actives based on your specific concerns and stick with it!
3) Not dosing correctly
This is the fault of brands that don’t guide you with explicit instructions on this. And it’s especially true of sunscreens, where under-dosing means you’ll miss out on lots of the benefits.
The fix? So when you read “apply generously” get out your measuring spoons so you know exactly how much to use!
4) Using ingredients which counteract each other
Again, this is very important for acne sufferers. Using a retinoid alongside benzoyl peroxide is one of the big no-nos. In fact, unless you’re using a retinoid that’s been purposefully formulated with other actives, it's best to use them in isolation to harness their magic.
The fix? Use BPO in the morning and your retinoid at night.
5) Not using the best format of product
A leave-on product will always trump a product delivered by swiping skin with a cotton pad. You’ll be able to quantify the amount applied and be more precise with the evenness of the distribution.
The fix? Buy products which are dispensed in a pump for dosing accuracy and measurable results.
6) You’re using more than one product from the same category
This is surprisingly common. If you’re looking to increase the intensity of a product seek out higher percentages rather than adding in 2 of the same thing. I see this a lot with retinoids.
The fix? Strip it back to one; or use 2 products in rotation on different nights, if they offer different benefits.
7) Not using a product for long enough
We’re all impatient. But this is the commonest reason why we don’t see the results we should. I recommend giving a product at least 6 weeks, and more often 12 weeks to really declare itself. This is how I review patients in the clinic. Anything sooner is premature.
The fix? Take selfies and use your calendar to plan follow-ups with yourself!
Final thoughts - hopefully, I’ve given you some ideas for using the right products, the right way. Having correct expectations and a precise plan for use is so important - it’s why I put my Amplified Actives in pumps for accurate dosing and provide explicit guidance on use through my Routine Finder so you get the most out of the products. When you do the work, skin transformation becomes within your grasp. I want that for you so hopefully today’s advice gets you closer to your goals!