Taking good care of your skin is important for your overall well-being, but it can be costly. With so many products on the market vying for your attention and hard-earned money, you want to be careful with your purchases. If you’re just starting your cosmetic dermatology journey, though, it can be difficult to know which products will work in your favor, which won’t do much of anything, and which might work against you. Talking to your dermatologist and doing your own research can help you choose some initial products -- from there, you’ll want to track how well said regimen is treating your skin. Let’s go over how to know whether or not your skincare routine is working.
Determining the efficacy of a given skincare routine often takes time and regularity. There’s no silver bullet that will eliminate your wrinkles or brighten your skin tone. And if you run into issues, you’ll still have to narrow down which product or products are to blame. Generally speaking, you need to spend about a month with a particular product to assess its worth, as this is about how long it takes for new skin cells to take over for the old ones. On top of this, it often takes several cycles (typically 3 to 4 months) to determine the overall effect of your routine as a whole. If you want to know if your skincare routine is working, then you need to stick with it for a while and do your best to maintain a rigid schedule. Otherwise, it’s easy to lose track of what’s working and what isn’t.
It’s difficult to know whether a skincare routine is effective if you’re not sure how to evaluate your skin in the first place. For starters, you should know your skin type: is it dry, oily, or a combination of the two? Ideally, your skincare routine should help you achieve hydrated skin that’s not oily. If you’re unfamiliar with these matters, though, you might conflate hydrated and oily skin. As a rule of thumb, hydrated skin retains moisture, is soft, and evenly reflects light, whereas oily skin feels grimy, uneven, and at times irritable. Knowing this distinction will give you a better sense of how well (or poorly) your routine is working.
The optimal skincare routine for you should make you feel comfortable, both mentally and physically. Aesthetically speaking, an effective routine will provide your skin with an even tone and texture (say goodbye to signs of sun damaged skin). And physically speaking, your skin shouldn’t feel itchy, irritable, or painful at all. If you do feel some discomfort, then you’ve either neglected that portion of your skin or your skincare routine isn’t working as well as it could be.
Speaking of skin discomfort, if you suffer from a chronic skin condition like psoriasis or eczema, a proper skincare routine should mitigate flare ups and alleviate symptoms when they occur. These products won’t cure your chronic conditions, so they’re bound to show up here and there, of course. That said, if you notice a reduction in these issues, it’s a good sign that your skincare routine is doing its job right.
Those with oily and dry skin alike often suffer from acne. One of the keys to keeping acne at bay is maintaining hydrated skin, which, of course, is one of the primary goals of any skincare routine. Therefore, if you’re breaking out less frequently and your breakouts are less severe, odds are your skincare products are providing your skin with the care it needs. Conversely, if you start experiencing more breakouts after adding new products to your routine, there’s likely a mismatch somewhere in the mix -- perhaps you’re using a comedogenic (pore-clogging) product, or some of your products are meant for dry skin when you have oily skin, etc.
You’re stuck with the skin you have, so taking good care of your skin is a lifelong investment that pays consistent dividends. Don’t waste time or money on products that aren’t improving or maintaining your skin’s health and longevity. The experts at Premier Dermatology Partners can help you better understand your skin type and select products that provide the biggest benefits. To learn more about our providers and all the services that we offer, contact us today.