When it comes to your skincare routine and the products you've selected, it's easy to get confused and wonder whether or not they're really working for you. Even more frustrating, you might be wondering if the routine is making things worse!
We completely understand how perplexing this can be, especially when you're using an advanced skincare routine with several products. However, knowing what results to expect and why you might not be seeing exactly what you were hoping for—or seeing unintended results—is critical.
We want you to understand what's possible and what isn't. Having realistic expectations is important, because hoping for what isn't possible can get your budget and skin out of whack. The truth is that realistic expectations plus consistent use of an outstanding skincare routine is the only way to have the best skin of your life.
How to Get the Results You Want
So, how do you really know you're getting the best results possible from your skincare products? The list below and the table that follows are what we use as our guidelines to determine success. Use them to help ensure you're getting the most from your skincare routine.
1. Ignore exaggerated product claims
Product claims are typically either incredibly misleading or outright false. A minor example that always disturbs us is a daytime moisturizer that claims to address all the signs of aging, but doesn't contain sunscreen (or if it has sunscreen it's less than an SPF 30). If you're not using a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater 365 days a year, rain or shine, signs of aging, uneven skin tone, lingering marks from bumps, and other concerns will linger or keep getting worse.
2. Stop looking for one miracle ingredient or one miracle product
The fact is there's no single magic ingredient or miracle product for skin. Just like our bodies need a wide variety of nutritional foods to stay healthy, our skin also needs a balanced "diet" of state-of-the-art beneficial ingredients supplied through consistent use of a superior skincare routine.
Everything your skin needs cannot fit into one product and certainly can't be provided with one overly-hyped ingredient. Searching for a miracle ingredient or one product that can do it all cheats your skin. You'll be losing out on the dramatic improvements you could get from using an array of necessary products with a variety of essential ingredients.
3. Use a carefully selected skincare routine
For some people, a basic skincare routine can work just fine but for others, it just won't be enough to provide the best results. Depending on your skin type, skin concerns, and preferences, a more advanced skincare routine will be important for you. The complex needs of skin to keep it replenished with essential beneficial ingredients, protected from sun damage, enriched with hydration, nourished with skin-restoring ingredients to fight aging, maintain an even skin tone, and so on requires an array of appropriate products.
4. Be consistent
For ideal, ultimate results, a skincare routine must be used regularly. Some products you will need to use twice a day (cleanser, toner, serum), others once a day (sunscreen during the day and moisturizer at night and, for some, once-daily exfoliation), and some every other day (1% retinol products or targeted solutions), or once a week (advanced exfoliants).
5. Don't skip exfoliation or sunscreen
Nothing can be as impressive for skin as the results a well-formulated, gentle, leave-on AHA or BHA exfoliant can provide. Even more important is dedicated use of an SPF 30 or greater sunscreen every single day. This is the fundamental way to start keeping every aspect of your skin young and beautiful. When used as directed with other sun protection measures, this also plays a pivotal role in decreasing the risk of skin cancer.
6. Don't expect instant results
You didn't suddenly wake up with sun damage and wrinkles, so don't expect to be able to radically diminish them overnight, either. There are products that can have dramatic overnight results (especially an AHA or BHA exfoliant), but for the most part, it takes time for a product to really make a difference. Continued use is necessary to maintain the results, so again, consistency is key. For example, products for uneven skin tone or skin lightening with a hydroquinone-based product for dark spots can take several weeks before results become visible.
7. Avoid products with harsh or skin-aggravating ingredients
Gentle is the most pivotal aspect of exceptional skincare. Non-irritating skincare products are vitally important. If the products you use cause sensitivity, it will leave your skin vulnerable to environmental damage. Routinely causing your skin to be sensitized hinders its ability to renew and restore itself. Avoiding problematic ingredients (including strong fragrances) is critical.
Also keep in mind that your skin's surface doesn't always show negative reactions to problematic ingredients, yet the damage is still taking place, beyond where you can see it. You may not see or feel the reaction, but if the product you are using isn't gentle the damage is silently occurring, leading to problems down the road.
8. Your personal sensitivity to ingredients.
You never really know exactly how your skin will respond to even the best formulated products, so you have to pay attention to how your skin reacts. Tingling is a problem because it is a sign of aggravation, not a sign that a product is "working."
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