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Whether you’re trying a whole new routine or you’ve been doing the same thing for a decade with no real rhyme or rationale, there’s a host of reasons why your skincare routine may not be working for you.
Here are 5 reasons why your skincare routine isn’t working according to our Nava MD expert dermatologists.
Let’s start with the obvious: you’re using the wrong products for your skin type. It’s easy to do when you’re first starting out in the world of skin care, but many of us have never taken the time – even after years of routines – to figure out what’s ideal for us.
We’ll give you an example. Retinols and retinoids are similar, but not the same, despite that these names are sometimes used interchangeably. Both are Vitamin A derivatives, and both are often included in skincare products to diminish acne and prevent wrinkles. But retinols are the weaker form of the latter, available over-the-counter at any beauty store or pharmacy. Retinoids are retinols’ more potent counterpart, generally available only by prescription. They’re the gold standard in acne care, improving fine lines and skin texture with a doctor’s help.
Retinols will take longer to work – if at all – and they probably won’t work as well as their stronger cousins, the retinoids. Nava MD’s personalized acne treatment, for example, was formulated with tretinoin, clindamycin, and niacinamide for that reason, with the strength of these ingredients proportioned based on your skin type and condition.
Not only is it easy to select the wrong products for your skin type and complexion, it’s just as easy to select the wrong combination of products.
For example, retinol-containing products shouldn’t be mixed with vitamin C products as their pH levels are quite different, resulting in a mish-mash of neutralization right on your face. You also want to avoid pairing the acne-fighting salicylic acid or benzoyl-peroxide with retinols, as they can exacerbate inflammation and wind up aggravating your skin more than they help.
Start slowly with a new routine, and don’t change everything at once. Change one variable at a time to see how it pairs with the products you’re already using that you KNOW you like.
On top of all that, you might be using the right products for your skin… just using them incorrectly.
One of the issues our dermatologists see all too often is overuse of products intended to be used sparingly. Many of us have been there: excessively applying 12-step skincare regimens when the right solution might be to keep it simple.
Dermatologists recognize that more isn’t always better, and bringing consumers and patients around to this gentler approach can be a powerful realization towards healthier skin. Nava MD’s dermatologists and our products tend to reflect that ethos: with the right ingredients, less can be more.
Fluctuations in temperature can make your skin prone to breakouts, and your skin doesn’t like dramatic changes after it’s adapted to one environment or another.
Make routine changes slow and steady rather than slathering on a host of new products all at once. Your skin likes to be coddled – keep it gentle at the beginning with just one change, and make additions over the course of a few weeks.
And, it generally takes a full 8-12 weeks to sort out whether a skincare routine is working for you - or whether it may be making things worse. If you’re dancing from one to another every other week, you may not even be giving your new plan the opportunity it needs.
The fastest way to great skincare is with the help of an expert, ideally a registered physician or dermatologist.
Professionals with experience – and I’m not talking mall-employee-”expert” – can help you make efficient and effective decisions about what you’re putting on your skin and why. While retinoids have become a go-to for so many skin conditions, they’re not for everyone, and finding the right balance with other skincare products will help your skin look fresh and healthy faster.
A teen’s acne and a woman’s wrinkles need different routines and ingredients. Nava MD can help. We connect you with a licensed practitioner for prescription, customized skincare treatments, if prescribed, based on your skin condition and skin type. It’s fast and easy – the simplest dermatologist visit you’ve ever had, done online. Get started.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
Consult a healthcare professional or call a doctor in the case of a medical emergency