What you need to know before you give up on your skincare products
Many of us have a bunch of half-used skincare products lying around. And most times, the reason behind it is that we become disenchanted with our skincare products because they don’t live up to our expectations. But since we’ve already paid for them and we usually buy them having high hopes, before you write them off as inefficient, make sure you did your part.
You may be looking to get a great product, but its greatness may fade even before it makes it to you. Try to avoid purchasing skincare products with active ingredients in the Summer, as heat may not only change their consistency, but it may also alter and even inactivate some of these active ingredients, and all you’re left with may end up being a nicely packaged combination of filler ingredients. We don't mean the active ingredients in sunscreens here, but ingredients like vitamin C, peptides, retinol and other Vitamin A products, for example.
Most mail delivery trucks are not equipped with A/C, which is why the temperature of a package can get pretty high on a hot summer day. This doesn’t only affect the consistency of skincare products, but it may inactivate many of the active ingredients as well. This applies even more to natural and organic products that have a harder time holding up to extreme temperatures. Also keep in mind that the same might be true for products you buy from a store during the Summer season. After all, they probably got there on a similar delivery truck. We like to stock up on essentials like vitamin C and retinoids for the summer, right before the weather gets hot.
Packaging is extremely important for skincare products with active ingredients. And that’s because many of them are sensitive not only to heat, but also to light and air. So if you’re looking for a Vitamin C product or another antioxidant, for example, don’t buy one that comes packaged in a jar, or a clear bottle. Antioxidants are sensitive to both air and light, and should be packaged in dark, opaque recipients, ideally with an air-tight pump.
How and where you store your skincare products in your home is also very important. Most skincare products should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight, heat and humidity. So for many of them, your steamy bathroom may not be the best place, and for some, your refrigerator may actually be the solution. In some instances though, the temperature in your refrigerator may be too low, which is why refrigerated beauty boxes may be the solution you’re looking for, like the one being designed by our friends @beautigloo, which should be available before the end of the year.
Most skincare products instruct us to apply the product on clean skin. So when you are testing the product in store, on top of the products you’ve already applied that day and maybe on top of makeup, the results of your test won’t be conclusive. Ask for a sample, so you can try it at home, on clean skin, or in the order indicated by the manufacturer before you make up your mind about it.
Cleansing your face should be the first step regardless of whether you are applying your daytime or nighttime regimen. You may think you don’t have to wash your face in the morning because there’s no makeup or dirt to remove. But you need to remove residue from the products you used before you went to sleep, so you can start applying your daytime products on clean skin and avoid piling on too many products. This can result in products balling up into those little clumps that ruin your makeup. Thicker products and products that contain silicones have a tendency to ball-up, and nighttime moisturizers are traditionally thicker and some contain moisture sealing ingredients like silicones, so that’s not the ideal base for your daytime regimen. Product pilling also happens as a consequence of applying too much product, even on a clean face – that’s too much of the same product, or too many layers of different products that are not absorbed properly in the skin and end up balling up.
Apply skincare products according to the instructions on the package, and keep in mind that more does not necessarily mean better. And apply water-based products (toners, lotions, essences, serums and water-based moisturizers) first and oil-based products last, as oil-based products decrease absorption of other products applied afterwards. To enhance absorption of skincare products, you can also use a device designed to deliver vibrations and/or ionic micro-currents to increase skin permeability. Our friends from @LaLuer launched a new device this year at CES that packs in a bunch of technologies you can use at different times as part of your skincare regimen, including sonic vibrations and iontophoresis for product penetration.
Finally, give both skincare products and yourself time. There are very few products that will generate immediate results, so be patient. Don’t give up on a product before giving it a real chance to fulfill its promises. Stop using a product immediately if you have an adverse reaction, but don’t just give up on it because you don’t see immediate results.
Here’s to less half-used products and better results!
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