When I was looking in our skincare cabinet, which has turned into shelves, counters, cabinets – plural… shit seems to be absolutely everywhere, I was thinking too myself, is it physically possible to be using TOO many skincare products? I mean… I’ve got all sorts of skin ‘issues’ that I combat on a regular basis:
- Sun damage, dark spots
- Cystic acne
- KP (which by the way, I’m using SkinFix Renewing Cream lately and it’s really helping!)
… I mean the list could go on! Can ya feel me?!
But like with everything, you want to find and use products that will help you combat all these things, but there isn’t a one and done product that I know of, that really helps you take care of every skin woe you’ve got. So let’s say you’re dealing with less than me or even more, you know you’re using every product under the sun to target each and every issue and then you’re starting to think to yourself, ‘When is too many?’ Or is it actually possible to have too many? For instance, if you go with the Korean 10-step skincare routine, that’s a crap ton of products just right there, but we’ve all seen their skin – gorg! So is it just a fine balancing act? When are you at the level where you need an intervention?
There are a couple tricks we’ve got up our sleeves for how to deal with your ever-growing skincare cabinet!
Strategic layering when using multiple products is key! In general, you apply the products with lower viscosity first, allow to dry, then apply the next layer! Applying products in the wrong order may inhibit overall absorption and not only that, but higher viscosity products inhibits penetration of other products. So as a best practice, we recommend:
- Serums first
- Then gels
- Then oils
- Then lotions
- Then creams
- Then ointments
If you’re going to apply toner, do that right after your cleansing step. If you’re into essences, apply that next, before your serum. It’s basically like water, so that makes sense right? It’s got a lower viscosity! See, you got this!
I wholeheartedly (not halfheartedly) recommend waiting between application! Though the jury is still out, I do think it’s best to wait 3-5 minutes between each and every product that you apply on your face for the best possible absorption. I’ve heard it from a number of my dermatologists & skin practitioners over the years, but I’ve read differing opinions online. So while I love to read different perspectives, I have to agree with my derms on this.
I also strongly believe that you can mix too many products together causing one to actually become ineffective or irritate the heck out of your skin! We wrote a WHOLE blog about what skincare ingredients not to use together, but if you want a quick take, here’s what we think… avoid using these guys together!
- Vitamin C and vitamin C (Yup, you read that right – they can in fact counteract each other’s effectiveness and not work at all)
- Vitamin C & retinol (vitamin A)
- Vitamin C and AHA’s/BHA’s (i.e. Glycolic acid)
- Vitamin C & niacinamide
- Retinol & benzoyl peroxide
- Benzoyl peroxide & hydroquinone
- Retinoids & sunscreen
- Some oils & serums/ampoules
I believe that there are certain skincare issues that can only get so far with products and then it’s time to go to treatments! Not all folks would agree with this because treatments can be costly and we’ve definitely got some more holistic Cheeky’s, but I have to lean this way. For instance, my melasma is definitely amazing and under control with the Groots formula, but it wasn’t until I got IPL done was it when I really noticed my sun damage was gone. And unfortunately, there is no amazing product on the market that targets sun damage… it’s really something that requires treatments. So if you’re noticing that your skin is stagnant, then it may be time to bring in the ‘big guns’ and consider a treatment. If you’re in this category, just shoot us a message and we’d be happy to help you decide!
Take an inventory of what you’ve got! Is your skincare collection filled with reputable products? Is it all over the counter stuff? Is it mixed up pretty well? Whatever the case may be, take a look at your products and see if you’re wasting money on anything. I know I’ve got some products that I’ve discontinued using because it was either draining my wallet and I wasn’t seeing a great ROI or I was just using it to use it… ya know, I saw it on Instagram and wanted to try it out, but it ain’t doing a thing for me… I would also recommend tossing your samples! Samples are really fun sometimes but it often takes skincare products 4-6 weeks to even begin working. So sure, I’ve got samples and I love trying new things, but at the same time, it often becomes clutter and dust collects and before you know it, you’ve got them everywhere. So just take that into consideration when you’re doing your inventory.
Really cleanse your skin for the best effectiveness & absorption of your products! So cleansing products are the fastest growing product line in the skincare industry as of late. And I have to think that double cleansing, oil cleansers, cold creams, etc. that have taken off are playing a major role in this. Cleansing is often seen as kind of a chore and it’s not that exciting 😉 But cleansing is how you’re really prepping the skin for the products. So we would definitely recommend:
- A quality cleansing brush
- Double cleansing
- Using face wipes to get rid of your makeup
- The perfect cleanser for your skin (i.e. creamy for dry skin, foaming for oily skin)
- Patting your skin with a towel after washing (don’t rub)
Stop using skincare products all together? Okay, so this is a little wild right, but it’s been trending on Google for a bit. Let’s say you’ve been using your skincare products for forever and you’re not seeing a big improvement or you’re just at this point in your life where you’ve gotta revamp your routine! Try slowly weaning off your skincare products and see which skin conditions begin to become prominent… Then slowly wean in new skincare products that target the conditions and issues that were the most pronounced. I would highly recommend doing this under the supervision of your dermatologist, but it’s one way for you to really understand your skin and see what products you need the most. #Skincarevacation You could actually discover that you’re a skincare minimalist rather than a skincare-aholic. And hey, you could find that your skin is even more amazing.
Using a lot of products but not seeing the absorption that you crave, but not willing to give them up? Product patting may be where you’ll see a great improvement. So we have been doing this for about a month now and I cannot tell you how much better my products are working. From my melasma cream to my moisturizer, I am seeing a HUGE difference in how my skin takes to the products. My melasma is better, I no longer have dry skin flakes… I’ve just seen a vast improvement to my skin by just simply patting. I watched a video the other day of Kate Hudson featuring La Mer and she literally gently pats the smallest amount of La Mer to her face and she was good to go. You’ll see that you’re using less of the product, better absorption and you’re all the sudden saving money because you don’t have to use as much. It’s seriously been life changing. Plus, by patting your skincare, you’re not messing with the fluids in your face that can cause your eye area to be puffy!