The perfect skincare products are hard to find and when we discover something that works, we don't give it up esily. But just as there are benefits to switching shampoos after each bottle, it can be important to vary the the skincare products you use. We have some tips on how to know when it’s time to move on to the next product.
If you’ve been using the same product for three years or longer, it might be time to try something else, just so your skin doesn’t get used to the formula. Skin can act like your immune system — give it the same product for too long and it will learn to fight that formula. Besides, the Clearasil that was working miracles for you in high school probably isn’t what your skin is thirsting for today.
We recommend treating yourself to a facial, and using that time to question your esthetician about what she thinks your skin needs in terms of cleansers and moisturizers. While a visit to the derm is always preferable, an esthetician is a reliable second source of information and will be fully prepared to recommend the kinds of products and ingredients you should be looking for.
You’ve had a favorite skincare line for a couple of years, you know it’s right for you and you want to stick with it. No problem. The only important thing you need to know is when to replace your goodies — you might not end up using the entire product before you need to restock it.
“My rule of thumb with average shelf-life products is, if they come in contact with your finger tips or direct contact with skin (creams in jars, cream blush stick that is wiped on cheeks, lipstick) the shelf life is one year,” says celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, who’s worked with Demi Lovato, Jessica Simpson, Kara DioGaurdi and Lisa Rinna. “If it is paraben-free or an organic product where there are less stable preservatives in them, then [the shelf life is] 6 months.”
For products that don't come in contact with your fingers directly, such as an eye cream, lotion or serum in a pump or tube, the shelf life tends to be about two years. “If the product has or is changing color or consistency (a sign that the product is losing its effectiveness), toss it,” says Rouleau.
Another obvious trick? Check for an expiration date. If it has expired, toss it, don’t wait an extra month and hope it will do the same trick.
Image via Getty
You’ve heard this one before, but it’s still as important as ever: Change your skincare products with the seasons. Winter is all about moisturizing your skin to ensure that it doesn’t get dull or dry. But come summer, these products can end up making your skin feel greasy, resulting in unwanted blemishes.
“Cleansers should help clean and prep skin for active delivery of skincare ingredients from serums and creams,” says Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale University School of Medicine. “Opt for a mild, moisturizing cleanser [as you move into summer] that removes oil and residue without leaving your skin dry, tight or flaky.”
Your winter products probably won’t last you until the following year, so give them the boot with your spring clean and splurge on some new goods for the spring and summer. While cleansers should be light and exfoliating, remember to choose moisturizers with and SPF 30 or higher for summer weather.
Top Image via IMAXtree