Many of us have been handicapped by accessibility. We have taken on the attitude of “gimmie” what I want, how I want it, when I want it, period! This concept may be acceptable on a cruise line or in retail, but it is irrational when referring to personal skincare. It is vastly important to give the product’s ingredients time to produce change after initial usage and be consistent with your daily regimen. Whatever condition you are looking to improve, remember that patience is a virtue and changes cannot be made overnight. Not allowing products its appropriate time allotment can result in your skin condition worsening; especially if you use product after product with active ingredients that may or may not mesh well with your skin. So you ask, how long should I wait before switching or omitting? A general rule of thumb is to allow the skincare solutions four to six weeks before you begin to see results. Depending on the product and the desired results however, the suggested time may be longer. You should never abandon a regimen days after using it, due to lack of results and never use more of the product thinking that you will see results faster. Only abandon if the product produces a severe allergic reaction including swelling, severe itching or burning, blisters, and/or beat red completion.
*Note that products or ingredients may initially cause mild redness, itching or irritation, but will subside shortly after. In this case, allow your skin a few days to build a tolerance of such product or ingredient. Also, you may also choose to spot treat a condition once daily until your skin builds a tolerance, and then increase usage thereafter.*
It is important to mention that when choosing a particular product, know your skin type (which has the ability to change due to internal and external factors). People mistakenly classify their skin as being sensitive, oily or dry. Often times, what appears oily may in fact be a blocked acid mantle or what appears dry may be dehydration. How? When the skin is not being exfoliated properly, dead skin cells build layers on top of layers resulting in a blocked barrier. Thus, the body goes into overdrive to produce oil, when in fact all you need to do is remove dead cells to allow your skin to breathe. The same thing applies with dry skin. If you are using harsh soaps, not using a daily moisturizer or you are using irritating lotion or heavy creams/oils, there is a huge possibility that your skin is begging for the appropriate balance of moisture. Sensitive skin is also misguided factor. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are various types of sensitive skin. However, what dermatologists and estheticians classify as sensitive includes: rosacea, acne, contact dermatitis and severe burning or stinging. It is my belief that if you do not suffer from either of these stated conditions your skin type may not be sensitive, but instead you may be sensitive to certain ingredients in products. Seek professional help from an esthetician or dermatologist before diagnosing your skin type. Likewise, avoid products and ingredients that are known to cause irritation. Regularly treating yourself to a facial or exfoliation treatment may also help to revive your true skin type. LEARN TO INVEST IN YOUR SKIN! After all, it is the largest organ of the body and is the ultimate protector of everything within.