A Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Your Skincare Routine
Perhaps your skin does not feel its healthiest self. Maybe, you feel that your current skincare products are not doing enough for your skin. Perhaps your skincare goals have changed. Or maybe you just want to elevate your skincare regimen by adding more Korean Beauty patent steps to it. Whatever the reason you might have for wanting to switch up your skincare products, one thing is certain- your decision and method to do so cannot be ill informed. You must ensure that you do your research, splurge on the correct products and give a chance to a routine that aligns with your ultimate skincare goal. Sounds overwhelming? Don’t worry, we have prepared a step by step guide for you to go about and perfectly switch up your skincare game.
1. Define your Skincare Goals
First things first, you must clearly define what your ultimate skincare goal is. Whether it is simply removing acne scars or pigmentation or reversing the clock on your face, you need to know and clearly identify the target you need to achieve. You can strategize, research or even loop in your dermatologist only after you have your goal locked. This is important as different skin concerns demand different ingredients and sometimes even different kinds of routines depending on your skin type. K-Beauty fortunately offers its seekers a multitude of ingredients and combinations to choose from but before you dive in, you need to clearly demarcate what your major concern or pain-point is. Only then can you successfully create an effective routine.
2. Analyze your Current Routine
Once you have your goal in place, you need to look at your current routine and analyze where the problem lies. One of the two things will come of it- you will either realize that your current routine is ideal but you have been making some mistake in implementing it, or you would be able to pinpoint where your current routine lacks and effectively fill up those gaps. Some questions which you must ask yourself while analysing your current routine are:-
- Have I been Consistent?
Consistency is key when it comes to skincare. It would not matter if you are using the best of products with the rarest of ingredients if you do not stick to your routine. If you have not been consistent in the past, chances are that your current routine is perfect as it is, you simply need to be consistent with it. Let's assume this scenario- you have just had coffee with your girlfriends and raved over a celebrity's skin. On your way home you pick up a new moisturiser, a sunscreen and even a serum but when the time comes you apply it only 3 nights in a week and slowly these products are left on your shelf. A routine like this is no routine at all!.
- Have I been using SPF?
Sun damage is one of the leading causes of skin aging and is usually the villain behind unfulfilled skincare goals. If you have been shying away from sunscreen, chances are that’s where the problem lies. All you need to do is pack up some SPF and you would be able to see the results in a couple of months.
- Is my routine Compatible with my Identified Goal?
While analysing your current skincare regimen, another important question to ask if you have been using the correct ingredients or the right products. It is necessary that your regimen actually matches your end goal and produces results that take you closer to your target, for example if your end goal is anti-ageing but you do not have any retinoids or similar chemicals in your skincare routine, then you would not see the desired result.
- Is my routine Compatible with my Skin Type?
Apart from matching ingredients, you also need to ensure that the products you are using suit your skin type. People with dry skin cannot use a moisturiser made specifically for combination skin, people with oily skin need a matte sunblock which people with dry skin don’t require, people with hypersensitive skin cannot use harsh cleansers or exfoliants. Take a hard look at all your products and see if even a single one of them is not engineered to your skin type.
- Has my routine produced any Negative Effects?
A very important question to ask yourself is if your current skincare routine has had any undesirable effects. These include but are not limited to irritation, itching, redness, skin tightness, breakouts or rashes. Another thing to keep in mind is to distinguish between these negative effects and purging. When you try a new product your skin might react to it and that reaction is called purging. It is essentially release of built up toxins so is considered good and does not harm your skin. Keep an eye out for signs of purging but if you feel that a product is not right or is causing undesirable reactions, discard it immediately and consult a dermatologist.
- Have I been Layering my products right?
Last but not the least, you must ask yourself if you have been layering your products right. This means both getting the order in which you are supposed to apply different products in line and matching the active ingredients in your skincare products so one does not cancel out the other. For example, Niacinamide and Vitamin C are both antioxidants and are a skincare staple, yet they must not be layered one after another or mixed together as they cancel each other out.
3. Take a Break
Sometimes it is good to give your skin a chance to recoup by giving it a break. Of Course you cannot stop cleansing, moisturising and using sunblock but not using active ingredients or other chemicals on your skin for a couple of weeks would give you a clearer insight to what your skin needs. Detoxing your skin this way will also allow you to hit refresh and give your skin some breathing period before you change your products and add or delete steps which it is otherwise used to.
4. Baby Steps for Big Changes
The golden rule of any new skincare product is to remember to take baby steps. Just because some product worked overnight does not mean that others will have the same effect. Apart from that, your skin needs time to get used to a new routine before it can start showing results. It is necessary that you are patient and give your skin that time. Regardless of the sensitivity level of your skin, always do a patch test as some inconspicuous spot- your wrist or the side of your neck. Only after you are certain that a product is safe should you apply it on your face. Remember that a new ingredient is not magic. Give the routine and your skin at least 6-8 weeks before expecting results and be consistent in that time.
Revisiting and reworking your skincare routine might seem like a hassle but truly it is not, plus it is always worth the result. It is a new year and a new time in your life. Take that shot and get the skin you have always wanted!