Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Getting skincare as a gift! Proceede with caution!

Most of us know  that cleansing, gentle exfoliation (preferably chemical), moisturizing and protecting our skin from harmful UV rays are the basis of keeping our skin looking good. Given the price of everything some of you may have asked for the latest serum or night cream for Christmas.

Surprise! You got what you wanted all wrapped up with a pretty bow under the Christmas tree! Maybe you were very good this year and one of your loved ones gave you a complete skin care regimen.

Oooh! Such excitement, you've been waiting for, like, forever to have good products, to finally have a good routine.

That night you just can't wait to go ahead and start. You're on the road to glorious skin. Cleanser, scrub and  a mask? Oh well why not do all? Toner, serum, moisturizer, eye cream... Yay! You're done! It took you a while but 30 minutes later you're out of the bathroom feeling like a princess!

So now it's been what, 9 days or so of this new routine? Hmm! Your skin is not looking much better than when you started. It may in fact look a little more clogged, even a little irritated!

Oh my, is that a new pimple?


Now that's not suppose to happen, is it?

Unfortunately for many, yes!

You had made a list! You knew these products where made for your skin type for you did "try" them at the store on your hand! The sales lady asked you all the appropriate questions, even "looked" at your skin up close for a proper "analysis"...  These where definitely the right formulas for you. Also they were pretty expensive and the more you pay the better the products... After all you do know that "you get what you pay for".

Sadly even if the products you received have outstanding formulas and cost an arm and a leg it doesn't mean that they will do anything for your skin. Everyone is different.

On top of that, the holiday season is probably not the best time to start a new routine. Often during that period, some of us eat more sugar and junk food, drink a little more alcohol than usual and sleep less. All these have incidences on our skin. If you are sensitive, have rosacea, are clog prone and/or acne prone and start using several new products at once it can definitely wreak havoc on your skin.

Barely 9 days in, you're facing a wall (you don't want to look in the mirror)!

What to do? Stop everything!

Go back to what you where using before and wait for your skin to get to it's pre-greatnewskincaregift shape. Let it calm down, stop the food excesses and try to get some rest. Once that's done you can introduce one new skin care product at a time and it would be more than preferable to patch test first, especially if you have skin issues.

I know, I know, b.o.r.i.n.g!!!

Sorry but it's the best way to go about it. Some will know right away, in less than 24 hours, if a product clogs or/and breaks them. For others it can take a week or even as much as a month. For irritation, rosacea flare up or an allergic reaction, often it's practically instantaneous.

Skin care can be so tricky, especially for someone with issues. There can be a lot of trial and error before you get a routine fit for you and it will not necessarely be all products from the same company.

Oh and if you see a bunch of little pimples popping out, it's not purging! Many sales associates use that term to convince us to continue using their company's products hence avoiding returns. Purging, as my friend Laura keeps telling people on MUA's Skin Care Board, occurs 98% or the time with prescription strenght products like Retin-A for example. With a strong Rx retinoid skin can indeed get worst before it gets better. Over the counter products whether it's from the drugstore or the department store rarely have the high enough concentration of actives required to cause that type or reaction.

Irritation, could be caused by over exfoliation. Remember that cleanser, scrub and mask? Whether you did use them all at once that first night or not, you've probably been using one or two of them everyday. We tend to overdo this in the hopes to get glowing skin, fast! It doesn't take long for our skin to show its discontent. Do note that some just can't use scrubs and do better with a gentle washcloth for manual exfoliation.

Did you get a Clarisonic? Everyone wants one! Well almost everyone. You've been salivating over one for so long, especially since it's on so many must have lists. If you did you may want to read my article about it, here.

Clarisonic can be great for some but horrible for others.

Fortunately, not everyone has to take these cautionary steps. Some can just go ahead and get great results from the get go. So far, I've been one of those. My skin is now a little more sensitive and a little less oily but rarely reacts to skincare. I don't know exactly which ingredients clog me but when I start using a new moisturizer I usually know right away, by the next day actually. A few little bumps are what I get. As soon as I stop, they disappear after a few days.

This article is a "just in case" round up of what can happen. This is not to scare anyone into trying new skin care far from it. Our skin changes, either with the seasons, environment or simply because of aging (argh!) and so we do have to adapt, choose more appropriate products. Trying one at a time and patch testing should help make the process less agravating.

Let's hope we all keep good skin in the New Year!

Art credit:
Hopeless: That's the way it should have begun! but it's hopeless!
Roy Lichenstein, 1963
Silkscreen on paper
Collection of the University of Saskatchewan, Purchased 1970

Clarisonic, screen shot from Clarisonic's website.


  1. This is a great post. As much as I love to try new products, it is always a bit scary since I have sensitive skin.

    1. Hence the patch test but I guess you already knew that. :D Thank you, I'm glad you like it!

  2. Great post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Would consider your suggestions. xoxo

    PrettyGloss - makeup, beauty & a lil gibberish

    1. Good plan! I just had a look & like your blog! :D

  3. I haven't used my Clarisonic in over a year now. And my skin is less red now. It was way to harsh for me.

    1. I was tempted by it last year but I think it would have been too harsh for me as well. I love my little TBS brush.


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