At a young age, we learn the importance of taking care of our skin. So we develop a simple, 3-step system that includes a gentle cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. But over time, that routine evolves, a lot like our skin. Our skin is exposed to new environmental factors each day, which forces us to experiment with new beauty and skincare products. That’s when the finite laws of skincare become a little gray. But, perhaps the one question we should be asking ourselves is just how often should we change up our skincare regimen. Or, more importantly, should we actually be changing it at all?
Dr. Patricia Wexler of Wexler Dermatology in New York City says there’s really no set rules about how often we should be changing skincare products.
“It’s never necessary to stick to a specific skincare regimen every a.m. and p.m., but you see most consistent results if you follow a regimen with products regularly,” she told StyleCaster. “The negative side effects if you change too frequently is you do not give the products a chance to give you visible results, which may take up to 30 days to see since average cell turnover is 28 days.”
Makeup artist and YouTube Beauty Blogger Michelle Phan agrees.
“Constantly shifting from one product to the next won’t directly harm your skin,” she wrote on her website. “But you should always give your body time to react to the ingredients. If it’s a basic skincare product like cleanser or moisturizer, it’s often best to find a few staples and stick to ‘em the majority of the time.”
With that being said, the one time you should probably consider an alteration to your daily routine? Season change.
Phan explains that weather can certainly have effects on skin, particularly its ability to contain moisture. That basically means that if you find your skin to be drying out more than usual in the summer or winter, it could be because you’re in need of cleanser that will be a little gentler on your skin.
Julie Kim, Saison skincare founder, has also echoed this same idea that skin and weather can go hand in hand.
“The environmental conditions of where you live can impact the way your skin behaves, so paying attention to the weather will effect what types of treatments it needs,” she said in an interview with InStyle.
Kim explains that in the summer you might notice that skin is a bit more oily, while in the winter, skin tends to dry out, meaning that your summer moisturizer can’t keep up with the dropping temps and wind chill.
Additionally, Phan mentions a couple other reasons that might attribute to a need for a skincare switch-up, such as aging, as well as traveling. She explains that if you’re planning to travel to a populated city, like New York, there’s a chance that the city’s pollution can have an impact on skin’s appearance. As for aging, hormonal changes tend to be the likely culprit of skincare woes.
Looking for a simple fix? Wexler suggests using one skincare line to make certain the products you’re using are working together, rather than irritating skin.
“Frequently using all the products from one skincare line makes it foolproof that you will not overuse any single ingredient, and that the products are all compatible on the skin,” she said.