As discerning beauty aficionados (also known as women), we generally care a lot about what active ingredients are in our skin-care products. Heck, as consumers we might spend hundreds of dollars on moisturizers and serums because they contain a rare berry from Iceland or even Russian caviar. However, while we give much devoted attention to which products we use, we often don’t think of how important the application process of these products is. Surely the sequence in which we apply serums and medications to our skin makes a difference in how well they work, right? Right.
“Medications or treatments should be applied directly after washing your face,” says Philadelphia dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, MD. “This ensures that the medications or treatments are properly absorbed by the skin. Otherwise, people may think a product isn’t working because it’s applied in the wrong order.”
To get the most out of your skin-care products, Dr. Taylor recommends people follow this simple routine.
– First, wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
– Next, apply your medication (your acne or anti-aging treatment) or serum. “Let it sit for about
15 minutes before putting on moisturizer. Putting on moisturizer too soon can potentially
affect the penetration of the ingredients,” says Phoenix, AZ, dermatologist Mark A. Blair, MD.
– Finally comes you moisturizer, SPF and makeup.
“It’s also important for people to know that using several products at the same time may not only negate the benefits of each product but also irritate the skin,” Dr. Taylor says. “Using too many products may cause redness, stinging and dryness of the skin, especially if an anti-aging product is included. The signs of aging may then be more noticeable.” Generally, It can take several months of use before retinoids (like Retin-A, and Differin) stimulate enough collagen to have a noticeable effect, so pick something and give it a fighting chance.
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