Does this sound familiar? You’ve been hearing from every angle about the importance of taking care of your skin, and maybe you made a New Year’s resolution and stuck with it or maybe you just decided it was time to prioritize your skin health, but you’re finally doing it! You finally have an established, multi-step skin care routine that you’re following day after day! And as a thanks for all that hard work your skin…isn’t looking better. What is this trickery?
The problem could be that you’re actually going overboard on your skin care. Despite what you might hear from influencers or some sales-heavy med spas, you can’t solve every skin problem by adding product after product, and there is such a thing as too much. Here are some signs you might need to scale back your skin care.
1. Your Skin is Showing Issues it Didn’t Have Before
Most people have a list of issues they want to address in their skin – maybe it includes dryness or oiliness, aging, dark circles under the eyes, brown spots, etc. It’s typical to develop your skin care routine based on that list, choosing products that promise to address those issues. But what sometimes happens is that new issues appear as a result of this new routine (while you may or may not see improvement in the original problems you were trying to treat).
If that’s the case, it means something about your new routine isn’t jiving well with your skin. You might be overcorrecting the original problem – for instance, if you had oily skin and went all-in with several products for oily skin, you might now struggle with dry skin instead. Or, you might suddenly have acne breakouts you never had before, which could come from a product clogging your pores or a pairing of products that don’t play well together.
2. Your Skin is Irritated
Your skin is a living organ that responds to the products you expose it to…in both positive and negative ways. When you’re using too many products or using products too often, it could become too much for your skin and lead to uncomfortable irritation. This can also happen if you’re using products that don’t work well together.
3. You Aren’t Consistently Keeping Up with Your Routine
It’s not just your skin’s condition that can tell you that your skin care routine is too ambitious. You’ve probably heard the saying that the best exercise you can do for your body is any exercise program you’ll actually stick to, and the same is true in skin care. We all have lives, and if your skin care routine is a long process with many steps, it’s tough to motivate yourself to do it every day. Consistency is critical in skin care, and no product will be effective if you only use it once a week (outside of products designed for occasional use like certain masks or peels).
Ultimately, it’s better to have a minimal skin care routine with 2-3 steps you can motivate yourself to do every day than to have a 10-step routine you only do once a week.
4. Your Skin Shows Signs of Unbalanced pH
If you can remember back to your science classes growing up, pH is the level of acidity in something. Your skin, like other aspects of your body, needs to maintain the right pH balance to be at its healthiest. The problem, though, is that some products can throw off your skin’s pH balance, and so can the wrong combination of products. pH imbalance is a common sign that you’re using too many skin care products or using overly aggressive products.
So how do you know if your pH is off? If your skin is too alkaline (not acidic enough), it tends to become red and flaky. If your skin is too acidic, it typically looks inflamed.
5. You Can’t Consistently Afford Quality Products for Your Routine
Once again, your skin isn’t the only factor in knowing whether you’re taking your skin care too far. Your wallet is in the mix too. Yes, your health is worth investing in, but it needs to be an investment that’s manageable for you – not one that has you skipping products when they run out because you can’t buy more yet, or trying one lower-cost alternative after another to see if they work.
The golden rule is to prioritize quality over quantity. In other words, it’s better to use a couple of quality skin care products than a bunch of low-quality products. If your routine is more than you can afford to consistently supply, it’s time to pare it down, because that lack of consistency isn’t great for your skin.
6. Your Skin is More Sensitive
It can be easy to notice that your skin is consistently redder and more irritated or more dry than it used to be. But what if it’s not consistent? What if your skin just seems to be more sensitive to the environment and to changes than it used to be? Yes, that can also be a sign that your skin care routine is too much.
When your skin is overprocessed (exposed to too many skin care products or cosmetic treatments), it can become more sensitive and irritable than it used to be. That’s a sign that you should take a step back and simplify your routine.
Investing in a Simpler Skin Care Routine
Sometimes less is more when it comes to your skin care. Focus first on nailing the basics: an excellent grouping of a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen that are suited to your skin. From there, you can add in a few more specialized products to the mix, one at a time, to see how your skin responds. Your skin will thank you with renewed health and that gorgeous glow we all want.