Even the best, clinically-tested skincare formulas aren’t magic potions. To get the most from your face care products, you’ll need some patience and to set realistic expectations. Here, some simple strategies you can employ to maximize the results you get from your skincare regimen - and make sure your expectations meet the reality of what they can deliver.
Hang in there
You didn't wake up one day and discover fine lines, a slack jawline or sun spots, so you can’t expect them to disappear overnight either. To see real, sustained improvement in your complexion while using any product, you’ll have to wait at least six to twelve weeks because it takes that long for the new, treated cells to reach the skin’s surface. That said, there are some formulas that can garner a visible improvement in your complexion almost instantly. A deeply hydrating cream like the Rejuvenate & Hydrate Moisturizing Cream can plump and soften the skin right away, diminishing the appearance of shallower fine lines. And an exfoliating formula like Exfoliate & Smooth Triple Hydroxy Acid Toner can help remove dead skin cells and reveal the newer, fresher, more radiant skin underneath. Using them routinely may also help you exercise patience while long-term treatments go to work, stimulating collagen production, fading excess pigment, and rejuvenating stressed skin.
Try not to overdo it
Loading up on active ingredients is not usually an effective way to speed up results. It may, however, leave the skin sensitized. Most experts maintain that slow and steady is the best skincare mantra because battling chronic irritation can hinder the skin’s ability to produce collagen, shed dead skin cells—in short, do the work it needs to do to be healthy. So, try to temper the urge to press on the gas, as more is usually not more when it comes to skincare.
It’s not the sexiest skincare product—but it’s an important one. You can slather on the best, most potent skincare formulas, but if you are not protecting your skin from UV and environmental damage daily, you’re fighting a losing battle. And the next time you’re tempted to skip sunscreen, remember that UV radiation accounts for 80 percent of facial aging.
Stick to it
You wouldn’t expect to run a marathon unless you trained for months in advance—and you shouldn’t expect to achieve your skincare goals if you don’t adhere to a consistent cleansing and treating regimen. For the best results that means following your routine daily (not just when you feel like it) and making sure to use the products in the right order to maximize penetration and potency. As a general rule, that means slathering them on thin to thick (serums go on first, heavy creams last).
Choose your products with care
Your skin type, concerns, even climate are all considerations when creating a customized skincare regimen. Some skincare brands, like Neolastin, help take the guesswork out of creating a regimen by streamlining their offerings and making it easy to create an effective lineup. Getting advice from a professional, like a dermatologist or an esthetician, can be helpful too—especially if in-office treatments, like peels, lasers or injectables, could amplify the results of your at-home regimen.
Bottom line: While a need for the basics (a cleanser, sunscreen, hydration, and routine exfoliation) is fairly universal, the order and focus of your skincare treatments can vary, depending on your age, the season, your stress level, your current skin concerns, etc. Sometimes you need more hydration, sometimes you need a deeper clean, and some days you might need extra exfoliation. Try to think of skincare like you do your clothes: You wear the basics (underwear, a top and bottom, socks, shoes) every day, but you also wear what’s most flattering to your body type—and you might tweak according to the weather, what your plans are for that day, etc. Skincare should be viewed the same way. For the best results and long-term skin health, your regimen should be customized to your complexion—and occasionally tweaked, as needed.