How Often Should You Change Your Skin Care Regimen?

Cynthia Bailey, MD|April 7, 2016

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The question of when to change your skin care regimen can be complex. The simple answer is that you often need to change your skin care regimen. But, the longer answer helps you understand why, when and how your skin care regimen needs to change.

What are some of the most common reasons your skin care routine needs to change?

Seasonally harsh weather will be harsh on your skin. Like bundling up in warm winter clothing, your skin care routine needs to protect your skin from the elements too. For your complexion to stand up to harsh, cold and windy weather, you need to enhance the barrier strength of your skin. You also need to more deeply hydrate your skin to compensate for moisture lost to these elements.

Dr. Bailey Advice for Seasonally Harsh Weather

Use only gentle cleansers and lather just the parts of your skin that really need it. Apply deeply hydrating products within 3 minutes after toweling off. Here are the product options that I like to add to winter skin care:

For Your Body:

Dr. Bailey Body Recommendations

Dr. Bailey Body Recommendations for Your Skin Care Routine

For Your Face:

Dr. Bailey Face Recommendations

Dr. Bailey Facial Recommendations for Your Skin Care Routine

Summer or warm climates bring you outdoors more. With this, you can expect more sun exposure. You need to understand your sun exposure risk and be certain to apply the right sunscreen as often as needed. Our sunscreen comparison chart can help provide you with the guidance you need when selecting sunscreen. You may also need to stop using exfoliating skin care products when you expect extreme sun exposure.

Dr. Bailey Advice for Summer or Warm Climates 

buy a good sun hats Effective Sun Hats[/caption] Be sure to use a water resistant product for wet and sweaty activity and reapply after swimming and/or every 2 hours for prolonged sun exposure. Also, add a hat and sun protective clothing. Our Pinterest board has some great options for fashionable AND sun protective clothing. During times of extreme sun exposure, you may need to stop using exfoliating skin care products such as scrubs and rough cloths, retinoid products and even glycolic acid products so that your skin can thicken up to better deflect UV rays. Conditions that provoke flare ups of your skin problems require you to change your skin care. Examples include the seasonal flare of rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis (a.k.a., dandruff) and psoriasis. Athletic and sweaty activities may exacerbate a form of sweat-induced acne called pityrosporum folliculitis. Stress, poor eating, hormone changes and a lot of other triggers that we may never identify may exacerbate acne. When these types of skin problems plague your complexion, your skin care routine obviously needs to change ASAP. Sometimes, you can predict the change and make a preemptive strike to control it before it is out of hand. At other times, your routine will change when the problem crops up.

Dr. Bailey Advice for Conditions That Provoke Flare Ups of Skin Problems

Times when you want to intensely focus on anti-aging skin care goals. Beyond the use of daily broad spectrum sunscreen, there are times when your activities and exposure to harsh climates or UV rays are lessened - this is when you can ramp up your anti-aging skin care regimen. The two best ingredients to fight the signs of skin aging are glycolic acid and retinoids. Both of these exfoliate skin and are best used when you can protect your skin adequately. Vitamin C and antioxidant products, on the other hand, are best used year round.

Dr. Bailey Advice for Anti-Aging Skin Care Goals

best vitamin a antioxidant skin care product Retinol Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream[/caption] Use a broad spectrum sunscreen daily, and a retinoid at night such as Retinol Night Cream. Add a glycolic acid cream during the day or at night along with the retinoid IF your complexion can tolerate it. Continue with antioxidant products such as Green Tea and Vitamin C Serum. Use the Instantly Luminous Serum mentioned above to counter any skin dryness. If pigment problems are an issue you can add Skin Fading Pads.


How often do you change your skin care regimen? What signs do you look for to know when to start a new routine? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!  




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