Social media has been a great democratizing force in the beauty industry. Individuals have more access to information about products, they enjoy a greater freedom of choice, and they are constantly aware of the endless parade of new, buzz-worthy product launches. However, with this bevy of choices and hyper-awareness of what’s trendy comes the pressure to try all the new It items—even if they’re not a great match for your skin’s needs.
In skincare, not everything is meant for everyone. I’m a walking example of this fact. With very few exceptions, my skin does not tolerate vitamin C. Even the few vitamin C products I do tolerate reasonably well will cause my skin to react poorly if I use them too often. New vitamin C products hit the market every day, and it’s hard to resist trying new options—especially since vitamin C is often touted as one of the must-have items that everyone should include in their routine. Despite the glitzy pull of marketing, I’ve realized that those products aren’t meant for me after witnessing my skin grow red, reactive, or broken out on so many occasions. I’ve found alternative antioxidants and SPF I can use to achieve similar brightening and skin-strengthening benefits, so there’s no real benefit to putting my skin through the drama of repeatedly trying an ingredient that my skin clearly doesn’t like.
Maybe your personal skin-saboteur isn’t vitamin C. But maybe you’ve noticed your skin grow red and reactive whenever you use retinol, or it gets uncomfortably tight whenever you use glycolic acid, or you break out every time you try an oil cleanser. If you’ve noticed a negative pattern with a specific product type, texture, or ingredient, feel free to let that culprit go. The world of skincare is expanding every day, so there’s more than likely an alternative solution you can try that will better suit your unique skin needs.
In all instances, I feel that the most important thing you can do is to check in with your skin. Don’t swing too far in the opposite direction by throwing out your entire routine just because one element isn’t working. Make small, gradual changes and see how your skin responds.
Have you had to kick a product or ingredient to the curb because it didn’t work for you? Is there a skincare item that isn’t meant for you, but you just can’t seem to quit it? Tell me about it in the comments!