Photo illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Getty Images
Q: Does our skin ever get “used to” a product and it no longer works? Is there any point in switching things up?
answer: All I can say is I hope not. I’ve been following the same skin care routine for about 20 years. I use a prescription retinoid at night and a combination of drugstore moisturizer and sunscreen during the day. But dermatologist Dr. Laurel Geraghty adds some encouraging observations.
She said there are actually a few things to consider when it comes to this great question. “One is about efficacy, meaning whether the product is equally effective when used consistently over a long period of time.” The answer is usually yes, but for some drugs It may be no. Another issue she has is regarding side effects. In other words, if you use the product consistently, will the benefits remain but the side effects will be reduced? The answer is almost always yes. ”
First, let’s talk about drugs that may lose their effectiveness. “If you use a particular product consistently for weeks or months, your skin can and does get used to it,” says Geraghty. “The medical term for this phenomenon is tachyphylaxis. This also applies classically to steroid creams (e.g., hydrocortisone) that can be used to soothe rashes such as eczema and psoriasis. Twice a day for several weeks or If applied to the skin continuously over several months, the drug may gradually stop exerting the same beneficial effects.” That doesn’t work anymore. However, it is very easy to avoid this. Take the weekend off and use a different type of medication or regular moisturizer instead. (This happens in the same way as your morning coffee, Geraghty said. If you chug a double espresso every day, you’ll no longer get the same happy jolt. But if you take a weekend off, A double espresso can bring you a sense of well-being. Come Monday morning, you’ll be energized again.)
Other medications for acne, such as clindamycin in prescription antibiotic gels and lotions, can lose effectiveness over time due to antibiotic resistance on the skin’s surface, Geraghty said. So if you use clindamycin repeatedly over a long period of time to control breakouts without adding another antibiotic like benzoyl peroxide, acne-related bacteria can gradually outsmart the drug. It’s possible, she said.
For long-lasting treatments, many other topical medications and creams also have long-lasting effects. do not have It appears to cause tachyphylaxis and appears to have good long-term effects even when used consistently. As an example, Geraghty cites the vitamin C serum she uses, along with her lotion, which contains peptides, glycolic acid, and topical retinoids. All of these have month-to-month and year-to-year effects, and the longer you use them, the more effective they become. they. She points out that the side effects of these products have been reduced with continued use, which may reduce the side effects. feel Like it’s not that effective. But they are! “When the side effects subside, it means your skin has gotten used to the product in the best way possible because the benefits remain. That’s a happy place for skin care,” Geraghty said. Ta.
And about switching things up. The general idea of skin cycling (rotating different products to get the benefits of all of them with less irritation) may be his one way to avoid tachyphylaxis. The irritation caused by some ingredients, such as topical retinoids, can be difficult to tolerate at any given time. So it’s okay to take a break.The problem is that you throw too much different Products on our skin can cause other problems. Using too much of certain active ingredients over a short period of time can cause redness, peeling, irritation, itching, or an annoying bumpy rash (perioral dermatitis) around the mouth, nose, and eyes, Geraghty says. says. It’s good to remember that skin care is a long-term game. For example, prescription retinoids usually take at least three to six months to take effect. The point isn’t how much or how often we spritz our faces with various trendy products.
There are some products that never stay effective no matter how long you use them consistently. In fact, the more consistently you apply it, the healthier your skin will be. That might be sunscreen, but Geraghty says there’s never a good point in replacing or omitting it.