Skincare routines are more complex than ever before. This could be due in part to a misunderstanding by Western cultures of multipart Korean-Beauty Skincare routines. Marketers and influencers are constantly encouraging audiences to invest in expensive skincare products under the guise of #selfcare.
But here’s the truth: even the best, most expensive and elaborate routines can cause serious damage to your skin. "It's definitely not uncommon to think 'if a little is good, then more is better,'" Julia Tzu, M.D., founder of Wall Street Dermatology in New York tells Shape Magazine.
These are the 3 reasons you should embrace a simple skincare routine, according to dermatologists and skincare experts!
Less is More!
“While 12-step routines are popular, they may not work any better than one or two steps,” New York-based dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner tells Today.com. “The fewer products to apply means fewer products you forget to use. So keeping it simple usually helps people stay on track with regular use of their products.” It is recommended by most dermatologists to only use a few products in the morning and evening. Far less than the elaborate 12-step routines done by beauty influencers on Instagram and YouTube.
And facialist Vaishaly Patel, also supports the “less is more” approach when it comes to skincare. She tells popular beauty website Refinery29, “imagine how many chemical ingredients are in just one product — the more products you use and layer, the more chemical overload on your skin. This could potentially cause major sensitivity and can also lead to breakouts.” She also recommends using fewer products and focusing on those that are higher quality and proven to be effective.
You’re Overloading Your Skin with Actives
As the popularity of skincare grows, words like “retinol” and “glycolic acid” are becoming part of our everyday vocabulary. And the more we learn about them, and their benefits, the more eager we are to invest in products that are full of them! But overloading your skin with powerful active ingredients are doing more harm than good. "Since the ingredients are more active and effective than ever, they can also irritate the skin if overused or used in combinations that are not right for your skin type," explains Elizabeth Tanzi, M.D., founder of Capital Laser & Skin Care. And Dr. Cybele Fishman, a dermatologist in New York City agrees: “I think people do too much to their skin and often end up harming it with all the extra steps. One of my mantras is, ‘Don’t overwash your skin, don’t overtone and don’t over-exfoliate.’”
The best way to avoid this is by being mindful of how your active ingredients are interacting with each other. For example, never pair acids (like glycolic, lactic, or salicylic) with retinoids. And don’t use harsh physical exfoliants at the same time you are using chemical ones. The more powerful a product is, the less frequently you should be using it. If you are using a 1% retinol cream, don’t start using it every single day right off the bat. Start slow and build up the frequency of use from there.
If you’re still experiencing redness and irritation even after you’ve stopped using so many actives at once, put your skin on an “elimination diet.” Start by reducing your skincare routine to just the basics (cleanser, SPF and moisturizer) and gradually introduce products back into your routine. This will give you a better idea of what product is causing the irritation.
Dual-Use Products Save Time, Money, and Your Skin
“Applying multiple products increases your risk of skin irritation, and we don't know whether the active ingredients in all the products are even compatible. This means that you may be inadvertently inactivating products because of the combination,” Dr. Joshua Zeichner tells Today.com. In that same article from Today.com celebrity aesthetician and skincare expert Renee Rouleau also suggests that after you apply your first couple ingredients, the rest of your routine will not be as effective because they can’t be properly absorbed into the skin. "A lot of time people are wasting products and money layering on all these things thinking it's better," she said. "Normally, it’s the first two products that are the ones making the biggest difference.”
One of the best ways to cut down on your routine, and save some money is to invest in dual-use products. Use a single product that serves more than one purpose. This could include mixing foundation with your SPF to create a tinted moisturizer or using your favorite facial oil as both a cleanser and moisturizer.
At Dr. Wang Herbal Skincare, we use our extensive experience to offer affordable, high-end skincare products for spa and at-home use. For over 20 years, the father-son team of Steven Wang, MD and Gui Wang, LAc has been working together to develop holistic solutions to common skin health issues. We believe in fusing ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with modern Western medicine to offer the best of both worlds.
Learn more about our products and our story to discover how we can help you reach your skincare goals today. Discover our simple yet powerful Nourishing Youth Serum. It is a 2-in-1 serum and moisturizer product.