Could Your Skin Become Immune To A Product?
One day your favourite products suddenly don’t seem to work anymore. It doesn’t feel right, your skin reacts differently. Why is that? Can you suddenly become immune to a product?
Allergic or immune?
It is certainly accepted that people can have an unexpected allergic reaction to a product that they have been using for years. But for your skin to become immune; it is not actually possible for a product to suddenly stop benefitting your skin. Unless, of course, the condition of your skin changes.
Skin can become used to a product
Although you cannot become immune to skincare, your skin can certainly become used to ingredients. This is also why Doctors and Dermatologists always prescribe low doses to start with. This goes for creams containing vitamin A acid; these should be increased gradually. When the skin becomes used to it, the dose can be increased. It is necessary to stress here; a higher concentration of an ingredient is not always beneficial. For example, we know from studies that too high a concentration of vitamin A acid is more harmful to skin than good. And even more important than the concentration, is the proper formulation of a product.
Redness no measure for effectiveness
Assume this: red skin is not something you want to achieve with skincare products. There are however ingredients which, when first used, do react visibly with the skin. Vitamin A, vitamin C and glycolic acid are examples of this. Skincare products containing these ingredients need to be introduced gradually, otherwise you will get red, flaky skin. If the skin no longer flushes after a couple of weeks this doesn’t mean that the product has stopped working. In the case of glycolic acid, for example, the skin barrier improves. So what this also means is that cosmetic ingredients need to work harder than before to get through the barrier.
Age, as well as light, plays a part in effectiveness
As you get older your body reacts more slowly to collagen promoting substances such as glycolic acid. Nothing can be done about that. Completely normal external conditions can also influence the effectiveness of a product, such as air and light. Vitamin C is an ingredient which loses strength when exposed to air.
When you should replace skincare products
Skincare products which have always worked well don’t need to be thrown away. Sometimes it is good to stop using your products temporarily, such as when the seasons change. In the summer you can replace your milk cleanser for a gel cleanser, and your rich moisturiser can be replaced by a lighter cream with, of course, extra sun protection.
(Dr. Jetske Ultee-Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)
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