You don’t train for a marathon by running 26 miles on day one…
…with active skincare, you have to build up slowly, too.
Due in part to their efficacy, clinically-proven active ingredients tend to be irritating. Most skins can easily adjust to the therapy but you need to start using the treatments slowly.
You don’t run 26 miles on day 1. You need to build up to it by walking, then running, then running more miles…and usually with a set schedule and training regimen.
With active treatments for many skin concerns (such as acne, aging, hyperpigmentation/brightening) it’s the same thing: you need to start slowly. As with marathon training, build up gradually, with a schedule and proper regimen, and assess how you’re doing. If you feel achey one day when running, you might take it a little slower or skip a day — do the same thing with your active skincare. If one day of application stings, slow down.
When you’re training for a marathon, you prioritize safety…which is exactly what you need to do when using active skincare, too:
- Because long-distance running is already strenuous, you pamper your body by not over-exerting with other exercise, eating right, and scheduling rest days…
- You choose your gear and routes carefully to prioritize safety…
- …prioritize your skin’s safety by using sunscreen. Daily sunscreen is a must, but because active ingredients tend to make your skin more sensitive to the sun and even indoor lights, it’s even more important now. Apply sunscreen when you’re indoors and outdoors, every day. When outdoors, reapply every hour or two and use additional protective clothing like rash guards and hats.
- The wrong stride or technique can result in an injury that can keep you from running for months (or more!)…
- …the wrong technique in active skincare — rushing into it, not using sunscreen, using other products with allergens — can result in an irritation or allergic reaction that can force you to stop your regimen and re-start from the beginning, or even cause worse “injuries” (like hyperpigmentations or hypersensitivity) that can be even more difficult to treat.
Finally, remember that results come in the long run (that’s the marathon!) Learning to run, and to use active skincare properly, can lead to two lifelong habits of health with ever-increasing benefits!
What are the top tips when starting active skincare?
- Start slow: apply only 1x to 2x a WEEK only.
- Build up slowly: gradually increase to 3x-a-week, then once-every-other day, etc. until you are finally applying the product once or twice a day (which should not be earlier than about eight weeks after your first application).
- Observe your skin. If you notice some stinging on one day, take a break.
- Use a pH-adjusted cream cleanser. Because of the way soaps are made, their pH levels are inherently very high (basic). The skin’s natural pH is slightly acidic, and most active treatments are acidic. To keep skin within one smaller pH-range, choose a cleanser with a lowered pH.
- Make sure your active treatment product has no allergens present in the formulation, and avoid allergens in all other products you use on your skin.
- Wear sunscreen every day, whether or not you applied the treatment on a given day, and whether you’re spending most of the day indoors or outdoors. When outdoors, reapply frequently and wear a hat for added protection.
- Lastly, once you’re already comfortably using your treatments daily, an occasional “sprint” in the form of a peel or microdermabrasion could be a great “boost” to your training!