Can you become immune to your skincare?

POV: It’s love at first application – that new serum or moisturiser that has you looking and feeling like never before! You decide it’s a keeper... your new holy grail, so you include it religiously in your routine. But then... you lose that feeling of change as you use your product more and more... ‘Is it all in my head?’, you wonder. ‘Has my skin built up a tolerance to the product?’ 

The short answer is yes and no – but the yes isn’t typical for your everyday skincare. Let us explain... 
The YES and the NO 

Yes, your skin can become tolerant to some ingredients through tachyphylaxis (an eventual tolerance to a medication), but this usually only applies to topical steroids for skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. It’s very uncommon with your everyday skincare. 

Moving along to everyday skincare... When it comes to a holy grail ingredient such as vitamin A (retinol), your skin does become tolerant over time as the immediate side effects lessen (purging, dryness, flakiness, redness) and you begin to see some of those promised retinol-sized rewards instead (improved skin texture and tone, reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, minimised breakouts, etc). So, while your skin does become tolerant to a retinol, in this case, it’s exactly what you want! 
The verdict 

Overall, your skin DOESN’T build up an immunity to skincare products over time. It’s more likely that with your continued use, you just don’t notice the changes and effects quite as much, as you’ve edged nearer to meeting your skin goal. (Dare you to stop using a product for a few days to a week – you'll notice how quickly you miss it!). 

No matter what, your skins’ receptors will take in a product and it will get to work immediately. In saying that, your skin is a living organ that evolves over time – meaning climate, stress, age and even hormones will have a huge impact on how your products collaborate with your skin.  

This continual evolution doesn’t necessarily mean you should become a serial skincare switcher-upper! The ingredients are still working. Again, it’s just that the visible results have diminished in your eyes (you’ve become used to how great your skin looks!). Once you have gained the massive results from the first few weeks to months of usage (depending on the ingredient; see more here), there are simply fewer results that you might see over time. It’s just your perception of your new normal! 

Long story short, stick with your beloved skincare. 
How to get the most out of your skincare routine over time 

While the effects of products don’t lessen over time, it’s still important to consider the right product at the right time. Here’s a couple of things to consider... 

  1. Change your routine with the seasons 

As the seasons change, your skincare needs change. One minute you’re looking for minimal skincare and less oils, the next you’re lathering up heavier lotions, oils and balms. It is worth switching up your skincare based on the climate and whether that’s spring or autumn, we have the detail covered for you! 

  1. Re-check the status of your skin 

While products don’t change, your skin does. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your skin condition and skin type as it can alter in change (like the evolution we were speaking about earlier). For example, you can go from having oily skin, to combination skin, meaning the products you use will likely change over time to accommodate this. If you need help analysing what products your skin type will LOVE, take our quick skin quiz here! 

  1. Exfoliate 

Exfoliating 1 or 2 times weekly to shed the layers of dead skin cells will also allow the active ingredients to penetrate deeper (therefore working better!). Tip: Ensure you double cleanse after having worn makeup – your ingredients will find it super hard to penetrate makeup residue if not cleansed thoroughly (and we don’t want that!). We recommend looking at: 

  1. Storage and care 

Another hot tip! Avoid leaving your bottles in humid bathrooms and immediately close the lids after use. Certain ingredients can become less effective over time due to opening and closing the lids each day. 

The more you know!