With product repetition there is less of a chance of having an irritant or allergic reaction to a product compared to having many new topicals introduced on the skin.
I find that finding a product that you are able to use every day with benefit and minimal irritation rather than using several different products a few times a week is so much easier for yourself, your wallet, your sanity and overall your skin!
Specifically with topical retinols and vitamin C serums consistent use for at least 2 to 3 months is critical in order to see any early benefit. I find that counseling my patients about expectations is key to help prevent patients from creating their own at- home mini pharmacies of various topicals.
Start with a daily routine:
Creating a daily routine is essential — for example, when exercising and dieting inconsistent exercises and new “off the cuff” diet plans infrequently provide the same benefit and personal satisfaction as compared to sticking with a consistent diet and exercise plan. Though it may not be as exciting or sexy as starting a new routine every few weeks, you are more likely to see results with a consistent daily regimen.
Don't give up:
It is important to remember to not jump ship every time the results you were hoping for or read about on the label do not happen right away. Whether it be with your daily skin regimen, exercise/diet plan, personal or professional relationships, daily sleep regimen— it is important to maintain that internal rhythm and schedule.
When you may have to change your skin routine:
As the seasons change the texture, quality and sensitivity of our skin may change making sticking to a daily routine challenging for many.
During the late fall and winter, our skin becomes increasingly dry and thirsty for that extra boost of hydration. I recommend patients using a nightly retinol cream to continue using the cream; however, mix a small amount of the retinol cream with a nighttime facial moisturizer. Another trick of the trade is to apply the retinol at dinner and then wash it off at bedtime. I find that though there is a shorter contact time, patients maintain the benefit of using a retinol nightly while cutting down on potential irritation.
Keep yourself accountable:
Setting an alarm on the phone or placing the topicals near your toothbrush are ways in which to help oneself remember to apply the topical. Brush your teeth, wash your face with a gentle cleanser, apply the over-the-counter or prescription topical ... and repeat!