As beauty junkies, we have definitely caved and bought products that promise instant results, or thrown out a product because it didn’t work quickly enough for our liking.
But here’s why you should stick to a skincare routine for at least 28 days, the length of an average adult skin cycle.
So what is a skin cycle and why is it important?
A skin cycle is the process where skin cells regenerate and replace old skin at the surface, which then flakes off.
Skin cycles vary with each individual, but can be affected by various factors such as age, hormones, skin health, and stress. The average length of a skin cycle for an adult is 4 weeks and this length increases as we get older.
By understanding how the skin cycle works, we can then better plan our skincare regime and make appropriate lifestyle choices.
Choose products and treatments that will accelerate cell renewal and allow these new skin cells to rise to the surface. This includes chemical exfoliants or facials that will gently nourish and stimulate cell renewal without scrubbing away at the delicate skin layer.
Life cycle of a facial
While booking your facial treatments, it is also important to keep your skin cycle in mind. Most of us schedule our facial treatments monthly, but may not know the reasoning for this.
Facials should be done every 4-6 weeks to ensure your skin progresses through the full cycle of cell growth and exfoliation.
Facial treatments do a lot of heavy lifting to ease and amplify the benefits of your regular skincare routine, so make sure you keep up with your regular facial sessions now that CB is over.
Having a regular facial session ensures your skin is not clogged up with impurities and the regeneration rate of skin cells is not hampered by environmental or lifestyle factors.
Of course, if you are acne-prone or have troubled skin, you may need to schedule one more frequently (weekly or every fortnight), and reduce the frequency as your skin improves.
Above all, be patient! Any long-term results in skin health will take at least a full skin cycle to surface, so don’t cut something out just because you don’t get results the day after. Certain products are designed to work on the deeper layers of the skin, so it takes time for the new skin cells to come to the surface.
Some products or treatments may also put your skin through a process of ‘purging‘ as it removes the toxins and impurities, which may be wrongly identified as an inflammation or adverse reaction and get discarded before the positive effects can emerge.
How do you know if your skin is ‘purging’ or ‘reacting’?
Unlike your usual breakouts, acne from a ‘purge’ sprouts and heals faster than usual. This timing varies per individual as we all have different skin cycles, but you should observe the faster rate of growth and healing as compared to your usual acne breakouts. This different cycle indicates that your skin is purging and detoxing and prepping your skin for newer, healthier skin cells!
With purges, patience has its reward: you will experience softer and more glowing skin, improved hydration levels and less texture and inflammation.
However, if you start to experience breakouts or irritation in areas that are usually clear, this is generally a sign that the product or treatment is unsuitable for you.
What you should avoid are skincare products that try to speed up the skin cycle through intense exfoliation in hopes of speeding up the regeneration and replacement rate of skin. This is however very damaging to skin at the top layer and may conversely affect the regeneration rate of your skin!
Let us stress again: be patient with new skincare or facial treatments and give it time to do its job before deciding if something is suitable/ unsuitable for you.
If there is one thing we have learnt this year, it is that we should sit back, relax, and learn to take things at a slower pace. Your body will do the rest.