7 Tips on How to Introduce New Skincare Products in Your Routine

by Gio
how to introduce new skincare products into your routine

I love trying new makeup products all the time. It’s so much fun! But, skincare products? That’s a different story.

If a lipstick shade doesn’t suit you, you can wipe it off. But if your moisturiser isn’t working? You could get a breakout. Or an irritation.

Sticking to your tried and tested staples is safer. But, sometimes you just want to try something new.

Maybe your HG was discontinued. Maybe you keep hearing raves about a new serum and want to see what the hype is all about. Or maybe your skin has changed and you need to come up with a whole new routine.

Whatever the reason, how can you introduce new skincare products in your routine without the risk of breakouts, irritations and co? Here are a few tips to help you out:

1. Choose new skincare products wisely

Picking a random serum or cream from the shelf is a recipe for disaster. How can you give your skin what it needs when you don’t even know what it needs?!

The first step is to figure out your skin type and concerns. Is your skin oily and breaking out all the time? Or dry and mired with dark spots? Or it’s pretty normal and you just want to get started with anti-aging?

Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can look for products targeted for your skin type and needs.

Just don’t trust labels! Do you know how many moisturisers with oily skin are loaded with comedogenic ingredients that give you pimples, for example?

Always check the ingredient list to make sure the product has actives that can do the job and nothing that can make things worse.

Don’t know what to look for? Check out this post to know what each skin type needs (and doesn’t!).

Related: How To Determine Your Skin Type (+ Free Test!)

Want to get the most out of your skincare products? Click on the image below to subscribe to my newsletter and receive the “How To Combine Actives Like A Pro” cheatsheet.

2. Read Reviews

You don’t have to be a guinea pig. Lots of other people have already tried the products you’re interested in and shared their opinion online. Here are the best places to find them:

  • Makeup Alley: You can filter reviews based on age and skin type so you can get a more accurate idea of what it can do for you, too.
  • Beautypedia: Based more on science than personal experience, these reviews tell you if the product really contains the ingredients that can fix whatever skincare issue it claims to fix.
  • Blogs: Finding a good skincare blogger you trust and understands skincare is like finding a best friend you can turn to for advice whenever you need it. Just make sure they can understand the science of skincare. Bonus points if they’re dealing with your same skin type and concerns. You can find my fave skincare bloggers here.

Related: 8 Best Science-Based Skincare Blogs

3. Try Samples

Ok, so all the reviews are good and you really, really, really want to try that cream. But… it’s not exactly cheap, and you’d like to take it for a test drive first.

Go to the cosmetic counter and ask for a sample. Just make sure they don’t give you one of those tiny sachets samples.

Those can tell if you like the texture or if the product will irritate your skin BUT NOT if it does what it claims. You need to use a product for roughly a month before you can see a difference (or not).

What if the SA doesn’t want to give you a sample? Complain to the manager or walk away. They obviously don’t want your money, so give it to someone else who appreciates you and is willing to help you.

Related: How Long Does It Take For Skincare Products To Work?

bioderma hydrabio creme riche

4. Do A Patch Test

Ok, so now you got your sample. Don’t slather the cream all over your face, yet. If something in there doesn’t agree with your skin, you may end up with a red and itchy rash all over your face. The horror!

Instead, do a patch test. Apply a small amount on a tiny area, like your wrist, and watch what happens for the next 24 hours.

Nothing’s happening? All’s good. Put it all over your face.

Is your skin starting to tingle, getting itchy, or turning red? Wash your wrist immediately and throw the product away. It just doesn’t agree with you.

Related: How To Do A Skin Patch Test

5. Try One Product At A Time

Ok, so you got a new skincare set, or went a bit overboard at Sephora and came home with a big skincare haul. Good for you. Just don’t use all your new skincare products at once.

I know it’s tempting, and you’re itching to see what miracles they can do for your skin. But, what if one of them irritates your skin or you end up with pimples all over your face?

If you introduced several products in your skincare routine the very same day, how are you gonna know which one is the culprit?

But, if you only try one at a time? And by one at a time, I mean a new product every 2/3 weeks. I know that sounds like a long wait. But it takes that long to see if a product works.

FYI, if the product irritates or dries out your skin, you’ll find out pretty soon. Allergic reactions are immediate, but other side effects, like dryness and pimples can take a few weeks to develop.

Either way, the wait pays off. If something doesn’t agree with you, you’ll know immediately and can stop using it straight away. Much easier, isn’t it?

Related: How Long Does It Take Skincare Products To Work?

the inkey list retinol

6. Try New Products On Alternate Days

This applies only to those products with retinoids, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and even vitamin C. They all have a peeling action, which can cause irritations and redness if used too often.

Your skin needs time to get used to them, so only use them on alternate days at first. You can always increase frequency later on.

Related: The Complete Guide To Glycolic Acid: What It Is, What It Does And How To Use It

7. Don’t try new products before important events

Testing a new product just before a big event like a wedding, graduation, or date with a special someone is never a good idea.

What if it irritates your skin? Then, you’ll have to walk down the aisle or go on that date with a bad rash on your face!

It’s much safer to try new products a couple of weeks (or, better a month) before the big occasion. That way, if something bad happens, your skin will have plenty of time to recover.

How you do introduce new skincare products into your routine? Share your tips in the comments below.



Celeste July 19, 2010 - 5:11 pm

This is very useful 😀

beautifulwithbrains July 19, 2010 - 5:33 pm

Celeste, you’re welcome and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

Jeni July 19, 2010 - 8:03 pm

I totally agree with all of these tips (although I admit I don’t really do patch tests)! I only try one new product at a time so that I can evaluate it properly, and see if it causes me to breakout, but it takes a lot of patience to just try one thing at once! Lately I’ve been trying hair loss and eyebrow products, and it takes months and months to see results, so the waiting part is so hard. And I love Makeupalley and Beautypedia too.

beautifulwithbrains July 20, 2010 - 6:05 pm

Jeni, trying only one thing at a time is the worst part for me too but it has to be done. I’ve just both a Clarins travel kit and I’m itching to try all the products but last time I tried all the products in a set at once I got a bad breakouts and it took me ages to figure out which one was the culprit. I’ve learned my lesson but patience is not one of my virtues lol.

Vonvon July 21, 2010 - 6:11 pm

Tip #7 is like a mantra to me!!! Sometimes, it takes me so long to try out a new product because I keep on postponing because of some important events coming up.

I rarely have problem with new products, but it’s always good to be more cautious! 🙂

beautifulwithbrains July 21, 2010 - 8:31 pm

Vonvon, I agree. Even if one has skin that doesn’t get easily irritated, it’s always best to err on the safe side of caution and postponing trying new products till after an important event. You never know when your skin will react badly. 🙂

somasam August 7, 2013 - 7:14 pm

hello i am currently using “LA ROCHE POSAY Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer Mexoryl spf 15” sunscreen since i have oily skin can you tell me another sunscreen like that since this cream is very expensive

beautifulwithbrains August 7, 2013 - 8:51 pm

Somasam, you can check out my favourite sunscreens for oily skin here: http://beautifulwithbrains.com/2013/05/07/what-are-the-best-sunscreens-for-oily-skin/

Harry February 14, 2020 - 12:29 pm

Hi, I’ve been wanting to try this new skin cleanser that I’ve bought. How long should i wait before i start using it? It’s currently evening and I should be using my old facial cleanser tonight before bed since I’ve used the old one this morning. Should i wait a day? Or I can start using it tomorrow morning?(given that the spot test is all good on my skin)

Gio March 6, 2020 - 8:19 am

Harry, I always recommend to wait at least 3 weeks before using a new products. If you haven’t used anything new for the past 3 weeks, you can introduce it straight away.

Dana July 10, 2020 - 7:41 am

Hi, I’m a little bit confused about trying one product at a time. Does it mean that if I used a new product and it actually works fine for me and sees the results in 3 weeks. And I decided to add another product, do I need to use it with the product that works for me or should I use it separately for another 3 weeks? Thanks.

Gio July 14, 2020 - 10:33 am

Dana, I meant trying one NEW product at a time. If you buy two new products, for example, add only ONE to your existing skincare routine. After 3 weeks, if everything is fine, you can keep using that product together with the rest of your skincare routine, and add the second one.

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