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This Skin Food Rice Mask has been sitting in my drawer since February, but I finally decided to open it after reading so many positive reviews about it. But I’m not going talk about this mask, because I’m just about to use it for the first time today. Instead, I’d like to share with you how I incorporate new products in my routine. I thought of talking about this because I have heard from two of my friends about how they broke out after using some of the products I spoke positively about here. In the case of Friend 1, multiple new products were added to her routine, while with Friend 2, she replaced her entire routine with a new set of products. I’m not here to judge anyone’s methods because we are all learning here and one of the best ways to learn is from experience– both from our own experience and from others, too. I’m also no expert, but I do read a lot and have experienced quite a lot, too, so I’ll be sharing with you what has worked for me. Swipe left if you want to know how I incorporate new products in my skincare routine. And oh, it would be great if you’d share how you do it, too ❤️

1. Add only one product at a time. This is so that you can determine whether the new product is compatible with your skin. It’s hard to tell which has caused irritation or other negative reactions if you add too many new products all at once. Aside from this, you can also tell more easily if the new product has made any significant difference on your skin if it’s the only new addition to your routine. I give each new product about a week before I incorporate another one. This also gives my skin some time to adjust to the new product. Others give it 2-3 weeks, particularly for stronger products. It also depends on your skin, actually. In my case, it usually takes me only 24-48 hours before my skin shows signs of irritation to a new product.

2. Know the difference between purging and reacting. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I have read before that only actives cause real purging. Actives include products with high concentrations of certain ingredients, such as acids, vitamin C, and retinoids. Some skin treatments, like exfoliants and chemical peels can cause purging, too. So if your new product is not an active, and yet your skin is reacting badly, then that is probably not purging. I knew this when I tried out a foaming cleanser and it caused me to breakout the following day. I ditched it right then and there.

3. Start with samples. Sometimes I do this, sometimes I just dive right in 😅 But trying out samples before buying the full size could save you some money if it turns out you’re sensitive to something in the product.

4. Patch test. Do this by applying the product to an area where you normally don’t experience breakouts. If your skin doesn’t react, then good. But if you suddenly breakout in the area where you normally do not, then that is not good 😆 I learned how to do this from one of my skincare friends @coffeeandskin.

5. Remember, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). What worked for me may not work for you, and vice versa. What’s important is that we find out which ingredients we are sensitive to, so that we can avoid them in the future. Anyway, caring for our skin is a journey and often, it takes time to find out which products work best for us. It’s nice to finally find our holy grail products, but let us not forget to also enjoy the process and make friends along the way.