How Long Does It Take for Skincare to Work?

How Long Does It Take for Skincare to Work
Even if you nail the order of your morning skincare routine perfectly, it won’t necessarily make a difference if the products aren’t well suited to your skin or you don’t give them enough time to work. So how do you know if you need to be patient, or if it’s time to swap your serum for a more effective product that will actually make a difference in your skin? Read on to discover how quickly you can expect to see results from 11 different skincare products, plus six practical tips to help you choose skincare that will work for you.

How Long Does It Take for Skincare to Work?

How long it takes a skin product to work depends on a number of factors, including the kind of product, your skin type, your skin concerns, how consistently you use the product, and how strong the concentration of ingredients is. That being said, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind in terms of how quickly each kind of product tends to work. Here’s how quickly you can expect to start seeing results with 11 different types of skincare products:

Cleansers: Immediately to four weeks

When trying out a new facial cleanser, your skin should immediately feel clean and refreshed as soon as you rinse it away. You should also see improvements in your complexion the longer that you use the cleanser, which typically peak and then level out around four weeks. If you are using the right cleanser for your skin, you should notice less dullness and clogged pores and a smoother complexion overall if it’s working for you.

Exfoliators: Immediately to four weeks

Exfoliators are an extremely gratifying skin care product to use, because they will make your skin feel instantly smoother as soon as you use it. You should immediately notice a reduction in flakiness and peeling and a smoother and more even complexion the first time you use it. These effects will continue to compound the longer that you use the exfoliate, and you should notice a big improvement in your skin within about four weeks as long as you use it consistently

Moisturizers: Immediately to two weeks

Moisturizers are another skincare product that will instantly improve your skin. You should immediately notice that your skin feels less dry and more nourished as soon as you apply the moisturizer for the first time. As you continue to use the skin tightening cream over the next couple weeks, your skin should look plumper and glow more as your moisturizer balances out your natural oil production. Watch out for overly greasy skin or clogged pores, which is a sign that the moisturizer you are using is too thick for your skin type.

skincare results how quickly see results

Hydrating Serums: Immediately

A hydrating serum like our Ultra Hydrating Serum will go to work instantly, soothing, dryness, and helping your skin to a pair more plump. If you struggle with chronically dry and dehydrated skin, you should also continue to see improvements the longer you continue to use the hydrating serum.

Retinol: Two to six months

While you can get amazing results with retinol, it does take patience: It can take anywhere from two to six months to start seeing improvements in your complexion. Gentler derivatives such as retinoids and lower complexion concentrations will take longer to see results than a stronger retinol product with a higher concentration. You will see the fastest results with prescription-strength retinol, but that can be less accessible and also sometimes too irritating to people’s skin. A product such as Lancer Skincare’s Advanced Retinol Treatment can help you get effective results without the adjustment period.

Vitamin C: One to two months

Vitamin C supports a smoother and brighter complexion, and it can help to fade dark spots when used consistently over time. You should see additional old initial brightening effects from vitamin C within the first one to two months. However, it can take longer for vitamin C to lighten dark spots, especially if you aren’t using it in conjunction with a retinol or other dark spot treatments. For best results, apply vitamin C in the morning so that the antioxidants will protect your skin from free radical damage during the day.

Face Masks: Immediately

The whole point of these masks is for them to instantly improve your skin with just a few minutes of application, so you should see results instantly if the facemask is working for your skin. The effects of the face mask will depend on what type it is, such as hydrating and calming or exfoliating and brightening. The results of a face mask are usually more temporary and less noticeable than skin care that you consistently use for weeks or months, but they can be a fun addition to your skincare routine, and a great way to give your skin an immediate boost.

Eye Creams: One to two months

Eye creams are formulated with a lower percentage of actives so they don’t harm the delicate skin around the eyes, which means that they take longer to work than some products that you might apply to other areas of your face. You should start to see preliminary results within one to two months of using an eye cream, and the effects will continue to grow longer than you use it. Consistency is key for eye cream, especially and you need to be applying it at least once a day every day to see results, so stick with it as long as it’s not irritating your eyes!

Sunscreen: Immediately

Sunscreen goes to work immediately upon application, protecting your skin from both visible and invisible sun damage. You should also notice a decrease in inflammation and redness, with regular use of sunscreen. Sunscreen application can also help to prevent the formation of hyperpigmentation and lighten existing dark spots, but this can take several months to see results.

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Acne Treatments: One day to three months

There are many different types of acne products, and they all take different amounts of time to work. Spot treatments are the fastest acting, and you should see results within 12 to 24 hours of application. Other products, such as benzoyl peroxide washes and salicylic acid serums, will take longer to see results, up to three months. 

You might experience a purge phase when trying out new acne treatments, where you get more breakouts for a short amount of time as your skin gets adjusted to the new products. That’s why you need to give them up to three months so you can see if it improves your complexion after the purge phase or if your skin continues to break out.

Dark Spot Treatments: One to three months

Dark spot treatments also take more time to work, usually between one to three months for initial results. However, you will likely need to keep using them for multiple months in order to fully lighten any hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Over-the-counter dark spot treatments will take longer than prescription strength ones. You can also get in-office treatments from a professional dermatologist such as Dr. Harold Lancer, if you need to lighten your dark spots quickly.

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How to Choose Skincare Products that Work for You

If you feel like every single skincare product you’ve tried doesn’t work for your skin, then it’s possible that you don’t know how to choose skincare products that are well suited to your skin type and that will address your skincare concerns. Here are six practical tips to follow to help yourself choose skincare products that will work for you:

Know your skin type

Know your skin type.

Knowing your skin type is essential to choosing skin care products that work for you. That’s why Lancer Skincare offers several different 3-step skincare routines tailored to the main skin types: normal combination skin, dry and dehydrated skin, and oily congested skin. Products that are meant for oily skin may be too stripping for dry skin, while products that are meant for dry skin may cause clogged pores and breakouts in those with oily congested skin. 

If some of your products aren’t working for your skin, then check the labels to see if they are meant for your skin type. And if you haven’t tested yourself to figure out what your skin type is, then you should definitely do that too!

Prioritize your skin concerns.

In addition to your skin type, you may have additional skin concerns, such as fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and dark spots, acne breakouts and clogged pores, or a dull complexion with uneven skin tone. Once you identify your main skin concerns, you can choose serums, face masks, and other products that address them. To avoid overloading your face, you might want to choose just a couple skincare concerns at a time to focus on. 

For example, you might want to focus on clearing up your acne first, and then once you don’t have as many active blemishes you can start to work on fading scarring and hyperpigmentation next.

Assess your current products

Assess your current products.

Instead of rushing out to buy new products, take some time to do an audit of your current skincare collection and determine why each product is or isn’t working for your skin. This will help you to identify patterns, such as if one particular ingredient tends to irritate your skin or simply isn’t effective for your particular skin care concerns. This is also a great opportunity to get rid of any expired products that have been open too long, so you can start fresh with new products.

Update your routine seasonally.

Your skin care needs change with the weather; for instance, most people tend to be more oily in the summer and more dry in the winter regardless of what their underlying skin type is. That’s why you should update your skin care routine at least twice a year, so once every six months. Some people like to update their skin care four times a year, once for every season: spring, summer, fall, and winter. By updating your skin care routine alongside the weather, you ensure that you’re using the right products at the right time instead of slapping on a super-heavy moisturizer on the hottest days of summer.

Check in on your skin.

Having regular check-in with your skin is key to making sure that old products are continuing to work and new products are as effective as they claim to be. Doing some kind of skincare check-in once a month or so is a good goal to aim for and it will remind you to be conscious about the skincare choices that you are making. You may want to set a reminder for yourself on the first or last day of the month to assess your current skincare routine and check on any new products you have introduced in the past four weeks.

Keep a skincare journal.

If you tend to use a lot of skincare products and rotate them out frequently, it can be tough to keep track of which ones did and didn’t work for your skin. That’s why we recommend keeping some kind of skincare journal or log where you keep track of what products you are using and your impressions of them. 

It can also help to take photos periodically so you can see if the products are working, sort of like your own before and after photos. This is especially important when using active treatments such as retinol, vitamin C, acne treatments, and dark spot removers. Be sure to take the photos in the same place with the same lighting so you can accurately track your progress over time.

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Ready to upgrade your skincare routine with products that actually work? Grab a skincare set to sample some of Lancer Skincare’s top sellers, or grab some full-size advanced treatments to start seeing a difference sooner. All of our products ship free within the United States and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can buy with confidence!

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A Guide on the Best Skincare for Pregnancy

A Guide on the Best Skincare for Pregnancy
There are many things that you have to avoid putting in your body during pregnancy, including caffeine, alcohol, raw eggs, fish high in mercury, soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk and juice, and raw or undercooked meat. But did you know that there are plenty of things that you’re not supposed to put on your body either? That’s right. There are certain skincare ingredients that you should avoid during pregnancies since they can be absorbed through the skin into the body.

Since you will experience a lot of changes in your skin during pregnancy, figuring out a safe routine can be a lot to navigate at once. In this guide, we’ll talk about how pregnancy changes your skin and what ingredients to either use or avoid during pregnancy to help you put together a new skincare set.

How Pregnancy Changes Your Skin

Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, and you will almost certainly see some changes in your skin as you progress from trimester to trimester. Pregnancy causes increased blood flow and oil production, which can cause a pregnancy glow for some people and increased acne in others. Changes in hormone levels can also contribute to the development of cystic acne, even if you didn’t have acne before your pregnancy. While there are many treatments available for acne, not all of them are safe for use in pregnancy. In the upcoming sections, we’ll talk about what ingredients to avoid and what acne products you can use during pregnancy.

Your skin’s melanin production also increases during pregnancy, which can result in the development of dark spots, especially on the face. Some people develop dark patches on their nose and cheeks, a.k.a., the mask of pregnancy. You may also develop dark spots on other areas of your body as well, although the face is the most common location for dark spots to appear. Similar to the acne products, many dark spot removers are not safe to be used during pregnancy. We’ll talk more about prevention and treatment tips for dark spots in a later section.

skin changes during pregnancy

Some people also find that their skin becomes dry, itchy, and more easily irritated during their pregnancy, especially during the winter. This can eventually lead to a rash or itchy bumps appearing, especially if you don’t take preventative care of the dry patches when they first appear. It’s a good idea to regularly inspect your skin for signs of irritation, and to get in a regular moisturization routine if you find your skin becoming more dry during pregnancy.

The rapid growth in later trimesters will almost certainly cause stretch marks to appear on your belly, breast, bottom, and thighs. While many creams claim to prevent developing stretch marks, at this time these claims are unproven. Fortunately, most stretch marks will fade overtime after you give birth. If you find that your stretch marks make your skin feel irritated, applying a moisturizer can soothe them in the meantime.

Your blood volume and flow increases during pregnancy, which can make your veins more apparent. Spider veins are tiny red or purple veins that can appear anywhere on the body, especially on the face, neck, and arms. Varicose veins are larger and appear as swollen blue veins; they may also be sore or painful to the touch. Varicose veins occur because the extra weight of the uterus compresses the veins in the lower body, decreasing blood flow. Spider veins and varicose veins typically disappear on their own after you give birth and your blood volume decreases back to normal.

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Skincare Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

Many doctors and dermatologists recommend avoiding certain ingredients during pregnancy due to the possibility of absorbing them through your skin and passing them onto the developing fetus. While many of the studies that have been done focus on orally consuming large doses, as opposed to topically applying the ingredients, it’s still a good idea to avoid them until more research is done just to be on the safe side.

Retinol and retinoids are the first ingredients that pregnant people should avoid. This includes all vitamin A derivatives. Oral retinoids, such as Accutane, are also to be avoided during pregnancy.

Hydroquinone, which is used to lighten dark spots, is another ingredient you should avoid during pregnancy. You used to be able to get it over the counter, but now it is available by prescription only in the U.S., so it’s not as easy to accidentally buy something with hydroquinone as it used to be. 

In order to reduce your chances of developing dark spots during pregnancy and prevent any current dark spots from getting worse, you should avoid the sun when possible, especially when the rays are strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You should also protect your skin using a wide-brim hat and UPF clothing and apply sunscreen to any exposed patches.

ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

Speaking of sunscreen, you should avoid the sunscreen filter oxybenzone while pregnant, since it may increase the risk of certain effects. Some doctors advise avoiding chemical sunscreens completely, as not much research has been done on using them during pregnancy. Some people also find that chemical sunscreens are more sensitizing and irritate their skin during pregnancy. For that reason, many pregnant people prefer to use mineral sunscreens during pregnancy so that they don’t have to worry about possible risks or irritation.

Many doctors also recommend avoiding skin care products with fragrance in them during pregnancy. Many pregnant people are more sensitive to smells due to increased hormone levels, especially during the first trimester when morning sickness is at its height, and smelly skin care products can sometimes be triggering. Some people also find that fragrant components can irritate their already sensitive skin. But there’s nothing dangerous about using fragrant skin care products during pregnancy; so if you’re currently using one and it’s not bothering you, there’s no need to switch.

Many cosmetic procedures also need to be avoided during pregnancy. You should not get any treatments such as Botox, fillers, lasers, or chemical peels during your pregnancy. You may be able to get a facial done once a month, but you should talk to your OB/GYN before you book any appointments. Extensive heat therapy and any machine that involves an electrical current are also no-nos during pregnancy.

What to Look For in Skincare for Pregnancy

pregnant woman holding essential oil bottle

Now that we’ve talked about what skin care products you need to avoid, it’s time to focus on what skincare products you can use during pregnancy! While there are multiple ingredients you need to avoid, there are also plenty of other ingredients that you can safely use during pregnancy, especially at low concentrations. And with more cutting edge ingredients being introduced every year, you have more options than ever to choose from.

First, let’s talk about addressing acne during pregnancy. Using low concentrations of either benzo, peroxide, or salicylic acid in a face wash is usually safe for pregnancy. This will keep too much of either ingredient from being absorbed, which can be a risk when you apply a leave-on treatment with a high concentration. 

You can also use small concentrations of alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid and lactic acid. These have bigger molecules than salicylic acid, and thus are less likely to be absorbed by the skin. However, since your skin does tend to be more irritated in pregnancy, it’s still a good idea to avoid high concentrations of these exfoliants. See our guide that explains how to exfoliate your face for more information.

You can also apply vitamin C topically during your pregnancy. This antioxidant has brightening effects, helping to even out your skin tone and potentially prevent or lighten existing dark patches. That being said, the most potent form of vitamin C, ascorbic acid, can be irritating to the skin when used in high concentrations. Fortunately, there are many gentle derivatives of vitamin C available so you will almost certainly be able to find one that will work for your skin during your pregnancy. For instance, our Overnight Brightening Mask features tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (THD) to help fade the appearance of dark spots and improve your overall complexion.

prioritize hydration during pregnancy

You should also prioritize hydrating and nourishing ingredients throughout your pregnancy. This includes peptides, niacinamide, ceramides, shea butter, and various plant oils and antioxidants. These ingredients will help to treat any irritation or sensitivity that you are experiencing during your pregnancy and help you maintain a glowing, but not greasy complexion. You should also drink plenty of water to make sure that your body is hydrated from the inside out as well as the outside in.

We already talked about sunscreen in the previous section, but it’s so important it bears repeating twice. You should absolutely be applying sunscreen every single morning, even if all you are doing is sitting inside. And if you are going outside, then you should be reapplying the sunscreen every two hours to protect your skin. Our Mineral Sun Shield Universal Tint is a non-chemical sunscreen that relies on zinc oxide for sun protection, making it safe to use during pregnancy. The sheer lightweight formula absorbs quickly, and it won’t make your skin feel greasy or slide around on it.

If you find that your face in particular is more oily during pregnancy, then using a gel cleanser can help to remove excess oil and help you start with a clean canvas. You might also want to switch from heavier creams to lighter lotions, especially during the day while you are out and about. Using oil-blotting sheets can help you control your shine with a quick touchup during the day, and they are completely safe to use during pregnancy. Check out our collection of skincare for oily skin to see our top Lancer skincare picks for managing oil production.

It’s also really important to establish a good body care routine during pregnancy, if you don’t already have one. That’s because the skin on your body produces way less oil than the skin on your face, and many people find the skin on their body getting dry and irritated during pregnancy, even if their face is producing more oil. 

Use a gentle fragrance-free body wash that leaves your skin feeling clean, but not stripped. To seal in the moisture, apply lotion to damp skin before even getting out of the shower. If you are struggling with specific skin issues, such as eczema and rashes, talk to your doctor about topical treatments for these that are safe to use during pregnancy.

pregnant woman rubs lotion on belly

We hope this guide helps you feel more confident and informed about putting together a pregnancy-safe skincare routine as you enter this exciting period of your life! Of course, we recommend always asking your doctor before using new products while pregnant. At Lancer Skincare, we sell many products that can be used during pregnancy to help you achieve a glowing complexion. 

All of our products come with a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can shop online with peace of mind and exchange or return anything that doesn’t work for your skin during pregnancy. All of our products also shipped free within the continental United States, no order minimum necessary, to make your shopping experience a breeze.

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New Year, New You: Tips for Building the Best Skincare Routine

New Year New You Tips for Building the Best Skincare Routine

The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to reset your skincare routine or build one from scratch. If you’re not sure how to get started, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of 22 tips to help you build the best skincare routine.

Get to know your skin type.

Before you do anything else, you need to understand your skin type. If you don’t know this already, try this simple test: Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, pat it dry, and leave it for 30 minutes (don’t apply any products). After the half hour is up, examine your skin. If it feels flaky or tight, you have dry skin. If it feels greasy and shiny, you have oily skin. If you have red or irritated patches, you have sensitive skin. If you have none of the above, you have normal skin. And if some patches fit one description, but other parts match another, then you have combo skin. Once you know your skin type, you can choose products that match it accordingly.

Set your skincare goals.

Besides your skin type, you also need to understand your skincare goals. You might want to get your acne understand control, treat hyperpigmentation, get started with anti-aging skincare, or any other number of goals. We recommend focusing on one skincare goal at a time to prevent overloading your routine. For instance, you can worry about acne scarring once you reduce your active breakouts.

3-step skincare method

Follow a 3-step foundation.

At Lancer Skincare, we’re huge fans of the 3-step skincare method: polish, cleanse, and nourish. These three steps form the basis of The Lancer Method and are a great starting point for the best skincare routine. Once you master these three steps and get in the habit of using the products regularly, you can look into adding more steps to your routine if you want to.

Remove your makeup first.

If you wear makeup, we recommend removing it before you use your cleanser. That’s because facial cleansers aren’t really designed to break up heavy layers of cosmetics and will leave product behind on your face. There are many different makeup removers to choose from, including makeup wipes, micellar water, cleansing oils, and cleansing balms. Typically, the more makeup and sunscreen that you wear, the more powerful a makeup remover that you will need.

Choose the right cleanser.

Cleansing can be the most stripping part of your routine, which is why it’s essential to choose the right cleanser. Oily skin types benefit from foaming or gel cleansers that help to remove excess oil, while dry skin types usually prefer milk or cream cleansers that nourish this skin. Normal and combination skin types can use either, depending on the season and climate. Sensitive skin types should seek out gentle, hydrating cleansers

Exfoliate the right amount.

Depending on how much your skin can tolerate it and how strong your exfoliating product is, exfoliating daily with the right polish can be great for your skin. 

Don’t skip moisturizer.

Moisturizers are a must because they seal in water and oil and help to prevent moisture loss. Dry skin types usually prefer to use heavier cream moisturizers, while oily skin types prefer a lightweight gel moisturizer that soaks in quickly. Normal and combination skin types often enjoy using a midweight lotion that moisturizes the dry areas without smothering their more oily patches. Applying moisturizer should be the final step in each skincare routine to seal in the other products.

moisturizers are a must

Wear sunscreen every morning.

We know that we just said moisturizer should be the last step, but in the morning you should follow up your moisturizer with another product: sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen every day is one of the best things that you can do to prevent signs of aging and keep your skin looking healthy and young. Some sunscreens are even thick enough to act as moisturizers on their own, allowing you to combine those two steps into one and simplify your skincare routine.

Add in treatment serums.

If you’re looking to get results from your best skincare routine, then you need some serums packed full of active ingredients like vitamin C and retinol. These powerful ingredients offer lots of benefits to the skin and can make a big difference when used consistently. To avoid overpowering your skin, we recommend using one treatment serum per routine and occasionally giving your skin rest days to recover.

Try an eye cream if you’d like.

Eye creams aren’t strictly necessary (or you can just use a regular moisturizer around your eye area) but they can be a fun addition to your routine. If you want to use actives such as vitamin C and retinol around your eyes, then we recommend choosing eye creams specifically formulated for the delicate skin around that area. Products that you use on the rest of your face may be too powerful and irritate your eyes.

clarifying spot solution

Use spot treatments when necessary.

If you have acne blemishes, using a clarifying spot treatment can dry them out and help clear your face faster. For best results, we recommend applying these treatments only to the blemish itself. Spot treatments tend to be very strong and can cause dryness or irritation when applied to unblemished skin, so it’s best to use them sparingly.

Experiment with a face oil.

People with very dry skin sometimes benefit from using a face oil, which creates an occlusive layer on top of the skin to stop moisture loss. You can either apply a few drops of the oil on top of the moisturizer, or mix it directly into the moisturizer and then apply it to your face. We recommend that oily skin types stay away from these products, however, as adding extra oil can clog pores and lead to breakouts.

Have fun with face masks.

Face masks are another completely optional step, but they can be really fun to add to your routine. Face masks can offer many different benefits, from hydrating to exfoliating to brightening to soothing, depending on the ingredients. They also come in different formats, such as a wash-off mask and a sheet mask, so you can choose the one that works best for you. We suggest applying a face mask to a clean, dry face after cleansing but before the rest of your routine.

face mask benefits

Don’t skip your neck and chest.

The skin on your neck and chest is very delicate, and you should absolutely be treating it with your skincare products! You do need to be careful with products that are potentially drying, like retinols and exfoliators, since you have fewer oil glands on your neck and chest than on your face. But you definitely can and should be applying gentle, effective skincare products on these areas, as well as sunscreen whenever your skin is exposed in the daytime.

Apply products in the right order.

Let’s say that you decide to go all-in and use all the products we’ve described here. In what order should you apply them? First, start with a makeup remover followed by a facial cleanser, then a face mask if you want to do one. Next, apply your serum, and top it off with a moisturizer and then either a sunscreen in the daytime (not optional) or a facial oil at night (optional). If you get stuck, just remember that leave-on treatments should be applied from thinnest to thickest and you’ll be golden.

Look for multipurpose products.

Overwhelmed by the idea of using this many products? There’s nothing wrong with a simple skincare routine. To cut back on the number of products that you are using, look for multipurpose products that offer multiple benefits and active ingredients in one. This will make your skincare routine more efficient and help stop your skin from being overwhelmed with too many products.

Introduce one new product at a time.

Whenever you get a new skincare set, it’s tempting to start using all the new products at once. However, we highly recommend introducing only one product at a time and giving your skin at least a week to adjust. This will make it easier to identify the cause if a new product triggers an allergic reaction. You may want to keep a log of how your skin reacts to each new product so you can track your progress over time and identify if you have any sensitivities to common ingredients.

Change your routine with the seasons.

The weather and climate have a big effect on your skin, which means that you will almost certainly need to change up your best skincare routine along with the seasons. That lightweight gel moisturizer that is perfect for summer may leave your skin parched and dry come wintertime, so don’t be afraid to pay attention to how your skin feels and switch things up as the year goes on.

Be patient with results.

Topical treatments take time to work, especially if you are using over-the-counter products with lower ingredient concentrations (as opposed to stronger prescription strength topical treatments). If you want faster results, you may need to visit a dermatologist or aesthetician office for professional strength treatments.

applying serum to face

Prioritize consistency.

The best skincare routine is the one that you can stick with every day, or nearly every day. If you find yourself skipping days or weeks because you have too many products, pare things down to the 3-step method we talked about above, plus a sunscreen in the morning. Using a few skincare products consistently is much more effective than using many different skincare sporadically or not at all.

Practice other healthy skin habits.

Healthy skin doesn’t start and stop with your best skincare routine. Other healthy habits — such as drinking enough water, eating a well-balanced diet, and getting enough sleep every night — also contribute to glowing, smooth skin. Once you’ve got your skincare routine on lockdown, try incorporating these other habits into your daily routine to give your skin even more of a boost.

Ready to get started with your best skincare routine? Order products from Lancer Skincare today and get free, fast shipping on your U.S. order today!

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Why Is My Skin So Dry Even When I Moisturize?

Why Is My Skin So Dry Even When I Moisturize

Dry skin is a relatively common condition, especially in the winter. Proper treatment is key for stopping dry skin from getting worse and preventing cracking, peeling, and other side effects. However, sometimes you will find that your skin is dry even when you moisturize, and it can be hard to discern the exact cause.

If your skin is dry no matter what anti-aging moisturizer you try, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we break down 16 possible reasons why your skin might be dry despite your best efforts. Keep in mind that there is rarely one single cause, and that most dry skin will be caused by multiple factors working together to dry out your skin. Without further ado, here are 16 reasons why your skin might be dry even if you are moisturizing regularly:

You’re over-cleansing, or using the wrong cleanser.

Out of your entire skin routine routine, cleansing is the step that has the potential to be the most stripping and drying. If you are cleansing too often, that can lead to dry skin no matter how much moisturizer you slather on. For instance, if you’re washing your face in the morning and at night, try only doing it once a day and just rinsing it with water the other time. You should also examine your cleansing for potentially drying ingredients such as sulfates and acids. Generally speaking, foaming cleansers will be more stripping while milk and cream cleansers are gentler on the skin, so the latter may be a better choice for you.

You use water that’s too hot.

We love a hot shower as much as the next person, but unfortunately hot water is very drying for your skin and hair. In fact, if you have been struggling with dry skin on your body as well as your face, then too-hot showers might be one of the culprits. Whether you are taking a shower or washing your face at the sink, the water should be lukewarm to warm, not hot to the touch. Also try to avoid hot tubs and other scenarios where you will be exposed to very hot water, especially for a long period of time.

spending too much time in the water

You’re spending too much time in the water.

Even if your baths and showers are lukewarm, they might be drying out your skin if you tend to stay in them for a very long time. Ideally, your showers should last a maximum of 5-10 minutes, and you should only shower once a day if possible. If you spend a lot of time swimming in pools, ocean, lakes, and other bodies of water, that can also dry out your skin. Chlorinated water such as swimming pools will further exacerbate the effects, because chlorine strips the natural oils from your skin. If you are struggling with very dry skin, try minimizing your time in water to see if that helps to ease your symptoms.

Your skin has been exposed to chlorinated or hard water.

Even if you’ve been good about taking quick, lukewarm showers, your water might still be drying out your skin due to the chemicals it contains. Hard water has a lot of calcium and magnesium dissolved in it. The presence of these minerals means that the water is less effective at washing away soap, leaving residue behind on your skin and leading to dryness and irritation. You can get test strips to determine how hard your water is. If your home does have hard water, you can get filters to help remove the minerals from the water to lessen its effects on your skin.

You use products with a lot of fragrance.

We hate to break it to you, but all those perfumes and scented body products might be seriously irritating your skin. Fragrances are created by certain volatile chemicals reacting together, and the presence of these chemicals can irritate your skin. Denatured alcohol is also a common carrier for scents. Unfortunately, this type of alcohol is notoriously drying to the skin as well. If you have been struggling with dry skin, it’s worth switching to a fragrance-free skin routine to see if that helps with skin that is dry even after moisturizing.

Your moisturizer contains drying ingredients

Your moisturizer contains drying ingredients.

Reading the ingredient label carefully is important, because some moisturizers can contain ingredients that dry out your skin. Look for a fragrance-free moisturizer with a short ingredient list that is free of potential ingredients. If you need extra moisture, consider layering on a hydrated facial oil or mixing it into your lotion.

You’re applying your moisturizer at the wrong time.

To get the most benefit out of your moisturizer, you should be applying it twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening; a.k.a. after each time you shower or wash your face. Ideally, you should apply your serums and then your moisturizer as soon as possible while your face is slightly damp. This will help to trap the water in your skin and help to combat dryness. If you wait even a couple of minutes, your face will dry out completely and your moisturizing products won’t be as effective.

You’re applying too much moisturizer.

Believe it or not, applying too much moisturizer can have adverse effects on your skin. That’s because using too much moisturizer or applying it too often can mess up your skin’s natural balance, smothering your skin and causing your skin to produce less oil than it should. Over time, this can reduce your oil production enough that it results in chronically dry skin. If you’ve been slathering your skin in moisturizer, try applying less or switching to a lighter product that won’t be as thick.

woman exfoliating face

You exfoliate too often.

Exfoliating regularly can offer many benefits for your skin, including smoothing out texture, reducing acne blemishes, and clearing out clogged pores. However, over-exfoliating can have seriously negative side effects for your skin, such as drying out your skin and even damaging your skin barrier. If you have been exfoliating multiple times a week or using very harsh exfoliating products, it doesn’t matter how much moisturizer you put on — your skin will still be dry. Try cutting back on exfoliating, switching to gentler products, or even giving your skin a break entirely to see if that soothes your dry skin.

You don’t exfoliate often enough.

On the other hand, not exfoliating enough can also contribute to dry skin. This is because if you don’t exfoliate, the dead skin will build up on your face, resulting in dry patches and making it harder for your skincare products to work effectively. Some gentle exfoliation one to two times a week will help smooth out these rough patches and make it easy to apply an even layer of moisturizer. We recommend choosing lower concentrations of acids to reduce the risks of over-exfoliating and irritating your skin.

You live in a harsh, cold, dry climate.

Certain factors that cause dehydrated skin have nothing to do with you, and living in a harsh, dry, and/or cold climate is one of those. However, just because you live in one of these areas, it doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to peeling, cracking skin. Try to minimize your time outdoors, especially when the weather is inclement, and cover up your skin with coats, hats, gloves, and scarves when you must go outside. Getting a humidifier for your home and/or office can also make a big difference by putting some moisture back into the air.

Youre not drinking enough water

You’re not drinking enough water.

Hydration doesn’t just happen from the outside in; it also happens from the inside out. If you’re not drinking enough water, then your skin will still be dry even if you are applying a gallon of moisturizer a day. If drinking plain water doesn’t appeal to you, try caffeine-free herbal teas for hot beverages, or infusing cold water with fruits and vegetables to give it some flavor. Most people need between three to four liters of fluid a day, depending on how much they sweat and other factors.

You’re not getting enough nutrients.

Getting the proper amounts of nutrients is key for skin health. If you’re deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, that could be contributing to dry skin. Some of the most important nutrients for skin health include vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and zinc. Getting these nutrients naturally through your diet is usually the best course of action, but you might also need to look into taking some kind of supplement or vitamin if you can’t get them through food and drinks.

You have underlying health conditions.

Many different health conditions feature dry skin as a side effect. This is especially true for skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. However, it can also be a side effect of many different internal health conditions, including diabetes, thyroid disorders, renal failure, and HIV. If you are struggling with health issues, talk to your doctor about whether or not your dry skin could be related to any of them. In some cases, the dry skin will go away as the underlying causes are treated.

You are experiencing side effects of medications.

In some other cases, getting treatment for your medical conditions is what causes the dry skin. Numerous medications are known to dry out the skin, including blood pressure drugs, cholesterol medications, acne treatments, wrinkle creams, and antihistamines. In some cases, the effects are temporary as your skin adjusts to the medications, but in other situations the dryness will be ongoing. If you’re experiencing extremely dry skin, talk to your doctor about mitigating the side effects and potentially switching to another drug that might be less drying.

holding hand out dry skin

You are genetically predisposed to dry skin.

Certain factors, such as ethnicity and genetics, mean that certain people are more predisposed to dry skin than others. For instance, ethnicity plays a large role in how much water content your skin naturally contains and how fast water loss occurs. Aging is also a major contributing factor to dry skin: Oil production slows down as you age, and basically everyone has dry skin by age 60 or so. So if you feel like your skin has been getting drier as you age, it’s not just in your head — that really is happening.

Ready to soothe your face with skincare products specifically formulated for dry, dehydrated skin? Try out the Lancer Skincare method to see what a difference hydrating, soothing skincare products can make. All of our products get free, fast shipping in the contiguous U.S. (no order minimum needed) so don’t hesitate to order today!

Image Credits

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Kateryna Onyshchuk/

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Bogdan Sonjachnyj/


What You Need to Know about Hyperpigmentation

Lancer Skincare - Hyperpigmentation Causes and Treatment

I have many patients who come to me with hyperpigmentation, in which blotches of skin, usually on the face, turn darker than normal. For many people, this is a very distressing skin condition. They worry about the possible causes of hyperpigmentation, how it affects their overall appearance and whether it can be treated. However, I find that when patients understand what hyperpigmentation is, many of their concerns are allayed.

Continue reading “What You Need to Know about Hyperpigmentation”

Why Skin Polishing is an Ideal Oily Skin Treatment

Why Skin Polishing is an Ideal Oily Skin Treatment

People with oily skin often feel like there’s no way to reduce excess oil and blemish-causing bacteria without irritating the skin. However, skin polishing is an ideal oily skin treatment. When you polish your skin, you remove surface layers of dirt, makeup, and pollutants that can clog your pores and irritate your skin, while scrubbing away excess oil and sebum that further exacerbate blemishes. When you remove this surface debris, you reveal skin that’s smoother and younger looking. Your own beautiful skin shines through, without the pore-clogging buildup that can dull your radiance.

Continue reading “Why Skin Polishing is an Ideal Oily Skin Treatment”

Why Should I Use a Face Mask?

should i use a facemask

By now, we’ve all seen someone on social media, in a magazine, or on an airplane with a—let’s be honest here—slightly unnerving-looking sheet mask covering their face. Thankfully, at this point most of us know what we’re looking at. While the look of a sheet mask is a bit Phantom of the Opera, the benefits are well worth the unusual appearance.

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The Ultimate Guide to Younger Looking Skin

younger skin - the ultimate guide

Anti-Aging Secrets to Younger Looking SkinThere are two types of aging: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging is the natural aging process, where our genetics determine when our skin becomes thinner and drier, loses some of its youthful fullness, or get visible lines on our face. Extrinsic aging, however, is based on one’s environment and lifestyle choices, and can lead to early signs of aging. While you may not be able to control your genetics or your natural environment, you can control your skin’s appearance and prevent further signs of aging. Continue reading “The Ultimate Guide to Younger Looking Skin”

Glowing On the Go: Tips for Skincare While Traveling

Glowing On the Go: Tips for Skincare While Traveling
Glowing On the Go: Tips for Skincare While Traveling

These recommendations from Dr. Lancer will minimize the effects of travel stress on your skin.

Stick to your routine.

When you travel, your daily routine might be unpredictable. Whether you are in all-day meetings in a conference room or hiking in Kauai, maintaining a consistent skincare regimen helps ensure that changes in your schedule don’t translate to changes on your skin.

Continue reading “Glowing On the Go: Tips for Skincare While Traveling”

10 Tips for Flawless Skin This Year – Infographic

10 Tips for Flawless Skin This Year
10 Tips for Flawless Skin This Year

Make your skin glowing and radiant for the season! Apply these 10 easy tips to have flawless skin.

  1. Avoid hot water for showers & baths. Excessive heat dries out skin.
  2. Apply sunscreen more frequently—once in the morning won’t protect you all day.
  3. Eat fresh food – preferably organic.
  4. Avoid eating yeast & sugar. An overflow in your body causes inflammation.
  5. Remove make-up before sweat-inducing exercise.
  6. Get regular facials from a licensed aesthetician.
  7. Wash your pillowcase every week with a fragrance-free, gentle laundry detergent.
  8. Don’t touch your face! And clean anything that does touch your face (like cellphones).
  9. See your dermatologist for an annual head-to-toe skin exam.
  10. Prevent visible signs of aging & maintain youthful skin by investing in high-end skincare.


Dr. Lancer. Younger: The Breakthrough Anti-Aging Method for Radiant Skin. p. 11-6, 15, 155, 162-76, 184, 189, 200-1.