Too Much, Too Soon: The Skincare Overwhelm Effect

Too Much, Too Soon: The Skincare Overwhelm Effect

We totally get it. Falling in love is exciting. It’s only been a couple of days and people are telling you you’re glowing. You’ve got a lit-from-within radiance that tells the world that you’ve found "The One" and now you’re certain that your new #1 must have a bunch of friends that you could fall in love with too... and you’re totally right... Okay, we’re actually talking about skincare here, not a new romance! But we’ve all been there. When you try a new product that your skin loves right away, it’s natural to want to jump into the rest of the product line and use as many of the products as you can so you can see even more dramatic benefits ASAP. But whether you’ve fallen in love with a Kate Ryan Skincare product or any other skincare line, we want to give you some skincare relationship advice: don’t rush into anything. Here’s why we recommend taking it slower with your new product crush…

1.) Too much of a good thing can be trouble

When it comes to your skin, more treatment is not always better, at least not right away. In the first few days of trying a new product, you may start to see encouraging results, so it’s a common impulse to want to speed up the process and shoot for the most dramatic effects possible from a skincare line that your skin seems to be responding well to. But while your skin is adjusting to one product, adding another into the mix could be overwhelming to a complexion that is in flux, particularly when using skincare with very active ingredients. If your skin becomes overwhelmed during an adjustment period, it can put up its defenses and this may come in the form of inflammation, roughness, dryness, peeling, congestion, or excess oiliness. Of course, a single product can cause this kind of reaction occasionally too, which brings us to the next reason why it’s best to add new products slowly...

2.) It’s difficult to identify sensitizers

When you’re using more than one new product at once, if you do experience symptoms of overwhelm, over-processing, or a sensitivity, it becomes difficult to discern which product is causing the reaction or whether it’s a combination of more than one, and whether it’s temporary, or the discovery of a genuine sensitivity to an ingredient that you’ll need to avoid going forward. Any time our skin experiences something like this, we might decide that the product line in general wasn’t right for us and discontinue its use all together, which could be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The alternative to that is to eliminate every new product until the reaction clears up, then add in one new product at a time to narrow down the source of the sensitivity. So it makes sense to take this approach from the start, which will also help to minimize the possibility of a defensive reaction to begin with.

3.) It’s harder to spot your skincare soulmates

The other side of the coin is that when we add too many new variables into our skincare regimen, we may also be unable to tell which of these products are making the biggest positive impact on our skin and which ones are redundant or less effective for each of our unique complexions. This is especially true for those of us who love an extensive, multi-step regimen in the name of “doing everything we can” to keep our skin healthy and aging beautifully. Over time, we may be unsure which of these products our skin is really in love with and which we could do without. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the number of steps in your routine and thought, “Do I NEED all of these?!”, then you know the feeling of being uncertain about which products your skin truly loves. Since the average woman in the US uses six skincare products in her regimen even before moving onto cosmetics, it’s worth knowing exactly what you love in your routine and what could be changed.

4.) How to strategize with new skincare

So how long should you wait between each new product you add in to your skincare regimen? Ideally, it’s best to give each product at least a week of being the "new guy" in the routine. This is a safe minimum to observe how a new product is working for your skin. The effects of a product, positive or otherwise, can evolve over the course of a week or more and may affect your skin differently by the fifth or sixth day than it has by the second or third day. Have you ever had the experience with a new-to-you skincare product in which during the first couple of days you see such dramatic tightening, firming, and pore refining that you think you’ve found a holy grail, but by day four or so, that tightening and refining has turned into dryness and peeling and your skin has become rough and temporarily more aged-looking than before you started? This is a sign that the holy grail-hopeful was a bit much for your skin. It’s for this reason that you really want to let a product’s effects play out before adding in a confounding variable to the experiment in the form of another new product.

Once your skin feels adjusted to a particular addition, you can add in the next new product knowing you’ll be able to clearly observe what it’s doing for your complexion. This doesn’t mean you can only use one product at a time, you’ll still need to cover your basics of cleansing and moisturizing at the minimum, it just means that you want to keep most of your regimen comprised of products your skin is familiar with as you experiment with new ones. This approach usually prevents the need for an elimination process down the road. So try to take at least a week between each new experimental product.

5.) Where to start

We recommend starting by either replacing a product that you’re just not in love with, or by choosing a product that directly addresses the skin concerns you’d most like to target. So if you’re targeting something like acne, deep lines, loss of firmness, etc., try a treatment that’s designed to work on one or more of your skin’s issues. Or if you are ready to replace one of your basics like cleanser, toner, or moisturizer, choose one of these to replace at a time if possible. But if you’ve run out of more than one of these all at once and really want to start new ones simultaneously, just be aware that it could be a bit harder to gauge the effects of each one. It’s totally possible to overhaul your regimen and take an “out with the old, in with the new” approach to your skincare, and this can be a bit easier if you don’t have sensitive or reactive skin and are willing to do the elimination process if you do experience a product overwhelm reaction. But particularly for sensitive or even occasionally reactive skin, we recommend taking it slower.

Have you ever overdone it with too many new skin care products at once or reacted to something you were able to come back to later at a more moderate pace? It’s very common, especially with active products. For more personalized information on where to start or how to add in new products in a regimen customized just for you, reach out to us at

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Energizing Facial Mist | Kate Ryan Skincare
Energizing Facial Mist

A beautifully simple way to refresh, brighten, hydrate and calm your skin and your mood. 

Regular price $18.00 Sale from $15.25