Adjustment Period

08/20/2013 02:08 pm ET | Updated Oct 20, 2013

Timing and consistency are everything when it comes to introducing new products into a skincare regimen

Trying out new skincare products may seem as simple as pumping a tester at a beauty shop or applying the contents of a free sample, but there's really more to it than that. At least there should be -- if you're concerned with actually achieving the promised result. A person needs to use a new formula regularly for at least one month before they'll notice a difference and the skin adjusts, according to Jaclyn Welcher, lead esthetician at Sunset Tower's Argyle Spa. And there's a fine balance to achieve when adding something new to an existing regimen. "Remember, skin is our largest organ and it reflects everything going on inside," says Welcher. In other words, bouncing between products can not only eradicate positive results, but do real damage.

This expert advises altering one's skincare regimen seasonally. After all, "our skin conditions change just as the weather does." Welcher adds, "It's really about finding what works for your skin type (what you're born with) and skin condition (which can be controlled). Once you find a regimen that brings the results you desire, it's uber important to be consistent." That means not adding and taking away formulas at will, and only trying one new one at a time, so you can actually notice its effect.

There's an adjustment period needed for every new product. Just because you don't see changes right away doesn't mean it's not going to work. "Clients sometimes get impatient if something isn't giving them the results they want within the first few days of using it and decide to move onto another product, never giving their skin a chance to adapt." For example, a fantastic product might cause the "skin to be a bit tight or feel dry, or it might even purge breakouts and toxins that have been within the skin for quite some time." But with time the complexion may adjust. The alternative -- switching products too frequently (or using the wrong ones together) -- "could upset the skin and its pH levels, causing flaking, photosensitivity and rawness," says Welcher. Also watch for any allergic reaction, such as hives or inflammation -- a sure sign that formula is not for you.

Welcher also warns of trying to incorporate too many like products into a routine -- for example, overuse of exfoliants can scratch the skin, and using too many acids would throw it out of balance. When introducing retinols or acne treatment products, she says, it's especially crucial to begin slowly, using them only one to two times per week initially. After one month, if you notice the hoped-for results, it's time to add that product permanently to your stable -- at least for the season. After all, the key to locking in the perfect skincare routine, says Welcher, is "consistency, consistency, consistency."

This post was originally published on Beauty Bender.