You wouldn’t wear the same outfit every day of your life, would you? You wouldn’t eat the same meal over and over. So why would you keep the same beauty routine for twenty years?
But many women do. They discover a product they like and remain loyal to it for years, or they learn how to create a particular makeup look and never deviate from it. It’s like a beauty routine version of Groundhog’s Day. While no one’s suggesting that you rush out and buy a different moisturizer for every day of the week, the idea that one product can effectively serve a woman for years and years on end is downright silly. Sometimes, a little re-evaluation is needed; here are five points during a woman’s life when she should change her beauty routine.
1. When You Move to a New Climate
The moisturizer/styling cream/foundation that served you so well in Miami is not going to cut it in Minneapolis. Moving to a new climate calls for some tinkering. If you move somewhere hot and humid, you’ll want a lightweight moisturizer with SPF. If you move somewhere dry and arid, find a moisturizer that’s more hydrating. Humidity, temperature, altitude, pollution, and climate conditions have different effects on skin and hair. The mousse that you loved in Baltimore might make your hair feel sticky and lanky in Houston. Sample different products to find one that works for you in your new home.
2. When the Season Changes
If you live in a place with consistent year-round weather, you’re lucky, because living in a temperate zone with hot summers and cold winters calls for two different skincare regimens. During hot weather, choose lightweight gel-type cleansers and moisturizers to remove oil, as well as an all-over sunscreen to protect skin when it’s uncovered. In the winter, use creamier, more hydrating products to protect your skin from wind and cold.
Even if you don’t experience seasonal climate change, remember that styles change, too. When summer comes, put away the thick foundations and dark lipsticks in favor of lighter cosmetics like glosses, tinted moisturizers, and pastel nail enamels.
3. During Pregnancy
It’s not for the baby’s benefit. Hormonal changes may make your skin drier, oilier, or more sensitive, rendering your usual products ineffective. The “pregnancy glow” may make foundation unnecessary, or you could experience skin darkening, meaning that you’ll need a new foundation entirely. It’s an unpredictable time, so be ready to adapt to whatever your skin throws at you.
4. When You Start a New Medication
The most obvious culprit is the acne drug Accutane, which can make skin significantly more sensitive and requiring of more delicate care, but dozens of medications—both short-term and long-term ones—can have pronounced effects on the skin. Allergy medicines and antihistamines can dehydrate skin, making a richer moisturizer necessary. Antibiotics can make skin more photosensitive, meaning you’ll need to double up your sunscreen. Birth control can clear acne for some women and can cause acne for others. Whenever you start taking a new medicine, read the label closely to see if you should expect any dermatological side effects.
5. Every Ten Years, at Least
Even if nothing else in your life has changed, even if you’ve been using the same beauty products for several years running, it’s time to shake things up. No matter how old you are, the skin and hair you had ten years ago are undoubtedly vastly different from the skin and hair you live with now. Texture, density, age—things change a lot. Nothing stays the same forever; your beauty routine shouldn’t, either.
Not to mention the fact that if you haven’t tried new beauty products in several years, you may be astonished at the quality and variety of what’s become available. There are cosmetics for every conceivable skin tone and type, with better, less pore-clogging formulations. Moisturizers are light, full of beneficial anti-aging ingredients, and affordable. You may think that what you currently use is the only thing you’ll ever like, but it’s almost a guarantee that something on the market is as good, if not better.
Adjusting your beauty routine doesn’t have to be as involved as being a slave to every fashion trend or buying cupboards full of every kind of face cream, but it’s important to stay in touch with your skin and make sure you’re providing it with the best support possible. And what constitutes the best support now won’t necessarily work in the future. Don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut—change is good.