There seems to be new and innovative products launching in the skincare industry. We see them in  editorials, ads (hello, algorithms!) and on social media with influencers. We also hear about them through our friends. It’s pretty easy to fall into that rabbit hole of wanting everything. But have you ever stepped back and wondered what’s actually right for you? Have you ever wondered if you are doing too much with your skincare routine?

There is plenty of scientific proof and research to back up what certain ingredients can do for us especially with reputable brands. I learned not only to look for ingredients like retinol, collagen, and vitamin C that are important in my continued pro-aging skincare journey, but also to understand how to use them.

Retinol, for example, is an active ingredient found in many skincare products. But did you know there are different strengths (percentages)? And what is used in a professional setting is often different from what can be sold to consumers? With the latest innovations it’s so important to understand how they work, how much to use, and when to use them.

This is hands-down my favourite retinol serum!

We want it all!

With so many amazing skincare products available to us, it’s tempting to want it all. But if you don’t have expert advice on how to use them, you could actually do more damage to your skin than good. Yes, it’s possible! And yes, it can also be confusing.

I had a conversation with Ashley, a Dermalogica Professional Skin Therapist and my go-to for facial treatments at Dermalogica Canada, who tells me she is often hearing people feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s not just about our skincare but also for our whole selves.

We’ve been told to take care of ourselves and we are trying! The term “self-care” is on repeat. But at what point is it all too much?

We are all doing everything we can. We go to pilates. We mediate. We make vision boards. We keep journals. We listen to podcasts. We are eating all the right things and taking supplements. We pay attention to the ingredients and we are trying to protect the planet at the same time. We are reflecting after a long day and setting intentions each morning.  We have our wind down rituals with candles and baths.

Then, our skincare routine comes in. We cleanse, tone, exfoliate, and maybe a little red light therapy. We have rollers and gua sha tools. We do our sheet masks and we are being pro-active with applying serums and  creams that are in-line with our daily skin concerns. We may even go in for micro-needling, IPLs, fillers and then some! I know people who have a 10 step nightly ritual for their face alone and using various brands. Oh yah, and SPF SPF SPF! Eeek!

Anyone else feeling this self-care stuff is hella lot?

Slow down and check in:

I visited Ashley at the Dermalogica HQ in Toronto for my “spring cleaning”. The ProSkin 60 minute treatment ($120) is a customized facial that lets the experts sort out what the skin needs in the moment. While she does ask me what my skin concerns my answers give her some perspective of my lifestyle.

I feel like lately it’s been sensitive, irritated and uneven in tone. Hyperpigmentation is always something I feel that I need to manage.

I’ve also been travelling often since last fall. I’ve been in a wide range of climates from Portugal, Arizona, Florida, Montreal, Costa Rica and then next to LA. and Vancouver/Tofino. And returning home in between it’s been to cooler climates here in Toronto.

I feel like I’ve been doing all the right things but it didn’t occur to me that I might also have been over exfoliating. In my attempt to have smoother fresher skin prior to my trips and then returning to the colder temperatures and exfoliating more contributed to my sensitivity and redness. Ashley helped my skin calm down and brought back a more even and healthier skin tone. My “spring cleaning” became more than a facial treatment!

Dermalogica hq  - skin care - facial treatment

How to be more efficient with your skincare:

I reviewed what I currently have in my skincare drawer with Ashley. I also mentioned that I recently added two new skincare products that were introduced this spring — Dermalogica’s Pro-Collagen Banking Serum and the Powerbright Dark Spot Peel. The latter only to be used temporarily (4 to 5 days straight, then twice a week to manage) to help fade dark spots and acne scars. I needed to know how, and when, to use them properly along side my other products.

Ashley was able to streamline what I had existing to continue addressing my skincare needs efficiently for home and travel for the coming months. She explained which products can be put away, and what I should continue to use, now that spring is here. She also clarified when were the best times of day were to incorporate the new products.

dermalogica - sunscreen - skin care

Expert Advice Helps!

The visit was a reminder to check in often with someone you trust with your skin. Also, try not to get too caught up on social media trends and TikTok’ers for advice. They may lead you to a new discovery but check in with a trusted source. It can be tempting to try all the things but find out if it’s actually right for you, first. It can all be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Heck, I even took photos of the products that are right for me so I wouldn’t forget.

I’ve always appreciated Ashley’s honesty and expertise. Of course, her face treatments are AMAZING! I lost track of how many steps she took during the treatment but I came out with clearer, brighter, and more even toned skin.

I also went home with a refreshed skincare regime tweaking what I had already and that was right for me for this spring season. I did switch to the Active Moist – a sheer and lightweight moisturizer that includes skin-balancing prebiotics. It also has natural botanical extracts (lemon, cucumber, and burdock). The combination helps to improve surface texture and hydration.

In case you didn’t know, Dermalogica has actual stores that do face treatments. They also do face mapping. You can find out more here.