Confused about what, how and when to incorporate active ingredients into your skincare routine?  With so many trending actives now available in skincare, the whole am/pm routine can be daunting.  The John Plunkett’s Super Cosmeceutical Range has been formulated with active ingredients at therapeutic levels to target specific skin concerns such as pigmentation, uneven skin tone, dullness, fine lines and wrinkles and to make the process of choosing skincare simpler.

What are active ingredients?
Active ingredients are scientifically proven compounds in skincare products that target specific skin concerns like pigmentation and aging. They work at a cellular level to repair, rejuvenate, hydrate, protect and nourish skin cells. These powerhouse components include glycolic acid, salicylic acid, niacinamide, retinol and hyaluronic acid. Unlike inactive ingredients, actives improve skin health and appearance, making them essential for effective skincare routines. We can all benefit from active skincare.

When introducing active ingredients into your skincare routine, it's crucial to start slowly to avoid overwhelming your skin. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you integrate them effectively:

1. Patch Test
Before incorporating a new product into your skincare routine, you should perform a patch test by applying a small amount to a discreet area of your skin, such as your inner arm, neck or chest and check for any adverse reactions. Start by patch-testing the product on a small area and wait a day to see if a reaction occurs before applying it to your face. Your skin may still react negatively even if you're not allergic to a particular ingredient. This simple step can help prevent widespread irritation and discomfort.

2. Gradual incorporation
It can be tempting to overhaul our skincare routines with multiple products at once, but doing so increases the risk of reactions, especially if you have sensitive skin. Some actives are more potent than others – take retinol, salicylic acid and glycolic acid, for example – so they require a gradual approach more than others like hyaluronic acid or niacinamide. Start with one product with active ingredients at a time to observe how your skin reacts. This way, if you experience any irritation or sensitivity, you can quickly identify what’s working and what isn't.

When introducing a new product, give your skin time to adjust by slowly incorporating it into your routine. If your skin tolerates the product well, you can increase the frequency. Slowly is best, so start once to twice a week at night and see how your skin reacts. If there’s no irritation, increase up to twice a day. If it’s starting to look dry, flakes or stings when you use the product, reduce your usage to once a week, take a break, let your skin recover, and then start again. This helps figure out any potential allergens or irritants and prevents overwhelming your skin with too many active ingredients. This gradual approach minimises the risk of irritation and allows your skin to acclimatise to the product.

3. Lock it in with Hydration
Locking in the benefits of your chosen active ingredients with hydrating products is essential for maintaining a healthy skin barrier. When we say hydration, we mean products that primarily contain hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, squalene, etc. Hydrating skin after your active step not only helps to lock in all the benefits of the chosen active but also helps to minimise any chance of irritation by ensuring that your skin barrier has enough moisture to keep it healthy. Look at the ingredient listing on the back of the product.

4. Always SPF
With our unforgiving Australian sun, wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen is always recommended during the day. In sunlight, sometimes, your skin becomes sensitive when active ingredients are applied. So, during the day, apply sunscreen after your skincare products to protect your skin.

5. Consistency is key
Instant gratification is great, but the name of the game in skincare is long-term results. It’s a commitment to consistency, and while that may not be as exciting as seeing an instant change in your skin, you’ll thank yourself in the long run for doing things right.

Avoid over-exfoliating or using too many active ingredients at once, as this can strip the skin's natural barrier and cause more harm than good. Establish a skincare routine that works for you and stick to it. Consistency is vital to seeing results. Understand that skincare is a gradual process, and it may take weeks or even months to see significant changes in your skin.

Embracing patience and sticking to your routine, even when results aren’t immediate, is where the results truly happen.

Key Takeaway
Properly introducing new products is crucial when caring for your skin. While it’s tempting to immediately apply a new treatment to see if it works, taking your time and allowing your skin to adjust will reduce the likelihood of reactivity and produce the best results over time.

Embarking on a skincare journey can be exciting and daunting, but with the proper knowledge, you can achieve healthy, glowing skin. Remember to start slowly, be patient, and stay consistent with your skincare routine. And always listen to your skin—it will tell you what it needs.

John Plunkett’s Super Cosmeceuticals have been designed to work synergistically within each range for multi-beneficial results. Here's to happy and healthy skin!