7 reasons your skincare routine isn’t working

Rachel Meyer

Are you experiencing random breakouts? How about unexplained dry or flaky skin? Whatever is going on, it could indicate the skincare routine that’s been working so well for you is no longer providing results. 

Let’s dive into some of the biggest reasons why your skincare routine might cease to work, from the low-down on your monthly skin cycle to the medical-grade products that could help you see game-changing results…

Want personalised advice on why your skincare routine isn’t working? Book a free consultation with one of our Skin Experts:



Woman winking in Mirror



How do you know if your skincare routine is working or not? 


There are so many skincare products out there in the world, and it can be difficult to find the ones that are most likely to work for you. You can often tell easily if your skincare routine is not working for you, as you will notice either old symptoms return (such as acne or dry skin), or you may notice new symptoms you haven’t had before. 
If you are no longer noticing results, you are breaking out more often, you notice symptoms like redness or dry patches, or your skin feels irritated, your skincare routine may need an update. If this is the case, you may be wondering why it’s not working anymore. Here are a few reasons why this can happen…


1. You may be using products with low (or no) active ingredients

There are many skincare products on the high street claiming to help with certain skin issues, however not all products include what we call ‘active ingredients’. Active ingredients are backed by science and designed to be effective at targeting specific skin concerns, such as acne, pigmentation, signs of ageing, and more. 

You may have experienced an initial positive change in your skin when switching to a new product, but after a while your skin could fail to maintain those positive results due to a lack of active ingredients. If you want to ensure your products always contain effective active ingredients, you can book a free consultation with one of our Skin Experts



Woman applying skincare



2. You are not consistent with your routine  

Consistency is key with skincare. The products you use must penetrate the deeper layers of skin over time, and your skin needs to become used to the ingredients. If you are inconsistent by always missing days, skipping products or using them in the wrong order, your skin will constantly be on its toes and is more likely to be reactive. This could lead to you believing your skincare routine has stopped working, when this is not the case. 

If you struggle to maintain consistency, try writing on a post-it what you need to do each morning and evening, and stick it to the bathroom mirror so you remember every step. If travelling or staying away from home throws off your routine, decant your products into small containers so you can take them with you, and set an alarm on your phone to ensure you don’t forget. 



Woman with cotton pads applying skincare



3. You aren’t using your regime for long enough

Many people start a new skincare routine and immediately stop due to negative symptoms. This tends to happen because the skin goes through a purge period. Skin purging is when — after a new skincare product is started — the skin goes into overdrive trying to eliminate any impurities by pushing them to the surface. 

This can cause the effects of a breakout, with spots, blackheads or painful pustules appearing. After a few weeks these symptoms should disappear, however many people stop using the products before this as they believe they are not suitable for their skin type. The best thing to do is power through any unwanted symptoms for at least six weeks until your skin settles, and you can finally start to see the positive results of your new routine. 

You can read more on how long it takes to see results from a new skincare routine, here


4. You are using too many products at once 

You may think ‘the more the merrier’ when it comes to skincare products, but often (and especially if you suffer from sensitive skin) the less products you use on your skin, the better. Too many products can overload skin and cause buildup, blocked pores and other symptoms. You may think your skincare routine has stopped working, but you could simply be using a few too many products. 

Keep it simple, and go with the advice of your Skin Expert to know the perfect number of products for your skin type. 



Woman looking at skin in the mirror.




5. Your skin has acclimated to the products 

Even if you have a good thing going with your skincare routine, after a while your skin may get used to the products which can cause negative symptoms. This is because your skin works in cycles. 

Around every 27 days, the skin will ‘cycle’ and remove the top layer of dead skin cells, and regenerate a new layer of healthy cells in the epidermis which eventually becomes the top layer of skin. Studies have found that when a skin cell is generated in the basal layer of the skin, it is shed from the surface around a month later, which is why most experts will advise using a new product for at least 6 weeks before deciding whether or not it is for you. 

No matter your skin type or the products you use, your skin will change over time and need different products —- it happens to everyone. 

After 6 weeks, if your skincare is not working for you it’s best to speak to your Skin Expert about potentially switching up the products again to something that will lead to better results. 


Man applying green face mask with towel around his neck.



6. The weather has changed 

We’ve all experienced dry skin in winter, or sweaty skin in summer! Unfortunately skin tends to suffer with extreme changes in weather, so if your skincare routine has stopped working it could be due to what’s going on outside. You can read more on how to maintain healthy skin during the winter, here

This can be an easy fix, so speak to your Skin Expert if you have any negative side effects from weather changes. They may be able to recommend a slight adjustment to your skincare routine that could make a difference. 



7. You’re guessing which products are best instead of speaking to an expert 

There are so many skincare products on the market, so it’s near impossible to find the best ones for you by trial and error. It can be frustrating to constantly purchase expensive skincare products, realise they don’t work for you, and have to get rid of them before trying something else.  

Instead of guessing or trawling through online reviews, speak to a professional with experience using a large number of products, who can recommend based on client testimonials, and who can prescribe highly effective medical-grade skincare products if necessary. Face Dr offers a free online consultation to help with this, however there are many options out there if you want to find an expert local to you. 


Grey haired woman looking at her skin in mirror.




Summary: How do I give my skincare routine the best chance? 

Implementing a new skincare routine and making sure it works for you can be a confusing and time-consuming process, so here is our advice: 

  • Speak to a Skin Expert to discuss your skin history, skin needs, and anything else that will help you find the best products. 
  • Stick to a tried-and-tested, simple routine of products with active ingredients designed to help your specific skin issues. 
  • Do whatever you must do to remind yourself about using your products consistently.
  • Stick with the routine for at least 6 weeks to see results. 
  • If the weather changes, book a free consultation with your Skin Expert to discuss making adjustments. 
  • If you start to notice negative changes in your skin (or in the case of, for example, anti-ageing products, you stop noticing positive changes) book a free consultation with your Skin Expert to check in and ask them about updates to your routine. This could be as simple as using slightly more or less of a product each day. 




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