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Given my interest in skin care products, I'm always more than happy to discuss the latest and greatest with friends, and one of the questions that has come up recently is: Do you need to change skin care products regularly?

It's a myth that the skin simply gets used to the product or somehow becomes immune to the active ingredients. Skin can get accustomed to certain ingredients such as [Link Removed] , making it less sensitive when applied. This, however is not the same as becoming immune to the benefits. If ingredients are good for your skin, they will always be good for your skin. You may not notice the substantial improvement you received when you first started using a treatment, but it doesn't mean it's becoming ineffective. It is doing its job to maintain your skin's healthy condition.

However, if your skin care products are not giving you the results that you want, are making you break out, drying or irritating your skin, then it's time to consider a change. Here are some reasons we may want to reassess what's sitting on our bathroom counters:

1.Season – Unless you're lucky enough to live in a warm climate all-year round, winter brings cooler, drier temperatures. Indoor heating also sucks the moisture from our skin. This may be the perfect time to switch to a heavier [Link Removed] , every day. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is the #1 thing you can do for your skin.

2.Changes in skin type and condition – Like puberty, menopause and perimenopause bring their own skin changes and hormone fluctuations. Even though your loyalties may lie with your tried-and-true moisturizer or cleanser, changes in your skin type or condition will dictate what you need now.

3.Shelf life – So, how long have you really had that night cream? Most skin care products have a shelf life of about 12 months after they have been opened. Factors that can influence the efficacy of active ingredients include storage temperature, light, preservatives and contamination from handling. Changes in color, consistency and/or smell are all signs that it's time to get rid of it even if it's been less than a year. You know what they say: When in doubt, throw it out.

4.Curiosity – None of us are immune to the persuasive power of advertising. Sometimes, we see something that piques our curiosity, or a friend has been using something that makes her skin glow. As long as the product is appropriate for our skin type, there's nothing stopping us from trying something new! And the skin care industry is constantly developing new formulations and using cutting edge scientific breakthroughs to bring us that much closer to getting the skin we want.

The bottom line? There's no need to change your skin care products just the for the sake of changing. Stick with what works well for your skin and makes you look and feel your best. But whatever you use, give it time to work because even "miracles" don't happen overnight.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
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