How to get the most mileage out of your skincare routine

When (and why) you can use the same skincare ingredients for different skin woes

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Curology Team
Apr 08, 2020 · 3 min read

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We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

We’ve said it a lot here on the blog — there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to skincare. At the same time, some multi-tasking ingredients are doing the most — come for the acne treatment, stay for the anti-aging benefits! Here’s the breakdown on why the same ingredients treat people in different ways.

Acne or anti-aging = Retinoids

With addressing two of the most common skin concerns — breakouts and signs of aging — it’s all about cell turnover. The most popular multitasking ingredients for each: retinoids, like retinol.You’ll find these vitamin A derivatives in both drugstore and prescription skincare products for acne and anti-aging. Rets live up to their rep, since they help regulate our skin cell turnover rate.

Our skin constantly renews itself, shedding dead skin cells that can clog pores or make our skin look dull. Retinoids help reel in this process so our skin glows. AHA’s and BHA’s are also handy for chemical exfoliation, which “manually” clears dead skin cells.

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Hyperpigmentation or skin inflammation = Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid (fun fact: this skincare powerhouse naturally occurs in several whole grains) can be used to treat several different skin concerns, including acne, clogged pores, dark spots, and inflammation. By managing the ecosystem on your skin, it pushes back against acne-causing bacteria and fungus. Meanwhile, azelaic acid also targets the hyperactive pigment-producing cells that leave dark spots behind.

Azelaic acid is also great for skin bumps (whiteheads) caused by inflammation. Talk about a multitasking hero. When the skin around our hair follicles becomes inflamed, it can get clogged — hence, the bump.

Acne or sun damage = Niacinamide

Of all the multitasking ingredients, niacinamide just might do the most. It both heals and fortifies the skin, thanks to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes niacinamide a top pick for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and mild forms of acne.

Niacinamide repairs structural damage to the skin that’s been caused by UV rays. Not only does it help fade dark spots, but it also neutralizes free radicals, stimulates protein production, and improves skin elasticity. It can help counteract sun damage that accumulates over time.

Hyperpigmentation or skin redness= Tranexamic acid

If your skincare routine were a soccer team, tranexamic acid should be the goalie. It stops the buildup of too much color in the skin 2 ways: 1) it targets skin inflammation that can cause redness and dark spots, and, 2) it controls the production of melanin caused by UV damage.

If you’re acne-prone, you may be used to getting acne “scars” that fade over time — the dark brown or red spots left behind from a breakout. Sensitive, dry skin can also be prone to redness, thanks (er, no thanks) to irritation.

Meet your match

Building a routine for your unique skin concerns shouldn’t make you feel like you’re getting a degree in biochemistry. Sign up for a free month of Curology and one of our in-house medical providers will prescribe you a custom cream with a mix of 3 active ingredients for your unique skin concerns. To make it even easier, we’ll throw in our hydrating cleanser and your choice of moisturizer for a complete set that won’t clog pores. Just pay $4.95 (plus tax) to cover shipping and handling on your first shipment.

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