CosmeticOBS - L'Observatoire des cosmétiques
Jan. 28, 2011Scientific publications

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You've probably noticed that, at least once. One day --a gloomy one, for sure!-- this product that you like so much, this lotion, this shampoo, this moisturizing care that was nothing less than magic, suddenly loses its magic … It does not make it anymore, results are no longer there. Did the product change or is it just an hypothesis? U.S. researchers yield some clues to understanding this strange phenomenon …

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January 28, 2011
No, you're not dreaming … and you are right: this cosmetic product you liked so much, that gave you so much pleasure, is no longer as good as it was. Well, what did happen?

The likely explanations

Food for thought number one : You've modified your habits. "People scrupulously use a product at first," says April Armstrong, an assistant professor of dermatology in the University of California. "However, one makes some adaptation of his own along the time." And when one doesn't apply, say, an anti-aging serum or an acne lotion the way i should, results are not there.
Food of thought number two : The product has been used for too long a time. For example, silicone -based hair products can build up, causing hair fibers to react differently to them after a while, according to Carmine Minardi, a co-owner of the Minardi Salon, in New York City.
Other possibilities : "Changes in diet, climate, and your hormones may subtly affect the way a product responds," says Ni'Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist in Fairfield, New Jersey. So the oil-free moisturizer that did the job in humid summer months may not offer enough hydration come dry, windy winter.
Less common factors, like differences in product batches and shelf lives, can come into play, too.
A final possibility : You've become so used to the product -- its smell, how it feels on your skin -- that you're not as excited by it anymore, which can make it seem less effective.

Exceptions to the rules

There are a few instances when you may truly become resistant to a particular ingredient. "Some topical steroids, which you use for skin irritations and conditions like eczema, may lose efficacy over time," says Armstrong.
The benefits of retinol and benzoyl peroxide can also level off. It's not that they're not performing as well; rather, the fine lines and acne that these ingredients treat have improved, so further changes seem less dramatic. With time, antidandruff shampoos, too, can lose strength, but Armstrong says there's no medical consensus as to why.

How to keep seeing results

• First make sure that you're using the product exactly as directed and that if there is Best before … date , it hasn't passed (ingredients can start to degrade after the use-by date; exposure to light can also reduce products' efficacy).
• Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about batch-to-batch discrepancies.
• For silicone buildup on hair, which can make strands look dull and feel heavy, "try a clarifying shampoo once every 5 to 10 washes," says Minardi.
• If you're applying an anti-aging, acne, or antidandruff product, consider switching it up. For example, if you're using an over-the-counter version, see a dermatologist for a prescription formula, or change the brand to keep results coming.
• Finally, ask yourself whether the product has achieved what it was supposed to. You may have reached a point where any further improvement is so subtle, it's almost impossible to detect. "Managing your expectations is key," says Armstrong.

Source : Can You Build Resistance to Beauty Products? By Lisa Whitmore.

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