Starting A Basic Acne Routine:
How to evaluate new products

Reading time: 3 minutes

After incorporating all the products into your routine, how do you know a product is a keeper? 

It’s time to evaluate them!

Evaluating your products will keep you from wasting time and money on products that do little to nothing at all for your skin.

After the breakout test, you’ll want to observe the effect of the products for at least a month.

It’s believed that skin renews itself after 30 to 40 days, hence the 1-month trial period.

A month may seem so long.

But it’s really worth the wait.

This way, you can save yourself from continuing to use a product that may not even be doing anything good to your face.

In some (unfortunate) instances, you might not even need a full month to decide a product isn’t really working for you.

So, let’s look at what you should be observing from the products in your routine.


Every time you use your cleanser, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you feel product leftover after cleansing?

When a cleanser fails to do its job properly, you might feel like you still have a bit of sunscreen and moisturizer on.

Or the cleansers themselves could leave a slippery or sticky residue, which tells you it’s not easy to wash off.

If you observe either, best to look for another cleanser.

Does your face feel calm and soft?

A good cleanser will leave your face clean and moisturized.

Your skin shouldn’t be red, stinging, and itchy after cleansing.

Rather, your face should be calm and bouncy soft.

If your cleanser is doing this, it’s a keeper!

Does your skin feel irritated, tight, dry, or ‘squeaky clean’ after cleansing?

This one’s a complete opposite of above.

If your cleanser leaves your skin irritated, it just failed at its job.

Yes, your skin is clean, but it’s been stripped of moisture. That’s a sign for shopping around for a new cleanser.


Every time you use your moisturizer, ask yourself the following questions:

Does it leave your skin feeling bouncy and supple?

It should! That’s your moisturizer’s job; your skin should feel happily nourished after moisturizing.

How long does that moisturized feeling last?

If you feel your skin getting dry after a few hours (or even a few minutes), your moisturizer is not be doing its job properly.

You can try to add more moisturizer throughout the day, especially if you have dry skin.

But if the weather’s relatively calm and your moisturizer is failing to provide the moisture throughout the day, then it might be time to replace it.

Does it clog your pores?

It can be such a pain to finally find a moisturizer that suits your skin type and does its job, only to find out it’s clogging your pores.

Clogged pores don’t always end up turning into breakouts.

They can sometimes just enlarge your pores, which can still be frustrating.

At this point, you can decide for yourself if you’re okay with the slightly enlarged pores; or if it’s time to go on a hunt for a moisturizer that won’t clog your pores.


Every time you use your sunscreen, ask yourself the following questions:

Does it have adequate UV protection?

From what we talked about in how to choose your products, you should be using at least a SPF 30+, PPD 8+ or PA+++ sunscreen.

But there’s still room for observation. If your day-to-day activities involve some time under the sun, you’ll want to see if you get tanned or burnt even while wearing sunscreen.

From there, you can decide whether it’s time to find a sunscreen with higher UV protection ratings. 

Remember to give your sunscreen a fair shot though!

No matter how high the UV protection is, if you’re not reapplying when you’re under the sun for many hours, you’ll definitely get sun damage.

Is it easy and comfortable to wear?

If sunscreen feels like a chore, it’s going to be harder to apply it every day.

 Having an easy and comfortable to wear sunscreen will encourage you to use it every day. So, if you’re feeling any discomfort from your current sunscreen, consider looking for an alternative.

Is your hyperpigmentation worsening, or are you developing new freckles/dark spots?

Sunscreen use is supposed to help keep hyperpigmentation (from acne, wounds, etc.) from worsening and keep your skin from developing new freckles/dark spots.

If despite wearing sunscreen and reapplying religiously throughout the day, you still observe the above, then your sunscreen is slacking on the job. You might want to find a replacement.

Give a lot of thought when evaluating your products.

You wouldn’t want to discard a more than half-full product just because of false assumption.

Use these questions as guide as to what you should be expecting from a functioning cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

If you have the time, jotting down your observations regularly can also help.

With that, you’ll eventually have the three perfect products for your basic acne routine.

And that's the end of the free series on how to start a basic acne clearing routine from scratch.