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Shelf life

How long should you use a product for?

Shelf life
21 March 2012

Q: I’ve heard that I can grow ‘immune’ to grooming products if I use them for too long. Is that true?

Our expert Ahmed Zambarakji answers your question below:

A: Yup. Just like certain kinds of meds, your tolerance will build over time and certain products can therefore become less effective with daily use.

It’s always good to switch things up every three months or so. Try a different brand of moisturiser, for example, as your tolerance for Vitamin-A derivatives like retinoids (often found in anti-ageing products) will wane with prolonged use.

You might want to find a product with a greater concentration of a specific ingredient or even try a different formula altogether. Experiment by alternating every four weeks or so before going back to your trusted potion.

One way to supercharge the efficacy of a formula is to up your exfoliation. Shed dead skin with an AHA based chemical exfoliant or even incorporate a cleansing brush - like one of the handy Clarisonic devices ( – into your daily routine and this will help improve the penetration of your favourite skincare product.

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(Image: Getty)