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Multi-purpose skincare: Fast or futile?

Multi-purpose skincare: Fast or futile?

Are multi-purpose products really about convenience? 

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By now you must’ve seen many of dual- or multi-purpose products —brightening and anti-aging, sun protecting and a BB cream. It’s the ultimate lazy girl’s solution, isn’t it? Well, not exactly.

Just because your moisturizer has SPF properties doesn’t mean you can ditch the sunscreen altogether. Similarly, just because a facial mist-toner has hydrating properties, doesn’t mean you can forego a moisturizer. 

How do multi-purpose products work?

The idea behind dual- or multi-purpose products is not to eliminate steps in your regimen, but rather to boost the efficacy of different active ingredients.

An anti-bacterial, acne-clearing facial foam, for example, may also have brightening ingredients to help lighten skin that has been darkened after inflammation and scarring. An exfoliating facial wash, which is deep cleansing, could also contain vitamin B3 (niacinamide) and 12-HSA, which brighten skin too.

In a way, it looks like you’ve covered all your bases. But when a bright, even skin tone is your goal, you need brightening ingredients in all steps of your skincare routine.

Do these products have different concentrations of active ingredients?

To a certain extent, yes. Skincare products usually have a primary purpose and added ingredients for secondary benefits.

If you’re not sure how to choose dual- or multi-purpose products, always focus on your main skincare concern — and look at the benefits and ingredients on skincare packaging. If it’s an acne-clearing facial cleanser that also offers brightening, it’s usually meant for acne first, and brightening second. If you don’t have acne problems, you may not see much improvement to the skin.

If your goal is to achieve brighter, even skin, use a skincare product line that addresses this. Start with a brightening facial cleanser and moisturizer, containing ingredients like vitamin B3, vitamin C and 12-HSA.

When you’re ready for a more robust skincare regimen, add on a brightening serum to strengthen skin and maintain your glow.