Telltale Signs That Your Skincare Regime Isn’t Working For You

Dr Saba Qutub

With many of us experiencing a change in lifestyle because of COVID, combined with a change in weather as we move into winter, it’s really important to check whether your skincare regime is still working for you.

When you start to look for new products, it can get quite confusing. Between all of the different brands, products, daring promises, ingredient lists and you-cannot-live-without-this-product claims, skincare can be undeniably overwhelming.

Skincare confusion is one of the leading reasons that people are locking themselves into skincare routines that simply do not work for them, or throwing their hands up in the air and ditching their products altogether.

Even after we have invested in a skincare regime, pinpointing which products are actually working, or worse, not working, and therefore worth the price, is difficult. An individualised approach to skincare is crucial to finding the right products for your skin. While this may take a little extra time, it is worth it if you want to achieve your skin goals and maintain the results long term.

There are some natural products on the market, which might not offer enough cosmeceutical benefit on your skin, and on the other hand, there might be some active skincare products with too many harsh chemicals. Finding a balanced routine that leaves you with beautifully radiant skin is possible.

Here are six telltale signs that your skincare regime isn’t working for you, and what you can do to fix it.

Dreaded breakouts

Yes, breakouts do happen, however, if they are not clearing up after of few weeks of consistently following a new skincare routine, this means that the products are not right for you and it is time to change things up.

If your cleanser is too gentle, or natural, your skin may have a build-up of excess oil and sebum on the surface that isn’t being thoroughly removed. Whereas, if the cleanser is too strong it can strip your skin of its healthy, nourishing oils and cause dry patches, peeling, or overdrive in oil production.


Brown spots and hyperpigmentation can be completely normal changes as your skin ages, however, if they’re happening overnight or over a couple of days, then that is cause for alarm bells.

Skincare products that are high in vitamin C and SPF are must-haves in your morning routine.

Preventing existing spots from darkening or new spots from forming, as well as reducing the chance of sun damage, is a key concern for many Aussies – so prioritising this should be a no brainer when you speak to your go-to skincare specialist.

Itchiness and irritation

Everyone’s skin will react differently to every product, even the best-formulated products. You never really know how your skin will react to a new product, so paying particular attention to any changes is a pivotal part of every exceptional skincare regime.

It is a widely believed fact that tingling and stinging are signs that a product is working – this is simply not the case. Any product that aggravates your skin to this level leaves your skin vulnerable to environmental damage, such as sunburn and allergic reactions. Repeatedly using irritants, such as parabens, harmful chemicals, artificial colours and synthetic fragrances, hinders your skins ability to renew itself and can result in an overly sensitive feeling.

No changes

You didn’t suddenly wake up one day with sun damage, wrinkles or cystic acne, so you can’t expect to be able to radically get rid of them overnight either. Not seeing results after a day or week, and giving up on a skincare regime can mean you are disposing of a product before it has even had a chance to make a visible difference.

However, if you have been using products for a number of months and you still aren’t seeing any progress, that is the time to try something new. Generally, I would say as a rule of thumb that any anti-ageing products that promote line smoothing or pigment reducing will take at least six weeks to produce results, acne-targeting products will take up to a month, and moisturisers should start showing positive results within the first week of use.

About Dr Saba Qutub

Dr Saba Qutub is a registered medical practitioner and cosmetic physician practising in Australia, as well as an author, health coach and keynote speaker. She is the founder of DRSQ Skincare, as well as the founding director of award-winning Geelong-based holistic health practice, Armstrong Health.

DRSQ Skincare’s mission is to provide radiant and luminous skin by incorporating the very best of advanced science and natural wonders. Founded in 2017 by Dr Qutub, the brand is a 100 per cent Australian owned and operated company, using solely highly effective active ingredients which are free from harmful chemicals, artificial colours, synthetic fragrance and animal testing. All DRSQ Skincare products are designed, formulated and manufactured locally in Australia.

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