The Regimen

Is This Normal? What to Expect When You Start Using a Dermatological Line

Woman with dewy, glowy skin on mauve background


With many skin care products, it’s hard to know whether or not they are having any real effect on your skin. Vivant products are formulated with active ingredients that have a direct effect on the skin, so when you use them you will see and feel the difference. Sometimes those changes can be confusing, but don’t mistake action for reaction.

Here we answer some of the most common questions we get about what’s happening above and below the surface when you try a new Vivant product.


I recently started using Derm-A-Gel, and my skin has become flaky. Is that normal?

It is normal. It’s the sign that your skin is acclimating to a new active ingredient. It means the product is working. Derm-A-Gel is a vitamin A therapy. The primary action of vitamin A is to stimulate cell turnover, which by nature means flaking as dead skin cells are pushed to the surface and sloughed off. The natural cell cycle is about thirty days. Vitamin A propionate, the patented ingredient in Vivant’s vitamin A therapies, accelerates that process to about 14 days. Because it’s rapidly pulling everything to the surface, it’s going to create the flaking that you are seeing. It is basically a mini peel. Once your skin has acclimated, the benefits will continue, but the flaking will diminish. If your skin is irritated, red, or feels tight and dry, back off to every other day and gradually increase back to daily usage.

Why am I suddenly breaking out since I started using my new regimen?

Breakouts are not uncommon when you start a new treatment regimen. The products are pulling blackheads and whiteheads to the surface. A pimple takes an average of thirty days to form, so what you are seeing is the breakout that was already brewing being pulled up and out. This is how comedones get cleared, and follicles flushed.


My age spots seem to be getting darker. Should I stop using the products?

Don’t stop using the products. Excess pigmentation gets removed from the surface of the skin in much the same way that pimples do. The pigmentation forms in the deeper layers of skin and as we exfoliate and stimulate cell turnover, the pigment rises to the surface and eventually sloughs off.


Why is my skin so dry since I started using BP 10% Gel?

Benzoyl peroxide penetrates into pores releasing free radical oxygen to kill bacteria that causes acne and inflammation. It’s also a keratolytic agent. That means it causes a peeling reaction in the skin. This is one of the properties that makes it so effective in treating acne. The peeling action clears the dead skin cells and removes impactions. During this process, your skin will feel dry. You can add moisture by using one of our non-comedogenic, oil-free hydrators Allantoin, Totaloe, or Day Treatment Lotion SPF 15.  

Why does my skin feel irritated when I work out?

During exfoliation, your skin is slightly more sensitive because new skin is being exposed. The salt in your sweat can sometimes irritate this new skin. It should be very minor and will not continue beyond acclimation. Be sure to shower with Vivant cleansing products immediately after working out to avoid the irritation and also to keep pores clear of sweat, oil, and cellular debris. Swimming in chlorinated water can also have an irritating effect when skin is acclimating to vitamin A or alpha hydroxy acids.


Seriously, my skin is red and irritated. Should I stop?

Sometimes it’s all a little too much too fast for the skin. If your skin is red, if it feels really dry and tight, if you feel sensitivity and/or irritation, back off from your application by dropping down to every other day. If it still feels too aggressive, go to every three days and work back up to daily application.


How long does it take for my skin to acclimate to my new skin care regimen?

Everyone’s skin is different, but the average length of time is one month, one complete natural cycle of cell turnover. During that time, consistency is key. If you don’t stick to your routine consistently, you will not see the results you’re seeking. Understand that what you may think is a reaction is the catalyzation of cellular regeneration and real change in your skin. It’s the sign that your skin care is doing its job and know that you are on the way to smoother, clearer, firmer, brighter skin. 


Some of your products have different percentages. How do I choose the right one?

You should always start with the lowest percentage and work your way up. The time to move up to the next level is when you feel you have reached a plateau in your improvement; that doesn’t mean at the end of the acclimation period. Once your skin acclimates, the product is still working to maintain your results. The time to move up to the next level is when you want to push your results further. If your start off at the highest level, you are more likely to experience irritation. If you would like personal guidance, feel free to contact our in-house esthetician at



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