The ultimate guide to your first weeks on Software

Thank you for trusting us with your skin.

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Welcome to Software — we're so happy to be able to bring you a specialised prescription skincare service that caters to your skin goals and needs. To help you on this journey, we've compiled a guide of everything you need to know about your first weeks using Software.

We'll fill you in on what to expect, how to plan your new skincare routine and answer some common questions to make sure you get the most out of your custom formula.

Your new skincare routine

Software is different to anything you can find on the shelves. We use prescription-strength ingredients in combination with common active ingredients. Our formulations are prescribed by your doctor and formulated by an Australian pharmacist giving you access to more effective ingredients, at higher strengths.

So if you’ve been using heaps of serums, oils, and lotions every day and you’re still waiting for a change, we’re about to streamline your skincare routine.

All you need is your Software treatment and a couple of simple skincare extras.

Morning routine

  • Wake up with a cleanser! We recommend one that’s fragrance-free and non-comedogenic (which means it doesn't clog your pores). Soaps are way too harsh for the skin on your face; so look for a gentle cream or oil-based face cleanser.
  • Hydrate your skin with a moisturiser. Software's Ceramide Repair Balm was designed to use alongside your custom treatment and works to treat dull, damaged and dry skin with moisture-retaining ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid and squalane. It's also non-comedogenic and helps to protect the skin barrier.
  • Finish off with SPF. Sun protection is the most important part of your skincare routine (yes, sunscreen should be used every day), and we recommend an SPF 50+ broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Evening routine

  • Cleanse again! Take off the dirt and grime of the day with a cleanser, especially if you wear make-up.
  • Make sure your skin is dry before applying the next step.
  • Apply your treatment as directed. We recommend using 2 pumps for the face. If your formula contains prescription retinoids, we recommend only using your treatment in the evenings, as it can make your skin sensitive to sun damage.  
  • Leave it for a few minutes for the treatment to absorb.
  • Finally, rehydrate with a moisturiser like the Ceramide Repair Balm. Keep your skin hydrated and soft overnight using your favourite moisturiser.

Which products should you use?

It can be difficult to know what to use, which is why we designed the Software Essentials to work alongside your Software formula. This skincare set is gentle, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic so it won’t cause any further irritation.

The Software Essentials include:

  • Cleanser
  • Moisturiser
  • Solar Fluid

The Cleanser is a gentle formula and is designed to remove makeup, dirt and impurities without stripping or drying your skin. Our Moisturiser is formulated with vitamin E to support your skin barrier and leaves skin feeling soft and rejuvenated.

Rounding out the Essentials trio is the Solar Fluid. This SPF50 formulation hydrates and soothes skin while also protecting your skin. It's lightweight, non-greasy and doesn't leave a white cast.

Where to apply your treatment?

Apply your formula to your face; avoiding your mouth, nostrils, and the contour of your eyes (the area from your eyelashes up to your brow).

These areas are more sensitive so more likely to get irritated. Only apply the treatment around your under-eye area if your skin is tolerating it well after a few months and remember to take it slow.

Side effects

If you notice some redness, dryness, flaking, or even a bit of stinging after applying your formula, that’s totally normal. In fact, it means that your treatment is working!

You might also notice an increase in acne for the first few weeks of your treatment. That’s also normal, and it’s so common that it’s been given the informal name ‘purging’ by many skincare bloggers and forum users.

Purging can be unpleasant, but it means that the treatment is working because it’s clearing out all of those already-formed acne nodules from underneath your skin.

That acne was going to appear anyway, the treatment is just speeding it up so your skin can begin to heal afterwards. You can read all about this process in our ultimate guide to skin purging.

Managing side effects

Unfortunately, these side effects are often unavoidable as your skin adjusts to the formula, but there are a few things you can do to lessen them…

  • The Sandwich Method: Apply a moisturiser 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after applying your Software formula. This will help reduce dryness and flaking.
  • Take a break: Leave 3-4 days between applying your formula, this will help your skin recover and slowly adapt to the formula.
  • Physical exfoliation: Use a face cloth to gently scrub off any dead or peeling skin.
  • Avoid the orifices: Avoid the areas around your nose, eyes and mouth as cream can get stuck in the crevices causing severe peeling.  
  • Start small: Start with a small amount (1-2 pumps) and increase the amount of cream (2-3 pumps) as your skin adjusts.
  • Apply for a short time: If the side effects aren't improving, try applying the cream at night for a few hours and then wash it off, this will help your skin adjust to the prescription-strength ingredients.

Most of all, listen to your skin. If you find that your skin is really irritated, take a few days off from using your treatment and just cleanse, moisturise, and use your SPF instead.

If you’re uncertain about the side effects you’re experiencing, drop us a line at hello@skin.software. We're here to help.

Frequency of use

It will take a bit of time for your skin to get used to your new treatment, so we don’t recommend using it every night for the first few weeks.

Here’s a general guide, but take your time if it’s too fast for your skin.

Week 1: Use your treatment twice a week.

Week 2: Step it up to 3 times a week, if your skin is tolerating the treatment well.

Week 4: Apply it 5 times a week, if your skin is tolerating the treatment well.

If your skin needs more time, try using the treatment once a week and gradually increase it each week. For example, use it once the first week, two times the second week, three times the third week and so on.

Your bottle has an expiry date

Each Software formula is compounded just for you at our partner pharmacy and delivered straight to your door.

Due to this, your Software formula will keep for 8 weeks. There’s a ‘discard date’ on the side of the bottle, and after this date, your active ingredients may be less effective, and the product may oxidise (become affected by being exposed to the air).

You’ll probably have some treatment left over after your first bottle because you’re not using it as frequently when you first start. But, as your skin becomes used to your treatment, you’ll find that you have less left over.

Remember, it takes us around 7-10 days to make and send you a new bottle, so make sure you hang onto enough to get you through to your next delivery. Once you're finished with your Software bottle, check out our guide on how to recycle it properly.

Hot tip: If you do have cream left over, you can use it on the backs of your hands, on rough skin on the backs of your arms, or on your chest. Be sure to use sunscreen on these areas every day as the formula can make them more sensitive to the sun.

Some FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions we get asked about Software treatments.

If there’s anything we haven’t answered here, please get in touch with us at hello@skin.software and we’ll be happy to help you out.

Storage

Keep your skincare in a cool, dry place that’s no hotter than 25 degrees but avoid storing the product in the fridge.

Can I change my Software formula?

Yes! If your first formula isn’t quite right you can change your formulation — this is our Reformulation Guarantee. Reach out to us and we’ll book you in for a review.

When will I start to see my acne fade?

Some of our patients report seeing an improvement in skin health and a reduction in their pimples within the first few weeks.

However, those who experience a purge will often see their acne get worse before it gets better. We recommend giving it 8-12 weeks to gauge improvement. The important thing to remember here is that change can take a little while to be visible but it will happen.

We also suggest taking a selfie at the start of your treatment, and then eight weeks later — sometimes we don’t notice our skin changing because we see it every day, but then a photo makes it clear how far we’ve really come!

If you truly haven’t noticed any change in 12 weeks, please send us an email at hello@skin.software.

When will I start to see my fine lines reduce?

Some of our patients start to see a reduction in fine lines and an increase in firmness within 6-8 weeks of starting Software.

But, for more pronounced improvements you really need to consistently use your formula for 6 months or more. Persistence and consistency will give you the best results!

Why is my skin red? (And when will it go back to normal?)

Sometimes the active ingredients in Software treatments can make your skin red, dry, or flaky. This is a really common side effect for the first week or 2, and it means your treatment is working.

However, if you’re concerned about any side effects you’re experiencing, please contact us at hello@skin.software.

Are Software treatments suitable for vegans and vegetarians?

Yes! Software is cruelty-free, not tested on animals and does not contain animal products so safe for all vegans and vegetarians.

What about all my other products, can I still use them?

We recommend paring back your skincare routine when you begin your treatment so you are just using a gentle cleanser, moisturiser and SPF.

If your skin is tolerating your treatment well after 6-8 weeks, you can add other products slowly back into your routine if you want but try to avoid harsh ingredients that could result in irritation.

For example, AHAs and BHAs should only be used once or twice a week whilst using your treatment and be sure to give your skin time to adjust before incorporating your vitamin C serum back into your routine. If you aren’t sure, just email us and we will be able to help you out!

Keep in mind that all you really need is a pared-back, supportive skincare routine (cleanser, moisturiser, SPF) when using Software.

Once you've settled into your new routine and your skin is responding well, you can then look at incorporating other ingredients back into your regime.

Can I have other skincare procedures whilst using my treatments?

In general, we advise against undergoing other skincare procedures whilst on your treatment. If you still wish to go ahead, please withhold your treatment for a week on either side of the procedure.

It is also really important to tell your aesthetician about the treatment you are on, as they will be able to provide the most appropriate advice.

In terms of hair removal, we don’t recommend waxing on your face whilst on your treatment. There are alternatives that can be used once your skin has adjusted to your treatment, including threading and plucking.

Just remember to withhold your treatment for a week on either side and tell your aesthetician about your treatment! And, if in doubt, just double check with your beauty therapist.

Remember that if you ever need any assistance with your Software treatment, we're here to help.

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