Why Serum Ingredients Change Over Time

Because your skincare should change with your skin.

Meghan Maupin, CEO

CEO of Atolla

Meghan Maupin, CEO

Meg is the CEO and Co-founder of Atolla. She has a graduate degree in Engineering and Management from MIT, and previously worked in design roles at Patagonia, The MIT Design Lab, and Formlabs.



When adding a new product to your routine, most dermatologists recommend sticking with it for about 3 months to see results. At Atolla, our data suggests the same: most of our community resolves a skin concern within 3 months.

To get there, their formula likely went through a few changes along the way. Here's how percentages of Salicylic Acid might change over time with an Atolla serum targeting breakouts, based on how your skin is reacting month over month:

Month 1: Getting Used to It

Depending on the severity of your breakouts and your current skin condition, you might start off with a formula containing Salicylic Acid at 1%-2%. While jumping into the highest dose possible might seem like the quickest path to recovery, it can actually be harmful for your skin and cause side effects like dryness or redness. Give your skin time to get used to the ingredients!

Month 2: Upping the Dose

If your skin is doing well, you can start to increase the Salicylic Acid into the 2-3% range. The idea is to titrate up to see what your skin can handle, and always go down if you need to.

Atolla formulas include supplementary ingredients to help balance out strong actives like Salicylic Acid, such as Turmeric or Aloe to soothe skin. Tolerance depends on the individual, which is why we check in each month on your progress and recommend formulas based on how your skin is actually doing.

Month 3: Titrating Down

After a month of using a high-dose formula, you’ll likely see significant improvement to your breakouts and can start to reduce the dosage again. If you continue to use higher doses when your skin doesn’t need to, it could lead to side effects like a damaged skin barrier or irritation.

Month 4: Prevention and Maintenance

Once your breakouts are healed, you can start to address new concerns like scarring or discoloration while still preventing your breakouts from coming back. Likely your formula will have some new ingredients like Vitamin C or Niacinamide.

Your skin needs are always changing, which is why the Atolla subscription is monthly. This way, you always know the formula you get each month is the right fit for your needs and is helping speed along your skin health progress!

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