Basics-Taking care of the skin
Remember-This is not surgery, there is no quick fix. The skin takes a few months to turnover. Be patient and slowly over time you will see improvements.
Gentle Facial Wash
Use a gentle facial wash. Essential oils can be stripped away when washing the skin. If you have dry skin, start with a calming botanically infused sulfate free cream facial wash that gently cleanses and does not foam. Sulfates create lather but can be irritating to the skin. Gently pat the skin. Do not pull or rub too hard as the facial skin is sensitive.
Add A Facial Serum
There are many different types of facial serums on the market and they will do different things depending on what the ingredients are. Most will do a combination of things. Ask your self what am I trying to achieve. Do you want to lighten your age spots? Are you trying to protect your skin with antioxidants? Are you trying to prevent wrinkles?
Use a Toner
Toners should be a part of the skin care regimen. It should be used after a cleanser. A toner can help minimize pores, lighten dark spots and improve the texture of the skin. Different toners are available and should be chosen depending on what the needs of the skin are.
- If the skin is oily an astringent works well. Astringents may include alcohol, witch hazel, and salicylic acid. They work well on oily skin but will be too drying for normal or aged skin.
- An astringent can help fight acne by cleaning debris out of the pores.
- Sensitive skin should use an alcohol free toner.
- Dry skin will benefit from hyaluronic acid and niacinamide.
- Calming ingredients include chamomile, panthenol and rosewater.
- Fragrant toners should be avoided.
Your Eyes Need Special Attention
The skin around the eyes are part of the thinnest skin on your body. Never pull or rub your eyes, they can be gently patted. Avoid harsh fragrances that will irritate your eyes. Look for an eye cream
What Are Beta Hydroxy Acids also known as BHA’s
Beta Hydroxy Acids are acids that come from the bark of a willow tree. They will exfoliate the skin. Because they are water insoluble and capable of penetrating oily skin, they are used for treating acne. They can cause irritation, a low percentage should be tried on a test patch of skin. The strength can be increased if there is no skin reaction. Avoid and protect yourself from the sun. Applying AHAs to the skin results in increased UV sensitivity making you more likely to burn.
BHAs usually work best at 1-2% concentration and a pH of 3 or 4
What are Alpha Hydroxy Acids also known as AHA’s
Alpha Hydroxy Acids also known as AHAs are acids that originate from milk or fruit sugar. They cause shedding (exfoliation) of the outer layers of the skin by breaking up the cells connections. AHA’s can improve the skins texture and reduce the size of pores (by unclogging them). They can also help prevent the formation of fine lines. They have been shown to increase collagen and elastic production. AHA’s can be used in cosmetics to adjust the pH.
They can cause irritation, a low percentage should be tried on a test patch of skin. The strength can be increased if there is no skin reaction. Avoid and protect yourself from the sun. Applying AHAs to the skin results in increased UV sensitivity making you more likely to burn. The FDA requires that AHA’s products (outside a physicians office) have no more than a 10% concentration. They are water soluble. Examples include lactic, glycol, malice, citric and tartaric acids.
These is a high percentage and should be used according to the instructions. Avoid sun exposure and ensure you do a patch test Skin Obsession 40% Glycolic Acid Peel for Acne, Scars, Age Spots & Lines
Do you Need to Exfoliate
In short yes, exfoliation can help remove the outer layer dead cells exposing healthier cells. Exfoliation can also increase collagen level.
Retinol products can help turnover the skin which may help reduce fine lines and age spots. It helps turnover the skin and build collagen. Retinol is also an antioxidant. It may be listed as retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, and retinaldehyde. Retinols do not require a prescription like retinoids such as retinoid acid, adalapene and tazarotene. Retinols can be harsh on the skin, try to use a product that has additional ingredients that can help calm the skin such as green tea. Also look at the packaging. The shelf life is short when exposed to air and sunlight. The product should be dispensed in an air pump container that is opaque.
Retinols should only be used at night time as they will sensitize the skin to the suns harmful rays. Sunscreen should be worn at all times. Start off with a small amount only a couple of times a week then increase usage if you do not become too sensitive. Retinols can cause redness and flakiness. Go slow with them and have patience. They can really make a difference if used on a regular basis.
Building Blocks of the Skin
Products that can help retain moisture, protect the skin and help restore its youthful look include glycoaminoglycans, amino acids/peptides (build protein), ceramides, lecithin, glycerin, fatty acids, polysaccharides, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, collagen, elastin, and cholesterol.
Antioxidants can help promote healthy skin by increasing collagen and decreasing inflammation.
Examples of antioxidants include vitamins such as A, C and E, beta carotene, super oxide dismutase, glutathione, selenium, green tea, soy, pomegranate and grape extract.
Why Vitamin C
The most common type of vitamin C is L ascorbic acid. Look for products such as a vitamin C serum that have 15% or higher. Vitamin C can also irritate the skin. Make sure you start off slow and increase the product as your skin tolerates it. It can also be mixed with your favorite moisturizer. Vitamin C is an anti oxidant and it can help lighten dark spots. It has been shown to increase collagen production and decrease inflammation.
Do Not Forget To Moisturize
Your skin needs moisture to look supple and plump. Dry skin will make fine lines more noticeable. Chose a natural facial moisturizer that just moisturizers.
Moisturizers with hyaluronic acids work well for dry skin. Look for ingredients such as glycoaminoglycans, amino acids/peptides (build protein), ceramides, lecithin, glycerin, fatty acids, polysaccharides, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, collagen, elastin, and cholesterol.
Sun Damaged Skin
Alpha hydroxy acids and retinols work well for these problems.
Large pores and Black Heads
These problems respond to products that have Beta hydroxy acids. These products help turnover the skin. Start at a low percentage and work your way up.