Right up there on my personal list of favorite skincare ingredients is one of the alpha hydroxy acids(AHAs):lactic acid. Not only do I enjoy using it in my personal skincare routine, I also like to use it on clients. For various reasons.
It’s quite an allrounder: it gently exfoliates, it’s helpful with hydrating the skin, it helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores. It generally also is very helpful in treating sun damage, dryness, hyperpigmentation and acne. Lactic acid is gentle yet effective enough to work on almost every skin type (unless you’re super sensitive or allergic). It’s simply amazing stuff!
Since it’s the weekend and I like to reserve my Sundays for a DIY spa day at home, I thought many of you out there might enjoy a little treatment at home as well, even if it’s just a relaxing hot bath. To make sure, your skin stays hydrated, here’s a little tip:
Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) happens on the skin’s surface when water evaporates. It is one of the major factors that causes the tightness you feel on your skin after a shower or after washing your face. At first you feel nicely clean and refreshed, but at soon as you get out of the bathroom and let your skin “air dry” for a minute or two, the tightness kicks in and leaves you feeling uncomfortable and your skin thirsty for hydration.
The second blog post of this new ingredient based series is dedicated to antioxidants. They have been very popular as active ingredients for some time now, mainly vitamin C being THE one antioxidant that seemed to have started this trend of incorporating certain vitamins and other antioxidants into modern skincare products, although vitamin E (tocopherol) has been around for what seems forever, especially for treating dry, mature skin and scarring. It was vitamin C though that hit the skincare markets mostly in the form of serums and treatments that help brighten and repair as well as prevent the effects of photo aging of the skin (photo aging basically means “damage to skin cells caused by the sun’s UV rays that results in premature aging of the skin”, i.e. brown spots or hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and can ultimately lead to serious photo damage, like Basal Cell Carcinomas which are the most common kind of skin cancers and are typically found on sun-exposed areas, etc.)*1
This series is going to feature my favorite skincare ingredients. I will summarize the pros and cons, why I like this particular ingredient, what it’s used for and whose skin it’s suited for. Each blog post will also give you a selection of products at different price points.
There are only very few ingredients used in the cosmetics industry that can truly live up to their claims. One of them is retinol, simply speaking a form of vitamin A. Often times the other forms of vitamin A (like retinoids) are used interchangeably. What you as a consumer, mainly need to know is that retinol is available in over-the-counter products (OTC), whereas retinoids or Renova and Retin-A (or their main ingredient Tretinoin) etc., are a lot more potent and therefore prescribed by physicians only.