Let's be honest. Winter isn’t exactly skin’s best friend. To be exact winter is no one's best friend except for penguins maybe. Siberia outdoors, Sahara indoors. We change these opposite climates several times throughout the day. From cold and humid to hot and dry. If we don't pay attention, our skin can quickly turn its back. Or in this case not (cell) turn as quick as we would like to. Roughness, redness, dry and dull skin are the most common problems we face (no pun intended) in winter. But just as all spring flowers bloom so will our skin. With a little help from our acidic friends.
The key to revealing glowing skin is the art of exfoliation. As the natural regeneration process slows down with aging, we have to give our skin a little push. It goes like this… The cells rise from the lower epidermis to the surface. When they reach the surface, these cells are considered dead. If we leave these dead cells intact they begin to accumulate and give the appearance of dull, rough skin. Chemical, enzyme or physical exfoliation will speed up the regeneration process while removing dead, keratinized and "old" skin cells from the surface making way for fresh ones to come to the surface. Your skin will appear smoother, softer and brighter. Happy as a bird with a french fry.
What do you need? Good exfoliation! In recent years, exfoliators have evolved from microbead gels to coarse scrubs and eventually turned into acid toners. There are many versions of exfoliation available that can visibly improve our skin appearance in a matter of minutes. You just need to find the one that works best for you.
If the product has "peeling" properties then you'll very likely find AHA or BHA among the ingredients. Or both! These types of sugar and vegetable acids are lately all the rave- and for a reason! In the end, the most important thing is a good mix of quality acids that bring the most glowing results.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) are great at stimulating and promoting cell turnover. As a result, your skin feels smoother, looks brighter and more glowing. The most commonly used AHAs are glycolic in lactic acid. Those of you who have sensitive skin rather use lactic acid because the likelihood of irritation is much higher with glycolic.
Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) don't work so much on the surface but are great at sinking into the pores and softening the gunk that's inside. That way pores get unclogged much easier meaning fewer acne outbursts. Keep an eye on salicylic acid which helps with inflammation and works great on all skin types.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
Ethereal glow.The accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface can cause roughness and dullness. By removing dead cells with the help of exfoliation, the skin is redefined and not only looks but also feels softer. If you feel that your skin is slightly dull it might just need a little exfoliation.
Clear skin.The exfoliation process can serve as a very good tool for those of you who have clogged pores. Its is an indispensable step in a skincare routine to get rid of excess oil, dirt and dead cells, which can be potential breeding grounds for bacteria.
Cell regeneration. By exfoliating, you increase and promote collagen production, which also increases cell turnover. When new cells begin to make their way to the surface, we have to create space for them, and exfoliation is the best way to do it.
Pigmentation. Exfoliation can dramatically improve the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation caused by acne. Continuous use of chemical peels helps to fade pigmented areas and in some cases completely erase them.
SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY
Don't overdo it. Over exfoliation causes skin sensitivities that may lead to a broken skin barrier which means redness, excessive oil production, acne, and other unpleasant things. In the case of physical exfoliation overdoing it creates micro-tears in the surface of the skin that shows as irritated and sensitized skin. All of this may increase your risk of premature skin aging. Remember, the skin doesn't need excessive amounts of exfoliation. It's a common mistake to exfoliate the skin too often or to use harsh scrubs. Sometimes just one good product is enough. If you have a feeling that you over exfoliated, use products for sensitive skin that will calm the situation.