Using acids…responsibly ;-)

If you asked me what’s the secret to soft, radiant and blemish free skin, I would never feed you some tired line about drinking more water. Sorry Jennifer Aniston, it doesn’t work. The secret ladies and gentlemen is acids, alpha and beta hydroxy acids to be more precise.

At their most basic level, these products loosen the bonds that hold dead surface skin cells together. The skin cells shed off imperceptibly, and reveal newer ones beneath, which are less damaged by environmental factors like sunlight and pollution. Over time, it diminishes lots of little things that make a big difference: dullness, congested pores, fine lines, and uneven skin tone.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a cleanser, toner or exfoliator that launched recently, which doesn’t contain some form of acid, whether its glycolic , salicylic or lactic. Look out for these acids in moisturisers and serums too.

For a lot of people who’ve dabbled in acids, there is a general consensus that acids are the key to good skin and their goal is to work their way up to higher strengths to continually see improvements. 

The problem with this approach is that your skin continually improves but plateaus at a certain percentage and will only regress if you introduce higher strength acids. Underneath the surface, your skin will be incredibly inflamed and bumpy. You can’t feel the irritation nor see it, until you look at your skin under direct sunlight. 

Would you believe that acids are now being vilified for causing irritation? It’s clear that the resultant irritation that comes from using acids is due to human error, you need not join the non-acid exfoliation movement if you follow the guidelines below.

 One acid step in your routine

As you now know acids could be in anything, check the ingredients list to eliminate the possibility of layering acid on top of acid unintentionally. Toning is the step in which most people use an acid product,hence the term acid toning

Switch things up so your skin doesn’t build tolerance.

Every once in a while use a different acid so that your skin doesn’t build tolerance to any one of them. You should ofcourse test for reactions before applying product all over your face.

Leave higher percentages for the doctors office

Concentrations of upto 15% glycolic or 5% salicylic are best administered by specialists. Personally I’d never use such high concentrations on my face, perhaps on my body and even then I’d be cautious not to over-exfoliate.

Buffer the drying effect of acids with a moisturiser

Some acid products can be quite drying and this causes irritation. Following your acid product with a moisturiser should solve that problem.

Consider products like NAAP

Even after following the above guidelines, some people’s skin might still be too sensitive to handle acids. Never fear, that’s the reason NIOD has formulated the Non-Acid Acid Precursor.

NIOD £30.50

Thanks for stopping by!


 Maureen Wahu is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, and other Amazon sites. 


carbonated water facial 

​We spend a lot of time debating about what are the best formulas to put on our faces when it comes to cleansers, masks and serums. However, we do not often think about the type of water we are splashing our faces with. The most you might think about is whether you should use lukewarm water, cold or hot. What about the kind of water? What about switching your tap water for something a little bit more, well, fancy? Say carbonated mineral water.

Carbonated water cleansing has been all the rage in Japan and South Korea for quite some time now.I’ve always hated that fizzy water that often comes in a green bottle, so why not wash my face with it?

But first things first, what do experts say about washing your face with carbonated water?

“Carbonated water has been reported to cause vasodilation (dilated capillaries), which would improve delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the skin,”explains dermatologist Dr. Emily M. Wise.“However, there have never been any studies in dermatology literature to validate the specific claims made by this trend.” 

Celebrity aesthetician Kate Somerville agrees. “The bubbling sensation of carbonated water can give the perception that the water is acting as micro brushes to help cleanse pores and remove dead skin (because you feel a’tingling’ effect), but that is not the case.”

 Washing my face with carbonated water reminds me of the time I used this beauty formulas face mask.
It billows up like a bubble bath, covering your every pore with a thick layer of grey, soapy suds that seemingly arise from nowhere. It didn’t do much for me but honestly, I only bought it for the bubble action. 

Without further ado, here’s how you wash your face with carbonated water. 

Step 1:
Choose a carbonated water with absolutely no artificial scents or coloring. No lemon, lime or any flavorings, either; you want pure carbonated mineral water.

Step 2:
Fill a large bowl with half regular water and half carbonated water. You want a 1:1 ratio.
Step 3:
Dunk your makeup-free face in the bowl and hold for 10-15 seconds.

I added my own twist by using the water to rinse away my facial cleanser instead of dunking my face in a bowl. I also used the undiluted carbonated water to tone my face. You probably shouldn’t do this if you have sensitive skin. 


The bubbles when  paired with said cleanser actually do a nice job of cleaning out my pores. I performed this facial on myself last night and woke up to glowy skin this morning. 

Would I do this on a regular basis? Washing your face with carbonated water on a daily basis is prohibited. This also has the potential to bring underlying pimples to the fore. I wouldn’t use this when I feel a break out coming on. However, I will keep some carbonated water on hand to use as a toner on days when I want to give my acid toner a break.

 Thanks for stopping by!


Can you reduce your dependence on acne treatments?

Hello there,
Are you an acne sufferer? If so, then it is imperative that you know about benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid and how they can help you win the fight against acne.

I’ve written other posts about bp and salicylic acid but here’s a quick recap of how these two work.

Salicylic acid.
Topical salicylic acid treats
acne by reducing swelling and redness and unplugging blocked skin pores to allow pimples to shrink.

If you’re acne is the persistent kind, it’s a good idea to opt for a salicylic acid toner or cleanser which doesn’t require rinsing. This will give it more time to work on your skin.


If you break out only periodically, there is no reason you can’t use a salicylic acid toner but a rinse off cleanser will serve you just fine.

Benzoyl peroxide.
Benzoyl peroxide works by breaking into benzoic acid
and oxygen, and this oxygen acts as a free radical in the skin destroying cells and bacteria it comes into contact with. This is something you need to try, especially if you suffer from cystic acne.


Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic work so well you’ll never want your skin to be without them. Which begs the question, are there any side effects?

Just the other day I read a review on that vindicated salicylic acid for lightening skin.
One way to explain why is that salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant. These slough off dead skin cells and reveal newer skin. Using a product with salicylic acid can help you get rid of a tan, but the lightening effects aren’t incremental, you won’t get lighter than your natural color by just exfoliating.

Another concern people using bp and salicylic acid have is how drying they can be.

Given the pros of using bp and salicylic, I think giving them up completely is ridiculous, however, reducing your dependence on them is probably a good thing, especially if your breakouts are caused by commonplace reasons like refusing to cleanse, not moisturising in the daytime  and leaving your makeup on at night.

Moisturising is something some of us oily skinned girls don’t love to do. Refusing to moisturise during the day leaves your skin vulnerable to the elements and your skin will eventually break out.

Leaving your makeup on at night, I think it’s rather obvious why this is harmful to your skin.

Another thing you could do to make sure you always need your salicylic or benzoyl, is to use comodogenic moisturizers.

You may also want to stay away from cleansing lotions and makeup removers that contain mineral oil, they don’t rinse off very well and may cause you to break out.

If you cleanse effectively everyday you could go without bp for months, and reduce your salicylic acid use from everyday to maybe three times a week.

In my next post I’ll reveal my latest buys and what I’m using to replace my salicylic acid cleansers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Does zinc help with acne?

Let’s get rightdown to it.
While zinc isn’t a magical cure-
all for acne (a comprehensive
diet plan is much more effective), it turns out that many acne sufferers are deficient in zinc. And their acne often improves when they start supplementing it!

Zinc is a trace mineral essential to all forms of life because of its fundamental role in gene expression, cell growth and cell replication.And it’s especially
important for clear skin. In fact, taking zinc or eating zinc-rich foods is a simple way to cover your
bases for clear skin… and there’s a good chance that you’re deficient!

Turns out zinc deficiency is much more common than previously thought. If you needed another reason to eat more red meat, then this is it 😀
Thanks for stopping by!

What’s in your medicine cabinet?

Many people will never go to the doctor for acne, wrinkles, dry skin
and other similar problems that are considered cosmetic.

The good news is, you can safely use over the counter drugs (OTC) as your first line of defence before you consider going to the doctor. OTC is used in this context to mean medicines sold directly to a consumer without a prescription, from a healthcare professional.

OTC drugs are selected by a regulatory agency to ensure that their ingredients are safe and effective when used without a physician’s care.

If you suffer from mild acne and/or have wrinkles, today’s featured products may soon find a place in your medicine cabinet.

I do not guarantee that any of these will work for your skin, but if you’re going to dabble in drugstore products, I might as well point you in the right direction.

Benzoyl peroxide.

This medication is used to treat mild to moderate acne and is the current gold standard acne medication. It may be used in combination with other acne treatments. When applied to
the skin, benzoyl peroxide works by reducing the amount of acne causing bacteria and by causing the skin to dry and peel.

There are many benzoyl peroxide products available. Many can be purchased without a prescription.


I always thought 10% benzoyl peroxide was a behind the counter kind of cream, but recently I’ve seen several 10% bp creams on supermarket shelves.


The percentage of benzoyl peroxide ranges from 2.5 to 10 percent. Always start with lowest concentration, and work your way up if  your skin doesn’t respond.

Always protect your skin from the sun while using bp.

Tretinoin is retinoic acid in a pharmaceutical form. One of several retinoids, it is the carboxylic acid form of vitamin A and is also known as all-trans retinoic acid or ATRA.

It is available as a cream or gel common brand names include Aberela, Airol, A-Ret, Atralin, Avita,
Retacnyl, Refissa, Renova, Retin-A, Retino-A, ReTrieve, or Stieva-A.


The most common strengths are 0.025%, 0.05% and 0.1%.

Tretinoin is most commonly used as a form of acne treatment. It was the first retinoid developed for this type of topical use.Tretinoin is the best studied retinoid in the treatment of photoaging.

It is used by some as a hair loss treatment and is a component of
many commercial products that are advertised as being able to slow skin aging or remove wrinkles.

Topical tretinoin is also used to treat and reduce the appearance of stretch marks by increasing collagen production in the dermis.
Tretinoin topical opens up clogged
pores. The 0.05% strength you can
get over the counter usually only
open smaller cysts.

You can combine tretinoin topical
with benzoyl peroxide and other
skin care products for greater effect, but always consult with your doctor or pharmacist first.

Be sure to use sunscreen when you
are using tretinoin topical because it increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

When using tretinoin topical to treat wrinkles, remember to;

-use sparingly
-use only 2-3 nights a week
-combine with a super hydrating
moisturiser that is appropriate for the sensitive eye area
-always use sunscreen during the day
-avoid other irritating eye creams.

Remember that this information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider.

I have limited this post to acne fighting medication so as not to overwhelm you with a lot of information.

Later on we’ll look at other skin conditions. 

Thanks for stopping by!


Acne vulgaris (or simply acne ) is a long-term skin condition characterized by areas of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, greasy skin ,and possibly scarring.

Genetics is estimated to be the cause of 80% of acne cases. The role of diet as a cause is unclear. Neither cleanliness nor sunlight appear to be involved.

Germs do not cause pimples or acne. Pimples are formed when excess skin oil, called sebum, mixes with dead skin cells and clogs pores.

Once a pore is clogged, bacteria (called P.acnes) that normally live on your skin thrive in the trapped oil and rapidly increase in number. When bacteria multiply in a clogged pore, the pore becomes inflamed. Inflammation causes a pimple to look red and swollen.

You will agree with me that pimples don’t look the same on each person. Each lesion is placed into a category based on its characteristics. One’s face may break out in pimples that fall into more than one of these categories.

(At this point I should warn you about some graphic images below.)

Blackheads and whiteheads.

Oil, dead skin cells and bacteria block pores and cause small bumps called comedones. Comedones may be open or closed. If a blocked pore stays open, it can look kind of black and is called a blackhead. If a blocked pore closes up, the top of the bump looks more white thus it’s called a whitehead.


Papules and pustules.

Sometimes the pores get so irritated that their walls break. That causes bigger pimples that are called papules and pustules. Papules are hard when you touch them. A bunch of papules that are near each other can make your skin feel like sandpaper. Pustules are like papules except yellowish, liquid pus fills them sort of like a blister.


Nodules and cysts.

When blocked pores get more irritated, they get even bigger. They go deeper into your skin, too. They can really hurt. Nodules are hard. Cysts have pus and are softer.


Acne may be further categorised as mild, moderate or severe based on the number of lesions on the affected area.

Although pimples are not in themselves bad for overall health, living with them, especially if they are persistent and become a long-term problem can be as devastating emotionally as living with a chronic disease.

Lack of proper self help treatments only worsens the situation. If you’re tired of DIY home remedies then stick around for my next post.

In my next post, we will learn about treating mild to severe acne, the current gold standard product in treating acne and other ointments you may find useful for your medicine cabinet.

Thanks for stopping by!