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

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 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. 



In a perfect world, you probably wouldn’t need moisturiser of any kind, at all. You’d eat well, not smoke, get plenty of sleep and drink sufficient water.

Picking a moisturizer is a must, no matter what kind of skin you have oily, dry or a combination of both.
If you’ve got itchy or dry skin , you’ll probably want to lock in moisture with a thick ointment. Creams are thinner, help hydrate, and are good for normal skin.

Lotions are the lightest (water is their main ingredient) and are a good match for oily skin. Base the thickness of your moisturizer on when and where you use it on your body. You can use a thicker cream for your body and a lightweight moisturizing lotion for your face.
Stick with lighter, hydrating moisturizers in the summer months.

Never leave your skin dry, especially if you’re experiencing dry flaky skin. Your first instinct might be to exfoliate, but you need moisture to penetrate layers of dead skin to soften them so that they can be removed easily with exfoliating tools.

Moisturizer with sunscreen?

And what about moisturizers that contain sunscreen? Some people might think this is a better option. Well, I’m not too keen on the idea because most of the time, the sunscreen protection factor is low. Plus the sunscreen active ingredients may not be sufficient.

Hence, my preference is to go for
a good sunscreen that also has
moisturizing capabilities

Unless your sunscreen does not
contain sufficient moisturizing contents, or your skin is extremely dry or if you’re going through a winter spell, then you could get away with skipping the moisturizer
especially if you feel your skin has been laden with too much stuff.

Active ingredients.

We all have our beauty routine, or are trying to find just the right one. But you may be using too many active ingredients at once, tipping the scales toward irritation rather than being beneficial. Additionally most moisturizers with active ingredients are meant to be used at night. If your skin has become sensitive, red, or flaky, chances are you’re overdoing it.

Can I use day cream at night?

Yes, provided it doesn’t contain SPF.

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