I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t include skin care consultations in my studio makeup services. The condition of our skin plays a vital role in portraying overall health and well being and it determines how makeup applies, looks, and lasts. When it comes to beauty and biology, our skin is our most personal and precious possession!
Now that fall is here, we can go beyond summertime’s basic cleansing and moisturizing routine and give our skin a brand-new start. Exfoliating is one of the best things we can do for our skin. Exfoliating sloughs away the last traces of summer tans the same time as it prepares our skin for the most brutal time of year--winter. Like any organ in our bodies, skin needs to be stimulated to perform at its peak, and just as exercise makes our hearts beat faster, exfoliating jump-starts our skin’s function and appearance.
Until now, we’ve had a choice between massage-in and rinse-off scrubs made with ground nuts and seeds, the scrubs made with granular synthetic micro beads, and the more-recent liquid chemical exfoliants. I’ve never been a fan of scrubs made with ground nuts and seeds because they commonly have jagged, rough edges that can cause microscopic tears and scratches on the skin. I have seen too many clients whose redness and skin sensitivity was caused by applying a scrub too aggressively and using it too often--sometimes twice a day. The nut and seed exfoliants work better for your feet, elbows, and other areas on the body where the skin is thicker and more tolerant.
The synthetic micro-plastic beads found in some skin cleansers and scrubs are damaging marine life and water eco-systems because they are not biodegradable. So, I recommend chemical exfoliants that are similar in texture to toners or light lotions. For convenience and performance, I prefer these “leave on” products for working their magic above and below skin level. Chemical exfoliants come from the dermatological world of micro dermabrasion and chemical peels offered at dermatologists’ offices and medical spas. Stay away from the on-line scrubs whose concentrations are often way too high for personal, at-home use.
Regular, gentle chemical exfoliation is an easy step in elevating your skin care regime. As well as maintaining healthy skin, exfoliating treats uneven skin tone and texture by smoothing lines and wrinkles. Who doesn’t want that? For over 15 years, I‘ve been using Paula’s Choice products and recommending them on Cityline. Brilliantly formulated and affordable, Paula’s Choice bases its ingredients on published, scientific skin care research. PC exfoliants work to dissolve the glue-like substance that traps built-up dead skin cells, sloughing off those cells to uncover the fresh, new skin beneath. These products smooth and soften the skin, which allow follow-up moisturizer and serums to completely absorb. As well, they penetrate deep to stimulate the collagen synthesis/factory via peptides, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. Collagen generates new cells and improves skin structure, function, and clarity for softer, smoother, plumper, less-lined and wrinkled skin.
Paula’s Choice exfoliants come in different formulas and strengths. Each has special qualities you’ll want to consider when deciding which one to use:
AHA (Alpha Hydroxyl Acid) is typically made with glycolic or lactic acid, which is preferred for sun-damaged and dry skin. It dissolves flaking skin on the surface and improves the skin’s moisture content. AHA helps to repair signs of aging and sun damage to reveal new, radiant, polished, younger-looking skin.
BHA (Beta Hydroxyl Acid) is a salicylic acid best suited for oily, acne-prone skin, and for treating blackhead and blemishes. This oil-soluble acid penetrates deep into each pore’s lining to flush out, unclog, and dissolve blackheads. BHA visibly shrinks the pores’ appearance. Also, its anti-redness and anti-inflammatory qualities treat acne and sensitive, reddened skin (including rosacea).
Chemical exfoliants go on as easy as a toner or lotion. No rinsing off, or left-behind grains and grime. Choose a formula that is compatible with your skin type: liquid and gels are ideal for combination and oily skins; choose a lotion for drier skins. Begin with the lowest strength and apply after cleanser and toner, but before serum and moisturizer/sunscreen. Results are seen almost immediately, and with dedicated use, exfoliating continues to improve skin’s appearance over time. Visit www.paulaschoice.com to learn more and place your order. Try their sampling program for new products and travel-size convenience.
Other Exfoliant Recommendations
Alpha Hydrox - Intensive Serum 14% Glycolic AHA
Marcelle – Hydra-C Facial Exfoliating Gel
Olay - Pro X Anti-Aging Nightly Purifying Micro-Peel
Peter Thomas Roth – Glycolic Acid 10% Moisturizer
Philosophy – Clear Days Ahead Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment &Moisturizer