Social distancing… It’s hard to believe that this is our new norm, but here we are….
The practice of being forced indoors carries with it a number of interesting (and sometimes unpleasant) side-effects. One peculiar area that’s being impacted with all the “stuck at home-ness” is your skin.
I’ve had a number of clients reach out to me asking why they were experiencing more breakouts, more irritation, and more dryness than normal.
It doesn’t make a ton of sense, does it?
You’d think that less time fighting the sun’s UV rays, and (for some) less time having to put on makeup would give your skin a bit of a breather.
Surprisingly, that’s not the case. And that means our collective quarantining will require some rethinking of our skin care routine.
If you’re washing your hands as much as I am, no doubt you’re experiencing some level of skin dryness. This is where a good hand moisturizer will do wonders. One important tip:
It’s important to apply moisturizer when your hands are still damp.
The moisturizer will trap in the moisture rather than letting it fully evaporate. This really helps to boost the effectiveness of your lotion for hand and body.
NOTE: If you’re applying a serum or creme with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) – glycolic, lactic, tartaric, mandelic or citric – make sure to dry your face thoroughly after washing. Water will neutralize those active acids and prevent them from doing their job of promoting increased radiance through cellular turnover.
Many of my clients report that their dry skin isn’t just relegated to their hands – It’s impacting their faces as well. If this sounds like you, here’s some at-home suggestions to boost facial moisture:
Facial moisturizer or DIY:
To replenish your skin, you can use your go-to lotion or at-home staples like olive or coconut oil. Some people have found great effectiveness in using honey, as it contains hydrating humectants and naturally occurring antimicrobial properties.
Personally, my favorites moisturizers are Veritas Bioactives Iconic Corrective C3 Complex and Aqua Vitae). Both contain peptides to stimulate your own production of hyaluronic acid, thereby increasing your skin’s ability to retain moisture naturally.
One thing to note:
The skin of your face hydrates/dehydrates unequally. By that I mean that some areas will require more moisture than others. Apply your moisturizer of choice to your entire face, but throughout the day, you can also spot treat/moisturize to help keep problem areas supple. Never be afraid to apply heavier cremes only to the areas where your skin is most in need.
Example: My nose and forehead don’t need much added moisturizer, but my lateral cheeks, under eyes, and neck do!
The power of an AHA peel product
If you’re suffering from dry or very dry skin, many exfoliants can leave the skin drier and more irritated than before. But, research has shown that daily exfoliation is vital to remove dead skin cells and reveal soft, smooth, radiant-looking skin. So what’s a person to do?
AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) products to the rescue. Don’t let the “Acid” in the name fool you. These ingredients are made up of molecules that love water, and can massively boost your skin’s moisture content.
Glycolic acid has the best track record of all the Alpha Hydroxy Acids. It’s the most researched AHA, and studies have proven its effectiveness for all ages and skin types.
It’s small molecule enables it to easily penetrate through the top layers of the dermis, accelerating cellular turnover and revealing healthier-looking skin (it’s especially effective on wrinkles!)
The reason why I love glycolic acid (and why I created the Veritas Bioactives Iconic Date Night) is because this AHA does more than just hydrate the skin – With consistent use, it ‘teaches’ skin to retain its natural moisture… Wild, right?
Pro Tip: Age usage guidelines for AHA exfoliation products are as follows:
- 20’s = 2x per week (PM)
- 30’s = 3x per week (PM)
- 40’s = 4x per week (PM)
- 50’s and beyond = 5x per week (PM) *beginning first with 2x per week and then adding in one extra day per week every week or two as your skin becomes conditioned to the increased cellular turnover, so that you don’t experience irritation.
AHA cleanser = maximum benefit
I love exfoliating with AHA-based creams, but for maximum impact and benefit, I like to jab dryness with an exfoliant and then uppercut it with an AHA cleanser.
Though they’re powerful and corrective, the right AHA cleanser won’t cause any irritation. Make sure your AHA cleanser is SLS (sulfate) free, as sulfates will overly strip the skin causing an imbalance and enabling the glycolic to create hot spots where discomfort can occur.
AHA cleansers work to dissolve the intercellular bonds (the bonds between your skin cells) which in turn facilitates the natural shedding of dead skin cells. The result is healthy, hydrated, softer, and smoother skin.
Pro Tip: If you have an AHA cleanser like the Veritas Bioactives Iconic Corrective Cleanser, I recommend doing a “dry cleanse.” This is where you massage the cleanser directly into your skin, ie: No water! (After cleansing for 60 seconds, you can add water to your hands and continue to cleanse for 30 seconds to 2 minutes and then rinse the cleanser off with water or a clean wet washcloth and pat dry)
This is a little-known industry trick that works wonders on dry, dull, and rough skin, and really helps to speed up cellular turnover and minimize pore congestion.
Note: With any good AHA cleanser, there may be some light, superficial flaking and/or surfacing during the first couple weeks of usage as toxins and impurities are purged from the skin.
I hope these tips are of benefit to you at this time. If you have any questions about your home skin care routine, I’d be happy to chat!
You can email me directly by clicking this link… I’d love to hear from you!