The number one question I get asked as an esthetician is, “Can you make me look 20 years younger?”
I chuckle and explain that, unfortunately, my magic wand is broken. In the back of my mind; however, I know you can get substantial results when you use my two favorite ingredients: acids and oils.
Why? Skin preservation and restoration relies on two main components: acids to regenerate and prevent damage and oils to protect and repair damage.
A myriad of acids are used in beauty products and I love all of them immensely. Each one does something different for and to the skin. I believe in using a multi-acid approach to get a more balanced result in the end.
Here’s a quick overview of some acids and their functions for your future reference:
Glycolic Acid: an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that has a small structure allowing it to penetrate the skin to do more work. Excellent for most skin types, but darker skins should avoid large amounts.
Salicylic Acid: for acneic and oily skin. This beta-hydroxy acid helps thin out sebum (the oil produced by our skin) secretions to help prevent bacteria-induced acne. Great for non-sensitive teens and men.
Lactic Acid: the gentlest acid, this milk-derived AHA is great for all skin types.
Hyaluronic Acid: HA isn’t an acid in the traditional sense. It is a humectant, drawing 1,000 times its weight in water that it holds in place within the skin. It provides a plumping effect, making us appear more youthful.
Lipoic Acid: fat and water-soluble, lipoic acid is a master antioxidant. It protects the skin from damage and trans-epidermal water loss. It is derived from an oil, not from a fruit, milk, or nut.
Kojic Acid: one of my all-time favorites for treating hyperpigmentation. This acid derived from mushrooms helps break down melanin from sun damage and acne spots.
There are a ton more acids out there, so we will make sure to showcase in future posts these amazing ingredients and all the benefits you can reap by using them daily.
Your skin is a living, breathing organism that has major nutritional needs. Most people don’t realize that fats and oils are vital to healthy skin function. This is a hard lesson to teach my clients because for the last 30 years we have been beating the notion into them that oil-free is best, which is ridiculous.
Our cells need water, fats, minerals, and vitamins to function well. Most people think that water is the most important factor for good skin health and that’s just not the case. Our integument system (the skin) is not like a plant. If we feel dehydrated and drink water, think of all the systems that take that water before it reaches the skin cells.
Drinking more water may not guarantee hydrated skin; however, using oils and essential fatty acids on the skin prevents TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss), which is the major cause of dehydrated skin. I’m not saying water isn’t important, but it’s not the key to healthy skin.
Oils contain super-ingredients called essential fatty acids (EFAs). They repair and prevent damage, are loaded with antioxidants and defend against internal as well as external aggressors. Our bodies cannot produce these EFAs, so we can only get them from the foods we eat or topically in the products we use. They are vital in helping reduce inflammation, protect from sun damage, and maintain healthy cell metabolism. Omega 3s and 6s help provide protection, boost the lipid barrier structure (layer of lipids on our skin that helps protect it from things like the sun, pollution, chemicals, etc.), and healthy fats for your cells to regenerate and repair themselves.
Daily use of acids and oils in your skincare routine will give you fantastic results in the appearance and function of your skin, no matter your age or skin type!