With countless skincare products on the market, you may be inclined to want to incorporate all of the popular ingredients into your regimen all at once. While having a great skincare routine with a lineup of amazing products is key to achieving your best skin, it is important to know what and how much of the ingredients that your products contain to ensure that you aren't overdoing it.
An over abundance of ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic, Citric, Lactic acids), Beta Hydroxy Acids such as Salicylic Acid and Retinol (Vitamin A) can actually be breaking your skin barrier and causing your skin to freak out.
These ingredients can be highly beneficial in proper doses, so resisting the urge to over use your skincare products can actually be much healthier for your skin. If your skin isn't feeling its best, it may be due to incorporating too much for your skin to handle - so surprisingly, less can be more!
Proper exfoliation is necessary to keep dead skin cells from building up and allows active ingredients to penetrate deeper to give better results. However, over exfoliation can cause a breakdown of the natural oils and sebum in the skin potentially causing dryness, irritation, peeling or an increase in oil production in response. The skin's moisture barrier and acid mantle are now compromised and therefore can create more effects of aging.
In order to avoid over exfoliating, be sure to exfoliate no more than 2-3x a week or less if your skin is sensitive, dry or raw. You'll want to change up the type of exfoliator you are using to a gentler, physical exfoliator as opposed to a chemical exfoliator or choose one with a gentler chemical exfoliator like the milk sugar AHA; Lactic Acid found in our Gentle Exfoliating Toner. For all skin types you'll love our Rich Exfoliating Cream Scrub. For sensitive skin types, our Renewing Polisher is for you. These exfoliators remove dead skin cells, renew, nourish and detoxify the skin without being too rough.
Frequent breakouts can be a sign you are doing too much exfoliating or using too harsh of products to combat Acne or excess oil production. The usual path to clearing out breakouts tends to incur the use of harsh toners or lotions, many with drying alcohol or Benzoic Acid to help clear and reduce Acne. While these ingredients can be beneficial to some individuals in small quantities, most experience a rebound effect of more oil production, dehydration, redness and inflammation and after some treatment time, breakouts recur and may become even worse. This creates a repetitive cycle of treating the breakout, then treating the reaction from the harsh treatments.
Therefore when it comes to Acne, sometimes less is more. If you are experiencing excess oil production, be sure to include more moisturizers and oil based products like our Hydrating Serum or Rejuvenating Oil Complex. It may seem counterproductive to add oil when your skin is oily, but that may be exactly what it needs. In most cases, your skin will produce oil in response to a depletion so it is important to maintain a healthy balance of oil and sebum.
To treat your Acne breakouts without being too harsh, grab our Blemish Pen for targeted breakouts and our Acne Control Serum for larger flare ups. For long-term, amp up your hydration and cellular renewal by alternating with our Renew Exfoliating Serum and Hydrating Serum.
Skin discoloration in the form of sun spots, age spots or Melasma can be caused from aging, hormone fluctuations or in response to pollution, sun exposure or irritating ingredients. However, they can also flare-up more readily in response to over exfoliation, sun damage, picking at blemishes or using products that are too strong or harsh.
If you're noticing more spots than usual, besides taking account of your internal stress (diet, hormones, medications etc...) check to make sure you aren't over exfoliating, or using products that contain strong alcohol, AHAs too frequently or by using chemical versus mineral sunscreens which can be irritating to the skin as well.
Once you've accounted for the culprit and reduced or taken that out of your skincare regime, include items like our Vitamin C Serum with 20% Vitamin C and 20% Vitamin C rich herbal extracts to help brighten and lighten spots and make sure to use a mineral based sunscreen as well like our Vitamin C SPF30 Sunscreen to reduce further pigmentation formation.
Retinol and it's derivatives are popular skincare ingredients, albeit at times they can be over used or used improperly. They increase cellular turnover, speeding up the time and ability to correct Acne, wrinkle formation and pigmentation in the skin. Therefore, while Retinol is commonly known for being beneficial in skincare, many experience side effects such as redness and flaky, peeling skin.
Retinol; a very active form of Vitamin A and other similar compounds can increase cellular turnover too considerably, causing skin to become thin, dry and irritated or cause more reaction and damage when exposed in combination with the sun's harmful rays.
If when using Retinol you experience considerable dryness or irritation, consider reducing or using instead the gentler derivative Retinyl Palmitate, which we formulate into our products as it is much less aggressive on the skin. Retinyl Palmitate (also known as Vitamin A Palmitate) can increase Collagen, reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone without being as harsh on the skin. Many studies have shown that derivatives of Retinol, like Retinyl Palmitate can share similar positive effects without the harshness of strong or prescription Retinoids. Find it in our Rejuvenating Oil Complex, Wrinkle and Line Correcting Serum and Eye Cream Complex.
Wearing sunscreen or SPF daily to shield your skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays is extremely important. It is especially crucial to use sunscreen if you are using Retinol, as sun exposure and Retinol do not mix and can actually cause more damage to the skin. For moisturization and protection, grab our Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30 Sunscreen for oily/acneic skin or our Vitamin C Moisturizer SPF 30 Sunscreen for dry skin. For all over protection, quickly apply our Sunscreen SPF 30 Face & Body Mist.
Toner is a step that you won't want to skip, as it clears pores from excess dirt and oil and preps the skin for your moisturizer. Toners can reduce pore size, restore your skin's pH balance and keep your skin refreshed and extra cleansed.
However, there are many toners that are on the drier, more astringent side (usually containing alcohol), which can breakdown the natural oils and sebum in the skin, reducing it's protective barrier and cause the skin to become dry, red and irritated. Try switching to a cream based formula for your cleanser like our Calming Cream Cleanser and a gentle toner like our Soothing Toner.
Applying these tips to your skincare routine can make a huge difference in how your skin feels (and looks). Even if you only have to change one thing in your regimen, the results can lead to much healthier skin in the short and long term.
Written by: Regina Di Silvestro Natural Product Chemist | Peptide Chemist | Medicinal Herbalist | Owner @rdalchemy.com to create non-toxic, therapeutic products based on the sciences of Ethnobotany, Herbal Medicine and Natural Product Chemistry