Unless you are living under a rock, you must have heard of Skincare Regime or Routine. While it has existed since ancient Rome, the science behind Skincare has significantly evolved. From using Honey and eggs to specifically targeted Retinol and AHA, it has definitely upgraded the beauty standards. However, let us not judge a book by its cover. While the approach in treating and maintaining your beautiful skin has evolved with the chemical ingredients in products. The risk of damage has also significantly increased. After all, the red lead did provide the ruby lips, but not for very long.
Like any skincare regime, let us start, step by step. While we will not be talking about every product in the Skin Care market as it flows with many. Here we will be targeting some of the most important products and science behind it.
You can use it after Makeup or right after you wake up. This is the second most popular skincare routine. While you do know the types of skin and products to use, we will explain it from a different point of view. The role of a cleanser is simple: to clean. However, what differentiates soap from foaming gel? The answer lies in pH. The pH scale determines the acidity and alkaline properties of the substance. Soaps usually have a pH of 9 to 10. This is very alkaline for your face, which is between 4.7 to 5.75. This may explain why your facewash claims to have Vitamin C, Apple cider, etc. Usually, mild products like sunscreen (7.5) and acid exfoliants (3.5) have a temporary effect on your skin. However, anything above pH 8 or below pH 3 can cause serious problems.
For instance, lemon juice, one of the popular beauty ingredients, has a pH of 2.6. An ideal cleanser should range between 4.5 to 7. AHA and BHA should range from 3 to 4. Acid on your skin protects harmful pathogens from multiple. Thus maintaining its pH is necessary. Also, active ingredients play a role. Hydraulic acid draws water molecules and supplies them into your skin. This is great for hydrating your skin. But there is a catch. It will work best if you live in humid weather. If you live in dry weather, it will draw water from inside your skin, making it drier. Similarly, Salicylic acid works great at cleaning your skin. It unclogs pores and removes blackheads. Since it is BHA, it can seep inside a deeper layer of your skin. But, it also irritates your skin and increases redness.
Toners and Masks
Toners’ function is to balance skin pH and close the pores. However, one of the reasons, it is not very hyped as it can be easily replaced with acidic facewash and cold water. It makes sense why it is evolving and brings AHAs and BHAs into play. Since, BHAs penetrate beneath the skin, to clean the layers, two factors are important. First, they should have enough time to do their job. Cleansers are usually off within a minute after their application. Serums or moisturizers settle long enough to actually damage your skin.
Masks and Toners use a diluted concentration of AHAs and BHAs. You can control the amount. One of the things to look out for is alcohol. If you have used sanitisers, you know the side effects of alcohol. While they do wipe out pathogens and bacteria, they also dry out your skin. While AHAs are Alpha hydroxy acid and BHAs are beta hydroxy acids. These detach the dead skin and dirt from your skin. While you won’t see any pealing, you will see clear and healthy skin. AHAs work on surface-level and are good exfoliant. BHAs work on a deeper level and mostly used for acne-prone skin. In short, if you have normal to dry skin, you can opt AHA. It will clean your skin without making it extremely dry. If you have normal to oily skin, you should try BHA.
Spot Treatment and Serums
Unlike moisturizers, serums settle deep into the skin. They target problems based on their ingredients. Spot treatment is a more concentrated version for acnes. While science backs upon its efficiency, the side effects need to be recognized. Retinol, a popular ingredient, helps in creating new skin cells faster. This can help you with dark spots. However, it is harmful as it can also increase the sensitivity to light. Serums with active ingredients can do more harm than good. It is crucial to understand what each product does and how long it should stay on the face. An ideal serum should be between 5 to 7 on the pH scale. Retinols on 3.7 to 5 pH and Vitamin C on 2.6 to 3.2 pH. Since the pH of active ingredients is very low, it is advisable to start small. Use them in the target area.
Creams, lotions, etc are nothing but emulsions of oil-in-water. Their consistency differs due to the varying ratio of humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Humectants absorb water from the atmosphere. Emollients are responsible for the smoothness of your skin. While they prevent water loss, they can clog pores and induce inflammation. Interestingly, customers are more concerned about this ingredient. Lastly, occlusives help in retaining the moisture in your skin. They create a rich-fatty layer to prevent dehydration. However, we will advise you not to use them in their raw form. Any preservative is necessary so that bacteria do not make your skin as its home.
When you use any active ingredients, you must use a moisturizer. Not only does it hydrates your skin, also creates a protective layer between the atmosphere and healing skin. Unlike popular notions, moisturizer actually prevents losing water from your dermis. Its ingredients should not contain any harsh AHAs or BHAs. Ingredients that can go are lactic acid, vitamin C, and glycerin. These help skincare in the long run. However, be cautious. Only L-ascorbic acid helps. The remaining Vitamin C derivatives are not verified. It reacts with UV rays and can oxidize your skin.
The most important step in skincare has to be Sunscreen. As we know, UVA rays go deeper into the skin and cause early signs of ageing. UVB target the upper surface of the skin and cause sunburn. Regardless, both rays cause skin cancer. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a least thirty SPF is minimum. Also, using sunscreen for the three-sixty-five days is essential. Even on the forecast or in winter. Always use a coin size to apply to cover your face, neck, ears, and hands. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays before it harms your skin. On the other hand, mineral sunscreens deflect the UV rays. Usually, people with sensitive skin opt for the latter.
Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth!
Using many active ingredients is definitely a recipe for disaster. While your skin may need different active ingredients, using them together can actually increase your problems. For instance, using AHA and BHA together. AHA works on the upper layer of skin, while BHA cleans the deeper layer of the skin. Using both simultaneously can result in dry and irritated skin. Also, using any two active ingredients with similar properties can cause more harm than good. While they do show great results for two days, but with the end of the week, it can create a series of complications. Similarly, using these products at night or day creates a huge difference. Since light often reacts with its active ingredient. Also, keeping a regular routine even when you use only two-to-three products. It can make a difference.
Using any skincare regime is totally your choice. But before choosing any active ingredient, you should consult a dermatologist. The application should be as directed. While these are few tips to choose the right products, always look up ingredients online. Irrespective of what ads claim, always do what suits you the best.
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