What Serums Should I Be Using On My Face – Remember when the thought of rubbing acid on your skin ran you in the opposite direction? I can’t get enough of them now.
Glycolic acid. Lactic acid. L-ascorbic acid. You use all of these and then you wonder why your skin is suddenly dry and flaky… 🙄
What Serums Should I Be Using On My Face
But this is a case where more is not better. If you go overboard with acids, you will destroy your skin (literally).
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Acids have a place in your skincare routine. You just need to know how to mix and match them for the best results without the irritating side effects.
A family of water-soluble exfoliants that work by dissolving the glue that holds skin cells together. With them, your skin becomes softer, smoother and brighter. They also moisturize the skin. To hold? High concentrations can dry and irritate the skin. The most popular members of the family are glycolic acid, lactic acid and mandelic acid.
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Salicylic acid is the only BHA used in skin care. Unlike AHAs, they are fat soluble. This means it does double duty: it exfoliates the skin’s surface and penetrates the pores, opening them from the inside. In addition, it has another property: It has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve redness and irritation.
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Hyaluronic acid is technically a sugar. Super moisturizing. Hyaluronic acid acts as a moisture magnet by attracting water from the air to the skin. It is strong enough to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water! All this moisture makes the skin softer, plump and radiant.
L-Ascorbic acid, a weak acid, is the pure form of vitamin C. Fights free radicals, brightens skin and boosts collagen. But unstable AF. It degrades very quickly when exposed to light, heat and air. High concentrations are also stinging and irritating to the skin. For this reason, many people prefer to use vitamin C derivatives. They are less effective, but more gentle on the skin and last longer.
A family of abrasives as effective as Alpha Hydroxy Acids but with a larger molecular structure. Translation: they are just as abrasive but less irritating. The most famous members of the family are glucolactone and lactobionic acid.
Retinoic acid is the only form of vitamin A your body recognizes and can use to treat wrinkles. It fights free radicals, accelerates the skin’s natural exfoliation process, and boosts collagen production. But it is very hard on the skin. Severe dryness can cause peeling and irritation. So this is just a recipe. OTC forms of retinoids like retinol and retinaldehyde must be converted to retinoid acid to work their magic. They are softer, but less effective.
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This is the number one mistake people make when folding pickles. Everyone wants to use Pixi Glow or The Ordinary Glycolic 7% Toning Solution, but then you hear lactic acid is the new cool kid on the skincare block and wait, I have a few blackheads, why not throw in salicylic acid? mixture. many?
That’s because over-exfoliating peels the skin and irritates it as hell. Dead cells have a reason: to protect new cells that are not yet ready to surface. Removing the outermost layer makes your skin smoother and brighter. Removing all layers makes it red and tender.
For the love of your skin, stop adding all ‘cult’ exfoliating products to your skin. Just pick an acid that works for you and follow it:
But let’s say your skin can really benefit from more than one type of acid. Maybe you have oily but sun-damaged skin that needs both glycolic and salicylic acids, or maybe it’s dry and sensitive and AHA/PHA combinations are more suitable than high-concentration glycolic acid. What do you do in this situation?
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I recommend choosing a product that contains both types of acids. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. For example, Framboos Glycolic Night Serum ($90.00) has both glycolic, lactic, and salicylic properties. These products are formulated in such a way that the overall ratio of acids does the job of exfoliating without irritating the skin.
Stacking 3-acid products from The Ordinary can be cheaper but riskier. You can have a total concentration of acids that are too strong for your skin, destroying its protective barrier and leaving you with a red, blotchy, painful mess.
Many of you worry that layering AHAs, vitamin C, and retinoids might neutralize them. This is really not a problem. Although these ingredients work best at different pHs, they never completely disable each other to render them useless.
No, the real risk here is irritation. If you have sensitive skin, layering AHAs, vitamin C, and retinoids is a surefire way to avoid irritation. But even if your skin is more supple, it’s best to start slow and gradually incorporate these superstars into your skincare routine.
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I recommend using vitamin C (increases effectiveness) under sunscreen in the morning and alternate AHAs and retinoids at night.
Another trick is to use products that contain two or more of these superstars. Some causes like acids. It is designed to give you the most benefit with the least side effects.
Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful acne fighter. It kills P.Acnes, the bacteria that causes acne. But it’s tough on the skin (it’s a killer, after all). It can cause redness, peeling and peeling. Therefore, it is better to use it only as a spot treatment.
It’s not a good idea to use it with salicylic acid or retinoids, as it’s too harsh on its own. But that doesn’t mean these two can’t be a part of your anti-acne routine.
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Just use it at different times. I recommend applying benzoyl peroxide in the morning, salicylic acid and retinoids at night. Or you can use salicylic acid every morning and alternate benzoyl peroxide and retinoids at night. Whatever is best for your skin.
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! You can layer hyaluronic acid with anything. In fact, I recommend doing this. Especially if you use anti-aging superstars like retinol, glycolic acid, and vitamin C.
These anti-aging superstars act harshly on the skin, leaving it dry and sensitive. Adding hyaluronic acid to your skincare routine helps counteract its drying effects.
Hyaluronic acid deeply moisturizes the skin, making it softer and smoother. If your retinol is making your skin feel taut, turn to a hyaluronic acid serum right away!
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About Gio Hi, I’m Gio. I’m a no-nonsense skin coach and writer on a mission to help you have your best skin day ever. To help you understand what’s worth the splurge and what’s best left on the shelf, I debunk skincare myths and marketing jargon—using science, not hype. I also offer skincare tips to help you create the best skincare regimen for your unique needs.
Hello, I’m Gio! I’m a skin coach and I’m on a mission to help you get your best skin day every day.
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Gua sha shapes the face and stimulates stagnant energy, increasing blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. Regular gua sha facials stimulate collagen production and lift facial muscles to create a more defined jawline and cheekbones, but after just one session you will notice a reduction in inflammation, tightness and puffiness.
To get started with a gua sha facial, you’ll need a gua sha stone (We love this one from Wildling) and a facial oil or serum to help the gua sha tool glide across your face. This is key – if gua sha is pulling on your skin, it will do more harm than good!
If you have read our article on the use of jojoba oil for skin, you already know that its composition is very similar to facial sebum and does not clog pores, so it is an excellent choice for oily skin.
When your skin is both oily and irritated, this soothing serum is a great solution. Lavender soothes and balances the skin, while jojoba oil minimizes the appearance of pores.
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This oil is quickly absorbed into dehydrated skin to give you a glow. It is also a great gua sha serum for evening tone and reduces the effects of sun damage and scars.
Use this moisturizing oil alone or combine it with a soothing essential oil like chamomile.
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