Monday 17 February 2020

Skincare Sunday #6 Smooth Skin

As we age, fine lines and pigmentation are inevitable. Other than turning to injectables and salon strength procedures, how can we obtain the best skin possible? As I move further towards my 40s, I intend to make certain ingredients mainstays in my routine. This post is centred around maintaining as smooth skin as possible, whether you choose to go down the botox route or not.

As a first step, exfoliating the skin and ensuring dead skin cells are cleared regularly is key. A weekly or bi-weekly at home peel or mild acid exfoliation is going to create as smooth surface as possible for most skin types.

There are many affordable options, such as The Ordinary's AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (£6.25) For a very mild exfoliation Pixi's Glow Tonic is also a great acid toner to use as often as daily.

For a more intense peel, Dr. Dennis Gross's Alpha Beta Peel range is my top pick. A favourite among skincare enthusiasts, these duo-phase treatments really do pack a punch. I use the Extra Strength formula which do give you a brief tingle on the skin and some flushing (which soon dissipates), but do not leave my more sensitive skin in any discomfort. They do contain some alcohol, so I tend to use a richer moisturiser over the top once I have completed the two steps. 

The peel comes in sachets containing two small, square wipes which are saturated in the peel solution. The first part of the peel contains glycolic, mandelic, lactic, salicylic, malic and citric acids which work to clear pores, exfoliate the dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin and brighten pigmentation. The second step neutralises the acid and includes retinol-- a key ingredient to soften wrinkles. 

Using these once or twice a week seems to keep my skin smooth and bright. Of course, like anyone, I do encounter blemishes from time to time as well as pigmentation marks and fine lines, but knowing that I can improve these less desirable features makes me feel in control over my complexion; and ultimately, having healthy looking skin is always a confidence boost.

The other, industry-recognised ingredients for achieving a smooth complexion are Vitamin A (retinol) and Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Thanks to the wealth of information shared by experts on the internet nowadays, many of us are far more clued up about skincare ingredients than ever before. The science of retinol is that it turns over skin cells quicker and increases collagen production, in effect, giving your skin a younger, faster 'metabolism'. Vitamin C's acidity also forces your skin to regenerate collagen and elastin, allowing for plumper more youthful skin. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, helping to neutralize free-radicals (air pollutants, for example).

A product I've recently discovered comes from Beauty Pie (see my 'Hydrated Skin' post for info on how this subscription service works in more depth). The Uber Youth Complexion Overhaul Multi-Action Ampoules  are currently limited edition and available to members at £14.60. Beauty Pie base their product range on the customer uptake and demand, so I'm really hoping people enjoy this product as much as I do and it becomes part of the permanent range. *EDIT: they appear to have sold out at the moment, but perhaps we'll see them again sometime soon!

These vials come in a pack of 10 and are a ever-so-slightly viscous liquid in consistency. They are packed with powerful ingredients such as retinol, vitamin C, zinc, peptides, copper and hyaluronic acid. Therefore they make your skin glow-- and I can personally vouch for this! Using these a few times a week alongside an exfoliation routine will make your skin brighter and smoother in the short term and also the longer term. Unlike some retinol products which are strong enough to result in skin peeling and redness, these provide a gentler approach with cumulative results over time. 

Some customers have reviewed the Uber Youth Ampoules to have a strong smell. From my perspective, the scent is not a big deal and shows that the ingredients are potent (and also not masked by strong, irritating perfumes). Efficacy is the most important thing for me when it comes to skincare, therefore I can overlook the coppery/ Vitamin C smell, especially as it is a product you apply at night. These are also cruelty-free.

On days when I feel haggard and over-worked, I remember that sometimes I still get mistaken for being in my 20s-- and that makes me smile nowadays! Mostly, I thank my parents for passing on their youthful-looking genetics; I also try to lead a healthier lifestyle nowadays and nearly always carry a bottle of water on my person. But I also know that investment in a skincare routine plays its part. 

If you are looking for smoother skin with softer lines as you age, exfoliating acids, hyaluronic acid (for moisture retention), retinol and Vitamin C are the ingredients to embrace. 

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