You might be. I definitely have some friends who are thrashing their AHAs and retinol products, and need to pump the brakes. Otherwise they risk over-exfoliating their skin and ending up with thin, shiny texture, not to mention potential redness, flaking and long-term sensitivity. No good. These ingredients are Power Ingredients, and should be used with care and treated with reverence, not slapped on like your antioxidants and hyaluronic acids.
For instance, if you use a glycolic acid cleanser, then a full-strength brightening serum with lactic acid, and then a retinol based night cream before bed, you’re doing the equivalent of a mini-chemical peel every night. And don’t even get me started on people who don’t use a dedicated broad spectrum sunscreen each and every day when they’re on the Power Ingredients.
Ideally, you should have these ingredients – especially the cosmeceutical type – prescribed by a skin professional, so you know exactly how much to use, and when.
Anyway, watch this informative little piece I did for A Current Affair last night for the full story.
AHAs: Alpha Hydroxy Acids, natural acids used in the bulk of anti-ageing/acne skin care. I fondly refer to them as the “ics”… Glycolic, citric, lactic acid. They dissolve the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, giving your a fresher, more glowing complexion, they moisturise, they tighten pores, they even out skin tone and reduce pigmentation, they reduce fine lines, the help fade acne scars… they are magnificent. BUT. Using them a couple of times a week, (or for a program, and then a break) is generally enough for the skin to get the benefits. Lactic is the more gentle of the bunch, start with him.
Retinol: The lower strength version of prescription only retinoids (best saved until after you’ve had all your babies), both are Vitamin A derivatives, and are seen as the holy grail of youthful skin by all beauty experts. Because retinol works. It’s wildly effective at cell-turnover, unclogging pores, reducing fine lines, evening out skin tone, smoothing and softening the skin, and making you look rather fantastic, and very young (in as little as four weeks.)
Uh oh. Miss the bit where I told you to watch the video? Here’s that link again.