Diligence in skin care is a must for those of us who have acne prone skin. The cause of acne often is as a result of blocked glands or a buildup of dead skin cells causing inflammation. To the naked eye this inflammation is simply a zit. My own personal battle with acne is a daily struggle. That being said, there are a few items that I keep in my arsenal of beauty products — acidic cleanser, peel, toner, moisturizing mask, and hyaluronic acid.
- Level 1 Exfoliating cleansers contain acid ingredients in minimal amounts to help remove surface oils, which may still be left otherwise with use of an unspecified facial wash. This allows the peel to work from a clean canvas | Exfoliating Cleanser ($22)
- Level 2 Typically you will find that peels and masks contain the most alpha or beta hydroxy acids. The products usually are left on the skin for 2-10 minutes, allowing the chemical compound (most often derived naturally from sugars or milk) to penetrate the top layer of skin | Pumpkin Enzyme Mask ($14) + Lactic Acid ($4)
- Level 3 Because exfoliating can be very drying to the skin, a moisturizing mask helps it to bounce back from the shock of the acidic peel | Moisturizing Enzyme Mask ($20) or a Homemade Honey Mask
- Level 4 The toner helps to neutralize the pH of the previous treatment, but may also contain an acid peeling agent as well | Glycolic Toner ($20)
- Level 5 Hyaluronic acid is not really acidic in the sense of other products listed, but it is a chemical which is naturally found in the body and is squandered as we age. Moisturizers containing this chemical contribute to a more supple and plump skin surface as hyaluronic acid helps to retain water | Mango Moisturizer ($14)
I would be remiss if I failed to share the honorable mention retinol. Products containing this ingredient should be used once a week in pea-sized amounts (not on the same day as AHAs or BHAs), as it works overnight to stimulate and speed up skin cell turnover. It can be very irritating and cause redness to new users. Moisturizing 10 minutes post-application is advised.