I often receive emails from community members who feel that they are stuck in a skin care rut. Sometimes they say that nothing seems to work, or that the things that once worked wonders no longer have quite the same oomph. This happens to the best of us. Some mornings I look at myself in the mirror and think that I really need to do something to elevate my skin care regimen. So I’ve put together three approaches that will maximize your hydrating, line-smoothing and brightening performance. Scroll through to learn how to take your regimen to the next level.
Exfoliation is really important and I’ve come to realize that when done properly, it is the foundation of good skin care. Sloughing off deal cells and build-up will transform the efficacy of other products that you are using. Here’s why: As we age, the turnover rate of our cells slows down. In your teens, it was about every 28 days; later in life, it slows down to every 60 days. This is the rate at which cells reproduce in the epidermal junction and where they are held together by lipids, ceramides and long chain fatty acids.
The stratum corneum is the skin’s outermost layer and it is made up of dead skin cells (corneocytes). The stratum corneum is responsible for the skin’s moisture retention and the build up of dead cells results in dryness and loss of radiance. Pores become clogged (dead cells will even lurk inside the pores) and all those expensive serums that you had high hopes for are not penetrating anywhere near as effectively as they should be. Think of those dead cells as a barrier.
Proper exfoliation removes dead cells only and should not sensitize the skin. Here are few options that you could consider. Sciote Antioxidant Scrub & Masque ($65 in the shop) with glycolic acid, lactic acid and CoQ10, or the Sciote Micro Derm Crème that buffs dead skins cells with spherical granules of silica ($60 in the shop). For a 2-3 times per week regimen boost try Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic & Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel ($88 in the shop).
Activate your skin
If you haven’t tried a device such as microcurrent, LED or ultrasound, then you will find it a game changer. If you already own one, commit to regular use and you’ll see (and feel) the difference in clearer, smoother, firmer skin. Ultrasound and LED not only go deeper than your topical treatments, but they can also take your topicals with them through the layers of skin.
As the ultrasound waves pass from the treatment head to the skin, for example, they cause a vibration of the surrounding tissues, particularly those that contain collagen. One study I found demonstrated that ultrasound enhanced penetration with a vitamin C serum used for hyperpigmentation. It seems to do this by a process called cavitation — the ultrasound creates bubble that implode to produce millions of microscopic jets of liquid (your serum in this case). The Truth Vitality Lux Renew has ultrasound and red and blue LED ($279 in the shop). LED works in a similar way by interacting with water layers around the cell
Look for booster ingredients
The efficacy of topically-applied skin care is dependent upon the retention in skin layers and the absorption into specific target tissues. One way to boost these actions is to look for ingredients that help each other out. Typically, formulators use solvents and surfactants to help active ingredients penetrate. However, some actives really give a helping hand to others.
According to Sciote formulators, following application with hyaluronic acid pushes the actives from other serums and creams deeper into the skin where they can interact with cells more quickly. Try Sciote Super Moist Hyaluronic Serum ($75 in the shop). Phospholipids are moisture retainers (like hyaluronic acid) and also are penetration enhancers. You can find them in La Vie Celeste Extra Rich Day & Night Restorative Face Cream ($75 in the shop).
Ferulic acid is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the stability of other ingredients, such as the retinol in Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid & Retinol ($88 in the shop) or the vitamin C in Skinfinite Advanced C20+ Serum ($65 in the shop), when applied to the skin.