In skincare, Acids equate to vitality. There are different types of acid, all with various functions and you do need to be aware of what is what, but when used correctly and in the right concentration, an Acid Toner is guaranteed to produce the following results:
1. Acids accelerate cell-turnover
Essentially, they act like a trip to the gym for your skin. An acid toner will stimulate the production of elastin and collagen, contributing to a robust and firm complexion.
2. Restores Radiance
Sometimes, something is just not quite right. You have cleansed and moisturised, but there’s something dull about the face that’s looking back at you in the mirror. Dull skin is a subtle yet damning skin complaint that arises when dead cells build up on the surface of the dermis. An acid toner will slough away dead cells, restoring the skin to glorious radiance.
3. Preps the Skin for other Products
A hidden benefit that is not to be underestimated. Because an Acid Toner exfoliates the surface of the skin, de-congesting pores and sloughing away dead skin cells, it hugely increases the penetration of subsequent products. Serums, spritzes, night oils and masks become more effective leading to skin that is brighter, cleaner and more luminous.
In short, incorporating an Acid Toner into your routine is a no-brainer. A great place to start is with a gentle alpha-hydroxy-acid such as glycolic acid, the holy grail of exfoliating acids which promises a complexion that is smooth, refined and brightened.
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Glycolic Acid is a skin-care ingredient that many people might shy away from, not least because it has the scary A-word in its name. However, it’s worth remembering that anything below pH 7 is classed as acidic and that includes skin, yoghurt and milk! Glycolic Acid is the most-studied of the alpha-hydroxy acids and is fast becoming a can’t- do- without ingredient amongst skincare experts. We’ve summarised everything you need to know about this super-exfoliator below:
- Glycolic Acid (most-commonly derived from sugar cane) is a member of the alpha-hydroxy AHA) group of ‘skin-friendly’ acids. Powerfully penetrative due to having a very small molecular size, most at-home treatments have concentrations of between 5 and 15%.
- The main function of glycolic acid in skincare is as a skin exfoliant. This super-penetrative molecule works primarily on the uppermost layer of the skin, breaking down the glue that holds dead skin cells together. The result is clearer pores, a brighter complexion and fresher-looking skin.
- Glycolic Acid in skincare is most effective at lower pH’s, but very low pH can increase the risk of irritation. Look for a glycolic toner with a pH of 3.5 and an acid concentration between 6% and 10%. This will ensure that your skin receives maximum benefits without the risk of irritation. The nice thing about glycolic acid is that at the correct concentrations, it’s good for virtually all skin types with the exception of those with extremely sensitive skin or diagnosed rocacea.
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It’s January so let’s assume we’re all bouncing off to the gym with ponytails swinging and lycra clinging after a session of transcendental meditation to start the day, the year, the New You.
I said ‘assume’.
Anyhow, well done – whatever it is you have decided to do or not to do. In the off-chance that it does involve the gym, there follows the Golden Rules of Gym skincare – an area that if neglected can quickly negate the feel-good factor of your work-out. A toned body is a fine thing but doesn’t present as well as it might alongside congested dehydrated skin!
1. Go bare-faced
Before working-out, cleanse your skin thoroughly and apply a light moisturiser. Make-up mixed with sweat is not a good combination – it will lead to clogged pores, dull skin and break-outs.
2. Avoid touching or wiping your face with your hands
Use a handcloth to pat sweat from your face – gym equipment carries a host of sweat and bacteria which you don’t want to transfer to your hot and open pores.
3. Stay hydrated
Your skin’s BFF in the gym is your water bottle. Keep sipping to stay hydrated during exercise and to reap the maximum benefits for your skin from your work-out.
4. Shower soon & not too hot
Shower as soon as possible post work-out to clear the pores. Avoid a very hot shower as this will strip the skin of its natural oils. Opt for a short, lukewarm shower to rinse off and refresh.
5. Cleanse gently
Skin can be sensitive post work-out so ensure that your cleanser is gentle, nourishing and non-foaming. Apply a hydrating serum and light moisturiser after cleansing and stay make-up free for a couple of hours.
Enjoy your work-out, follow the golden rules and look forward to a fit body combined with happy, refreshed and rejuvenated skin!