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Rescue Your Oily Skin

The treatment of oily skin can be a delicate process. You’ve heard the old adage about oil and water not mixing, so you know rinsing your face with water is going to do nothing to mop up that excess sebum. Soap and alcohol may break down the oil, but they’re also going to dry your skin out, throw off your pH, and probably make you break out more.

When it comes to using acids for skin care, you could not be blamed for having suspicions. First, you’re told soap may be harsh, now you’re being told to put acid on your face? The acid of today is not the skin sloughing acid of yesteryear. It has a much lower concentration, is formulated to balance skin’s pH, and it may just help get rid go your acne. Here is a look at the kinder and gentler side of the active ingredients that may be the answer to your acne woes.

Hyaluronic Acid
If you’re slightly obsessive about your cleansing habits, hyaluronic acid may be the answer to your skin care prayers. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring hydrating compound that is already found in the body; the highest concentrations are in the connective tissues between the joints. If you like to practice the ritual double cleansing, or simply are in the habit of cleansing as a defense against excess oil, hyaluronic acid is one of the best options for replenishing the moisture levels in your skin to calm overactive oil glands.

Salicylic Acid
The best ways to avoid the trauma of over cleansing to your skin is to use a cleanser that can break down oil buildup without throwing off the natural balance of your skin. Salicylic acid is a natural anti inflammatory and exfoliant derived from the willow bark tree, which is also used to produce painkillers, such as aspirin. Salicylic acid has the ability to penetrate pores deeply, to rid them of dead skin cells, excess oil, and debris from makeup and skin products. A word to the wise: Make sure to apply a hefty layer of sunscreen when you’re using salicylic acid; it’s a tough exfoliator and can make skin more sensitive to the sun.

Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid occurs naturally in sugar but can also be produced artificially. Containing the tiniest molecules of all the alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid a potent cleanser and exfoliant that works without upsetting the skin’s natural balance. While glycolic acid is most commonly found as an ingredient in facial peels, it can also be beneficial in cleansers to combat hyper pigmentation and dullness.

Niacinamide
Known also as vitamin B and nicotinic acid, topical use of niacinamide helps to preserve the integrity of the skin’s barrier against environmental toxins. Niacinamide boosts collagen production, regulates pigments and intercepts the effects of harmful antioxidants for healthier and more radiant skin.

How do you feel about using these active ingredients on your acne? Let us know your experiences with acne control! We love to hear it!

Balancing Your Skin’s pH

Woman floating

If you’re trying to get this “science of skincare” down, you may feel like you are revisiting your high school chemistry class with a slightly more positive attitude. Maybe you can learn something useful about your skin while you’re keeping your brain cells from degenerating. Some of the concepts may even be starting to sound familiar. You vaguely recall the phrase PH being tossed about. Are you wondering what that has to do with your skin? Here’s a little rundown on how it all balances out.

pH Levels and Your Skin
In short, pH is a measure of the acidity of a substance. To provide perspective, on a scale of 1-14, battery acid clocks in at 0, while a level of 14 indicates the most alkaline, or basic substances. Your skin should come in at about 4.5-5.5. The measurement is a little more acidic than basic. The larger percent of acidity helps skin retain moisture and fight bacteria, allergens, wind, and pollutants. Environmental factors and UV light can throw off your skin’s pH resulting in all sorts of reactions, including inflammation, dry skin, and even eczema. To keep skin in its best shape, you should try to make sure you’re keeping that number as close to its recommended PH level as possible.

Soap on hands

Soap Cleansers
Most of us grew up putting our faith in soap. It kept us clean, our mothers were always telling us to use it. Since when did it become the bad guy? The thing about soap is that it has a pH of about 9-11 which is really much too basic for your skin. The most alkaline cleansers are used for heavy duty cleaning; drain pipe cleaners have a pH level of about 14. Look for cleansers that say “pH balanced or “soap free” to make sure your skin is maintaining a healthy level of acidity.

Don’t Over Peel
Most people are results oriented, and peeling products give quick results; however, there can be such a thing as too much of a good thing. Peeling is intended to slough off dead skin, but once the dead skin is gone, you’re removing more than that. If you’re breaking out, or experiencing redness and inflammation, you should probably take it as a sign to slow down. You’re breaking down your skin’s defences.

Woman eating salad

Eat Well
You’re always hearing about how you are what you eat, so it should come as no surprise that it is no different when it comes to your pH level. Since what you consume is filtered through your skin cells when you sweat; sweat has a lot of influence on your pH level. Processed foods tend to be acidic, so you need to make sure your diet has a lot of dark leafy green veggies to keep your skin balanced and protected against breakouts.

Product pH Levels
The good news is that you really don’t have to do much math to keep your pH balanced. It’s not a case of trying to neutralize a breakout caused by a high acid level by using alkaline products; you’re likely to go in the opposite direction. Most of the math has been done for you. Just look for products with the same pH level recommended for your skin, between 4.5 and 5.5. If you want to figure out how much pH is in a product, you an purchase pH testing kits from the drugstore.

We hope you enjoyed your chemistry lesson for today. Let us know what you’re doing to keep your pH in check, Let us hear your comments and suggestions.