EXUVIANCE SUPER RETINOL CONCETRATE

Time-released, microencapsulated retinol formula

“This unique nighttime transformer supercharges the proven power of Retinol with our patented Neoglucosamine, amplifying results, while delivering a gradual, time-released infusion of pure Retinol in a microencapsulated form to minimize irritation.”

Beneficial Ingredients :

Glycerin: moisturizing

Retinol, Acetyl Glucosamine: improve cell turnover

Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E): Anti-Oxidant

Arginine, Bisabolol: soothing

There are three types of retinol products available : the “actual retinol”, the “prescription strength” retinol, also called tretinoin, and the “simple” vitamin A, which is in fact no retinol.

Complicated ? No, not at all ! Here’s how it is :

The “real” Retinol, that you will find in the INCI (Ingredients) list as “retinol”, is a pure, highly active form of vitamin A. In our skin, it has to  be converted into “tretinoin” (the acid form) to be absorbed by our skin cells.

Tretinoin, also called “prescription retinol” because you need a prescription from you doctor or dermatologist, is even stronger and has the (only) advantage of being directly available to your skin cells. But it is also VERY irritating, and some skins (like mine) will never get used to this type of  product. Ongoing redness, flaking and irritation can be the result and although some people have excellent results, I do not advocate this type of active ingredient.

Vitamin A, in the form of “vitamin A palmitate” or “vitamin A acetate” is often marketed as retinol, but doesn’t have the same effects. It is merely a (good) anti-oxidant, but has no DIRECT anti-ageing benfits. Some brands claim retinol and are in fact using these less interresting forms of vitamin A.

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A newer form of retinol, known as Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, is said to be just as good as retinol, but does – at this moment – not have the same amount of studies to prove its effect as retinol has. It is, however a very interresting ingredient that I suerly would advise you to look out for.

My PERSONAL favorite is the actual “real” retinol. You need your skin to get used to this also, so you will – depending on your skin’s senstitvity – have to build up your use of the product over time. In order to build up, you will need to start with a less concentrated product and work your way up to a “full strength” one, or start using a “full strength” product once or twice a week and then build up your routine to a daily ( = nightly) use.

As Retinol is sensitive to light, it is best used at night. That’s the general consensus in the skin care world. It is not forbidden to use it at daytime, but full benefits will be obtained using it overnight.

By the way, “full strenght” for retinol means about a 1% concetration, which might seem very low !

The Exuviance product belongs to this category and I gradually built up my skin to a nightly use. Benefits start to show after a few nights of use, full benefits will need several weeks (to months) of ongoing use to show.

Texture: gel-cream

Skin type: either oily or ageing, open pores, fine lines, wrinkles,  lack of firmness

Use : at night, starting 1 to 2 times a week, building up gradually

Exuviance is available through selected depositories (BE/NL)

www.exuviance.com

 

PREPPING YOUR SKIN : TONER OR ESSENCE ?

I wrote several articles/reviews on toners in the past year. Some of which you might have read. If you did, you also know that I disagree with the “standard” definition of a toner, saying it’s a product meant to “remove cleanser residue, restore skin’s pH value and close pores”. In my humble opinion, none of that is actually true.

A good toner should prep your skin for your next skincare step AND, more than all other things, HYDRATE your skin. Which makes your toner a genuine skincare and not a “cleansing” product.

Lately, we have seen the upcoming of many (mostly Korean) brands, selling a different – yet similar – type of product, called an  “ essence”. To make it even more complicated : some Korean brands call their essences “toners” (if you still follow me).

In order to get things clear to you, and help you choosing the right type of product, here’s what I make of it :

The difference between a toner and an essence is the TEXTURE, the ACTIVE INGREDIENTS and APPLICATION OF THE PRODUCT.

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Texture :to me, an essence is actually thicker, more gellified than a toner and has a consistency in between a toner (watery) and a serum.

Active Ingredients :most essences carry more active ingredients than most toners (there might be exceptions to this rule) and their thicker consistency generally makes them more “caring” (hydrating) than the standard toner product.

Application :in the Korean skin care method – and thus in our routines also – the toner is used BEFORE the essence. Both are considered to be essentiel steps in a skincare routine.

In practice, we (Europeans/Americans) might not have the patience to apply both a toner and an essence and we might actually choose to use only one of them. A good toner will hydrate and prep your skin for the next step and so will an essence. An essence, however, will give your skin even MORE MOISTURE (mostly in the form of HYALURONIC ACID). A toner will feel more “refreshing” as where an essence will give your skin more comfort and eliminate any feel of dryness.

If you want to do a full routine, the way Koreans do, you should use BOTH an essence AND a toner. In practice, you might want to skip a step and use your toner in the morning and an essence at night (or the other way around). Whatever you choose to do : both options are good. Just remeber that an essence will give you even more moisture and will be even more “skin prepping” than most toners.

I personally use either both products (when my skin feels like in need of lots of moisture) or just take one of them (when my skin feels well moistured). If I come out of a warm shower, I will mostly use both, if I have just cleaned my face with a very gentle cleansing oil/balm I generally skip one step.

Some of my favorite essences are from Leegeehaam, Missha (Time Revolution) and Klairs. SVR makes a nice one too and is available from your pharmacist. The other three are Korean and I get those from My Little Wonderland (Webshop NL).

ESTEE LAUDER DAYWEAR

Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant 24-Hour Moisture Cream Normal/Combination

SPF 15

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Dimethicone, Butyoloctyl Salicylate, Butylene Glycol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Polyester-8, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Steareth-21, Steareth-2, Di C12-15 Alkyl Fumarate, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride, Polysilicone-11, Psidium Guajava (Guava) Fruit Extract, Gentiana Lutea (Gentian) Root Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Stearyl Alcohol, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract/ Extrait d’Orge, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Artemia Extract, Fumara Officinalis Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Caffeine, Pentylene Glycol, Citrus Medica LImonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Extract, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Thermus Thermophyllus Ferment, Behenyl Alcohol, Acrylic Acid/VP Crosspolymer, Triacontanyl PVP, Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Linoleic Acid, Cholesterol, Squalane, Sodium PCA, 1,2 Hexanediol, Urea, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dipropylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ergothioneine, Isohexadecane, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether Benzoate, Glycyrrhetenic Acid, Trehalose, Polyquaternium 51, Polysorbate 80, Lecithin, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Fumaric Acid, Palmitoyl Hydroxypropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Cyclodextrin, Sodium Hydroxide, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Fragrance/Parfum, Citric Acid, Ethyl Bisminomethylguaiacol Manganese Chloride, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Blue 1(CI42090), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Chromium Hydroxide Green (CI 77289).

When I started taking care of my skin in a serious manner  (which must be about three decades ago now J),my first discovery were Estee Lauder Products. I was fascinated by the brand, plus, they were sold in beautiful perfumeries and department stores,  by extremely nice ladies in beautyful uniforms, who knew just EVERYTHING about skincare. Like it was in those days. All department stores had a special area with individual stands where all the “big brands” (well, the luxury ones) had their own stand.

I personally started my professional cosmetic career at Lauder, so there will always be this “first love” feeling about their products.

Daywear has been one of their (meanwhile classic) most popular products/series for years. And there’s a reason for that : it’s just a beautiful allrounder, that all of us can use  and that is packed with beautiful skin-beneficial ingredients that will do so much good to any skin type.

The truth is, I’ve loved this product ever since day one. Several textures are available, from which I have tested two :  one adressing skins that tend to be on the dryer side, the other being a lightweight formula for combination skin types. I love them both but the one for combo skin defenitely is my favorite version. LIGHT, WEIGHTLESS & HYDRATING, leaving skin incredibly comfortable.

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Like I said, skin beneficial ingredients are present in the form of many ANTI-OXIDANTS that will play a CELL PROTECTING role when you use this product. Plus a SPF 15, which may not be really high, but will protect your skin sufficiently during a “normal” office day. So that’s why for me, you can never go wrong with a daywear product.

And last but not least : the SMELL…… Ahhhhh, this is soooo beautyful. Well, that is, if you like the freshness of cucumbers, because all products in the Daywear range have this very light, but clearly perceptible cucumber smell, which I absolutely do love. Fabulous!

Bottom line :if you are looking for a leightweight, yet comfortable all-in-one product, that will help prevent signs of ageing, both by giving you a cellular anti-oxidant protection as well as a light protection at the same time, consider this one.

Texture :depending on the version, from cream-gel over lightweight cream to richer cream. Very smooth.

Age :all ages, but especially 30-50

Skin types :all, depending on texture

Use :day, over a serum or alone

Estée Lauder is available through perfumeries and department stores.

www.esteelauder.com

 

SKIN MOMENTS 7 : all about the essentials

My skin care routine has never been so clear and uncomplicated. Ever since I decided to give Retinol a serious go, I’ve been working my way up to getting my skin used to a “full-strength” (although non-prescription) Retinol.

Exuviance it is, like I told you last week. The Super Retinol Concentrate, a time-released, micro-encapsulated formula. I adore this product. PLUS : I start seeing the results on my skin. Pores are better (I’m an ex acne patient), skin is smoother and looks brighter. I still think I look a bit tired around the eyes, but retinol might not be what I really need there. PLUS : you can’t go too near around the eyes, because the stuff is just too strong for that sensitive part.  We’ll see about that later. For all the rest : I’m in love with this product.

I apply it almost every evening now, after a mostly fragrant-free cleansing & toning. Retinol is known to be a bit irritating to skin, so I prefer to keep the cleansing as innocent as I possibly can, although I’ve also been sneeking in my (also) Exuviance Gentle Cleansing Cream, which does have fragrance. Otherwise it’s Ceravé Cream Cleanser and Klapp Cosmetics Bèta-Glucan Cleansing Milk (and toner).

For extra moisture, I sometimes apply the fragrance free Klairs (Korean) toner, which is in fact a “gel-toner” and is really, really moisturizing. I’ll do an article on this type of product (also called “essence”) soon.

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Apart from that, it’s been only retinol. At night time, that is. During the day, I’ve now been working up my routine with a daily dose of Vitamin C serum, either from Nazan Derma Care or Mad Hippie. The Mad Hippie also has some Kojic Acid, which is good for hyperpigmentation spots. Both products are great and are non-sticky (very important to me).

On top of the vitamin C serum, I usually put some Hydraluron or Nazan Derma Care Hyaluron serum. Like the others, both are absolutely non sticky and absorb into skin perfectly.

On top of this : SUNSCREEN ! Your one and only TRUE anti-Ageing daytime product. I personally love the Heliocare Range, they offer every possible texture and are good value for money.

So you see how simple I got ? Just the essentials ! I might add some more anti-oxidants next week, or start using an eye cream,  but so far, so good, I love my actual routine !

 

See you next week !

SKIN MOMENTS 6 – WEEKLY UPDATE ON MY SKINCARE ROUTINE & HOW TO KEEP THE RETINOL UP

This week’s skin care routine was all about me keeping up with my daily use of a “full-strength” non-prescription RETINOL night cream.

Retinol is considered to be the king (or is it “queen?) of skincare. It does about everything we like a skin-ameliorating product to do :

  • Improving pore texture
  • Taking care of even skin tone & hyperpigmentation
  • Evening out acne scars
  • Improving fine lines and deeper wrinkles
  • Firming skin

No wonder practically any dermatologist will advise you to use some form of retinol. I already wrote about retinol in some older posts, but just for the record : you can opt for either a prescription or non-prescription strength retinol. I can persononally not use the prescription (acid form, also called retinoic acid) version of retinol.  It is way too strong for me, so I am experimenting with several non-prescription “true” retinol products at this moment.

To get “into” the retinol, I first alternated Klapp Cosmetics Micro Retinol Soft Cream and the Retinol Booster for a few weeks. These products are ultra mild, but do have the precious ingredient, so your skin can gradually get used to something stronger. One step up was the Nazan Dermacare Retinol Serum, which percentage I’m not sure about. I guess it must be about 0.25 percent, which is already a good step up, when you are looking for serious results. I used this for several weeks, off and on, and finally started alternating this product with the EXUVIANCE RETINOL CREAM, which I ABSOLUTELY LOVE !!

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But beware ; this is a FULL ONE PERCENT MICRO ENCAPSULED Retinol, and this is STRONG!! I am actually using it for about 5 nights a week, leaving my skin to “rest” on the other two nights.

So what does my routine look like now ? Here it is :

  • GENTLE cleansing with KLAPP BETA-GLUCAN milk or CERAVE cleansing cream, alternated with CLINIQUE FACIAL SOAP (which is not a soap, by the way, but a gel-cream) EXTRA MILD. All these product are fragrance free, which I prefer when my skin is under stress.
  • Lots of moisturizing toners & essences, like KLAIRS and LEEGEEHAAM.
  • MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule as a “prep”.
  • EXUVIANCE Retinol Cream.
  • CHANEL La Solution 10 cream on top.

This is my nighttime routine for now. Daytime is gentle, mostly the same as nighttime, but without the Retinol. I also like to use Embryolisse Secret de Maquilleurs daycare instead of the Chanel cream. And I ALWAYS wear an SPF of 30 (at least 30, will replace it by a 50 soon).

So, as you can see, it was all about “retinolling” this week. Important to me, because I do struggle with some ancient acne scarring and open pores. Will keep you posted about how things progress!

See you next week !

THE BODY SHOP CHAMOMILE SILKY CLEANSING OIL

With calming chamomile extract from Norfolk, England.

Ingredients :Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Heliantus Anuus Hybrid Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 85, Sorbitan Trioleate, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Octyldodecanol, Parfum (Fragrance), Linalool, Tocopherol, Limonene, Aqua/Water/Eau, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Citric Acid.

I’m not sure wether the fact that the chamomile used in this product comes from Norfolk, makes all that difference for the quality of the product, but the message is clear. Thank you, Bodyshop, for letting us know your chamomile does NOT come from China 🙂.

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This product is easily my favorite of all cleansing oils I’ve ever tried. And, dear friends, I’ve tried quite a few in the last decades. This one is cheap, uncomplicated, soft & gentle and does what it promises.

The only issue one could have with the product is the (although fainth) smell of lavender. It’s not overwhelming, but clearly there. So if you don’t like it, I would advise you to smell at the tester in the shop before you buy.

Every skin typ/skin condition can benefit from this gentle product. Dry skins, sensitive skins and yes ………. Oily skins too. The light oils in this product distruct every type of make-up, SPF and other OILS (remeber : oil dissolves oils), so you will also get rid of the (bad) oils your skin produced during the daytime/nighttime.

Men can use this in the morning – for a quick and smooth shave – too !

Altogether: I highly recommend !

Skin type: all, including very sensitive & dry

Use: am or pm cleanser, second cleanser, first cleanser

www.thebodyshop.com

SVR CICAVIT+ CREME

Derm-Repair Complex 43%

Soothing cream fast-repair, anti-mark

Damaged, irritated skin, fragrance-free, paraben-free

Ingredients: Aqua (Purified) Water, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glycerin, Dimeticonol Behenate, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Propanediol, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Dimethicone, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Caffeyl Glucoside, Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phophate, Glucose, Rhamnose, Tocopherol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid, Glucuronic Acid, Magnesium Sulphate, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, P-Anisic Acid.

I bought this product after having some surgery last summer. I know my skin is (genetically?) not so good at repairing anything, be it a small cut or a musquito sting. Or even an acne spot ; these things take AGES to heal on my skin. So when I knew I was going to have some – visible – surgery last year, I immediately sought for a “fast repair” product, in order to help my skin heal in a better/faster manner.

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Looking at the formula, I see some interresting (uncomon) ingredients like alpha-glucan. It’s brother (or sister) bèta glucan is well known for its soothing and skin-calming properties. Ingredients like this help our skin respond to external agression in a better way, thus improving redness and irritation.

Rhamnose is also present in the formula, and this is also very interresting, because other brands (like l’Oréal) use it in their ANTI-AGEING products.

I firmly believe this product helped my skin in a FASTER and BETTER way than it would have done without it. My scars healed in only a few weeks and became almost invisible after about 6 months. In the beginning, I used Cicavit+ every evening, after about 2 months I recuced application to 3-4 times a week.

The product is indeed completely odorless and although quite “rich” to the touch, sinks in after just a few minutes. A little goes a long way, meaning you don’t need to put tons of it in order to have good results. I finished about one third of the packaging now, meaning I ‘ll be using up the rest on any other part of my body in need of some extra soothing/calming moisturizer. As an after shave balm maybe (think of the Rhamnose, which is anti-ageing too!).

Bottom line: I strongly recommend this product to anyone seeking to “REPAIR” something. Any skin concern that has to do with redness, (some) inflammation or irritation will benefit from this product. It is easy to apply, non-sticky and really makes a difference.

Skin types: all

Texture: rich, but sinks in well

Ages: all

Available from yout Pharmacist (I got mine from Dirk Vanclooster in Veldwezelt/Belgium)

www.svr.com

 

SKIN MOMENTS 4 : IT’S ALL ABOUT REPAIR

This weeks routines have been a lot about building up my skin during the ongoing use of Retinol and some occasional use of a – stronger – peeling pad. I love to use some exfoliating acids on a regular basis ; it gives me the absolute feeling of keeping my skin “active” and going at its best.

So in the beginning of the weekI did 2 consecutive nights of Chamomile Cleansing Oil by the Body Shop, which – like you will know from my previous article – is very mild & effective and is ideal when you have some stronger treatment in mind.

This week, I also liked alternating with the Korean Banila Co Purity Cleansing Balm. This is a beautiful, deliciously scented and effective product, which gives you the mildest possible clean. It is, however, VERY EFFICACEOUS at removing (tinted) sunblock or BB  creams from your skin. Peeling, with an acid toner, was a bit on the stronger side, with 2 consecutive nights of Neostrata Smooth Surface Daily Peel, a product based on 10% glycolic acid.

Glycolic acid works like a miracle on my skin. It is famous for its skin purifying and anti-ageing benefits and should have a place in anyone’s skin care routine. It helps dislodge impurities, deals with hyperpigmentation spots and also works great on fine lines and wrinkles, by its COLLAGEN PROMOTING action. The Neostrata Peeling Pads are great for the lazy ones amongst you, because they are ready-to-use.Fabulous when you’re in a hurry (who isn’t these days?). Be aware, however, that they are STRONG, so don’t do them every day if your skin is on the sensitive side. I tend to exagerate in my enthusiasm and then my skin isn’t happy at all !

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After such a peel, my skin always needs a serious “moisture drink”. This week I opted for the lovely SVR Hydraliane Essence. This one is really unique, because it sooths, calms and moisturizes in just seconds. Ideal after some stronger acids !

Retinol, still from by beloved Nazan Tastan, has been on the menue every single night and will continue to be for the next few days at least. I’ve combined it with the very REPAIRING Missha Time Revolution Ampoule, which is, in fact, a copy of the famous Estée Lauder Night Repair (see my article on this legendary product). It is full of plant-based anti-oxidants, plus fermented ingredients that help skin find its balance in more difficult periods. We’ve had very cold weather and I’m doing Retinol now, som y skin can do with some extra help.

For nighttime, I like to use my CICAVIT repairing cream, which has helped me dealing with some post-surgery scars last years (see my review on this product). I’m planning to use it up on my entire face now and love it especially at night, to “seal in” any serums I’ve been using before. It’s a great product for those of you seeking for a skin-soothing, inflammation-reducing and repairing product.There will be an separate article on this product on my blog also.

Like you can see, taking care of your skin needs little adjustments regularly. It doens’t mean you need a wardrobe full of products, but it is nice to have a few different in each category (cleansers/serums), so you can adjust your regimen, according to your needs.

BURT’S BEES DEEP CLEANSING CREAM : A CLEANSER WITH A PLUS

Soap Bark & Chamomile

“ Our rich cream cleanser with soap bark deeply cleanses, removing dirt, excess oil and make-up. “

Ingredients :Aqua, Helianthus Anuus Seed Oil, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Coco Nucifera Oil, Coco Glucoside, Silica, Quilja Saponaria Bark Extract, Chamomila Reticuta Flower Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Parfum*, Hamamelis Virginiana Water, Menthol, Sucrose Stearate, Xanthan Gum, Glycine Soja Oil, Canola Oil (Huile de Colza), Glucose, Alcohol, Sodium Chloride, Sucrose Oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, Potassium Iodide, Potassium Thyocyanate, Limonene, Citral.

  • * natural fragrance/parfum naturel

Regular readers of my blog will know that I love a good cleanser. It’s one of the most, maybe even THE MOST ESSENTIAL step in your skincare routine.I will always go on and buy & try new cleansers that are being sent to me. Always curious to discover new, unexpected products that give even better results.

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Burt’s Bees is a brand that has had my sympaty for years.Lovely brand, inexpensive and nice, natural-led products.Not a “bio” brand, but lots of natural ingredients. And, as you may know, nature is a rich source of skin-beneficial plant extracts.

Deep Cleansing Cream is a product with a plus :not only does it clean perfectly, ita lso hydrates your skin.PLUS : it gives your skin a lovely, tingling sensation that goes on for several minutes after rinsing it off. I know, some of you will disaprove, but the product is absolutely gentle to your skin.

Featuring ingredients like SOAP BARK (Purifying), CHAMOMILE (Calming), Echinacea (Skin Strengthening) and Hamamelis (Adstingent).

Pricewise, Deep Cleansing Cream, like its big sister (or brother J), the Hydrating Cream Cleanser, comes in a generous, 170 gr. packaging. I’d say it’s a generous 300 ml of concentrated product for about 10 Euros. The product goes a long way, you just need a pea-size of product and emulsify it with a little water. Both have a creamy base, without being greasy. Rinses off perfectly.

Bottom line :excellent cleanser (also see my article on the Cream Cleanser) for all skin types. Devitalized skins will love the tingling effect on their skin. Ideal for oilier skin types too.

Texture :creamy without leaving any residue

Skin type :all except very sensitive or very dry

Strong point :price/quality

Weak points :be carefull if you’re allergic to essential oils.

www.burtsbees.com

I got my product from Holland & Barrett (NL)

ACID TONERS & WHY I USE THEM (REGULARLY)

Keeping your skin clean is one of the most important things in your skincare routine. Keeping your PORES clean is what it is all  about. PLUS, making sure dead skin cells are removed from your skin in a regular, continuous manner.

Skin does this by herself, I know, but this natural proces scan be impaired by numerous reasons.

One of them is AGE. As we age, cell turnover slows down. Like everything else, by the way J. In a younger skin, our epidermis (first layer of the skin, seen from the outside), renews itself in a beautiful, 24-days’ cycle. As we get older, these 24 days become much more …..

In order to improve this turnover, many things can be done. Think of the use of Retinol, that will stimulate cell turnover from the deeper layers upwards. Think of regular cleansing(which we all do, don’t we ?), and of regular EXFOLIATION. Meaning : HELPING (not forcing) skin to perform better, by removing a few layers of dead skin material. Advantages ? MANY !

Skin will perform better and therefore, look more beautiful and fresh, to put it simply. Your (expensive) moisturizer will be absorbed better and your make-up will last longer during the day. To name a few advantages.

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One of my PERSONAL FAVORITES is the use of an ACID TONER.Meaning : a skincare toner/tonic with exfoliating (=peeling) ingredients. Fruit acids, like BHA/AHA’s can be used in this way. You can have them in your cleanser, but I’m not a big fan of that, because these products will sting your eyes and therefore, you will need a separate cleanser for the eye area, in case you use them. Acid toners, however, are left on the skin and perform as a “stay on” product. Their effect, for  his reason, will be much better than if they were used in a cleanser (which you remove).

ACID TONERS can have either AHA’s, BHA’s or a mix of both in them. One of my favorite AHA toners is CLARINS DOUX EXFOLIANT, that is both soothing and exfoliating. Very good in case you’re a “beginner”, because it’s a very mild product. I recently discovered EXUVIANCE MOISTURE BALANCE TONER, which has both AHA’s and PHA’s. The advantage of a PHA (POLYHYDROXY  acid) being that it will help give your skin an extra boost of moisture. I find this product to be VERY EFFECTIVE for my combination skin.

NEOSTRATA SMOOTH SURFACE DAILY PEEL and BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE LOTION P50 are excellent in case you are looking for a “FULL STRENGTH” product.They are both ideal for either oily or very aged skin. Sun damaged skin, for example, will improve a lot with the ongoing use of this type of exfoliator.

I personally use all these products, but not all at the same time. I alternate them, depending on the time of the year and the condition of my skin. I would advise you to have at least 2 different acid toners. UNLESS you also use a type of mechanical exfoliator, like a scrub. In this case, it’s important to know that you shouldn’t use them at the same time. This would be a bit too much for your skin.

Acid toners are simple, effective and easy to use. Like you would use a “normal” toner. I usually use an ESSENCE (see articles on Korean products and SVR Essence) directly after an acid toner and then follow my usual steps. For men : as we shave in the morning, it is generally better to use your acid toner in the evening in order to avoid stinging. My beloved Exuviance toner is an exception to this, however.

Bottom line :acid toners are great for regular exfoliation of our skin and help your skin to perform better. They will also make skincare being absorbed better and make sure your skin stays free of blackheads and other skin impurities.