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Have you ever wondered how you can get more out of your skincare products? When it comes to skincare, less is more. Let’s see how you can make your skincare products work harder for you without doing much work. These are all simple skincare tips to make your skincare products work harder and will help you in your daily life.
Say you’re using an active ingredient such as adapalene and maybe a vitamin A, like tretinoin or retinol, a vitamin B5 like niacinamide, and a vitamin C. But you’re not getting good results. How can you maximize all of these without buying new products? That is, you get good results with no side effects.
The most important thing is timing. We know that all of the active ingredients we use, want them to actually work on the inner layer of the skin called your dermis. In order to get into your dermis, you’ve got to go through the top layer of your skin which is called the epidermis.
The epidermis has several layers. The stratum corneum is the thinnest and outermost layer and the basal layer is the innermost. These active ingredients need to cross all these layers and then penetrate the basement membrane to go down into your dermis. That’s where all the actives – the vitamin As, Bs, and Cs work. In order to do that, your skin needs to be really well hydrated because the drug delivery system doesn’t go straight down.
Imagine your skin is made out of bricks and mortar. The way that the drug travels is actually through the mortar in between the bricks and not straight through the bricks. That’s why timing is super important. You want to put these products on when your skin is super hydrated. So straight after a bath or shower, you give yourself a pat dry and immediately at that stage put on your actives, whatever that may be. It could be vitamin A, B, or C.
This means that the actives can go down into your dermal layer a lot better because that’s the route which active ingredients take – through the mortar and not straight down through the bricks.
Moisturizers help prevent transepidermal water loss which helps to retain water within the layers of the skin. Half an hour later, you can reinforce that and prevent transepidermal water loss by using a moisturizer that acts as a sealant.
Using an exfoliant like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) 1-2 times a week increases the penetration of the other active ingredients. Your skin is thick and it contains the outermost layer which is called the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is made up of dead skin cells.
One way to breach the stratum corneum and make your skin thinner is to prep your skin before using these active ingredients. In other words, incorporating things like AHAs such as glycolic acid. So maybe once or twice a week using a chemical exfoliant combined with your actives will give you a better result without increasingly changing the concentration of your actives.
A piece of gauze or cotton gloves are gentle ways to start using a physical exfoliant. If you are comfortable with cotton gloves you can graduate to something like a manicure glove or an exfoliant glove. It decreases your layer of dead skin cells and increases the penetrations of all your actives. So your active ingredients work a lot harder and you’re not increasing the concentration and nor do you have to purchase a higher concentration product.
Microlaser peels help in increasing skin penetration of topical products. With a microlaser peel, about 10 microns of the epidermis is removed. Basically, with a microlaser peel, you’re only exfoliating 10% of the epidermis which you can do realistically with an exfoliant glove.
Microneedling can actually increase the penetration of active ingredients as well. Microneedling done at home should be done with needles of 0.25 – 0.5 mm in length. Any length greater than 0.5 mm is not safe to be done at home and increases the risk of side effects.
Hydrafacial has largely replaced microdermabrasion. It uses a vortex generator and a suction to actually remove the dead skin cells. We’re removing the upper layers of the skin and we can infuse active skincare ingredients afterward. It’s found in many spas and salons these days. It’s actually a very good device. Along with extraction and polishing the skin, it also infuses active skincare into the skin.
Those are ways in which you can make your skincare products containing active ingredients work harder for you.
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