What is 'active skincare' and what does it do?
A basic skincare routine starts with 4 main products:
cleanser: if you can afford to get two cleansers, we recommend an oil / gel cleanser to emulsify and remove makeup/dirt/debris, plus a purifying mousse or foaming cleanser for a deep clean that penetrates pores.
hydration serum: to be used both day and night by everybody always!
moisturiser / night cream: to lock in the hydration
SPF: obviously only needed during the day...
This ensures that your skin is clean, hydrated and protected, and most people will find that many of their skin concerns improve just from following this simple routine.
Now we can level up.
Once you have your basic skincare routine down, you can look at adding in 'actives' which will treat the skin condition.
Vitamin C is the perfect place to start as it can be used by anyone including pregnant women. It is also suitable for all age groups, from teenagers through to mature adults.
Vitamin C is a protective vitamin that enhances production of barrier lipids (the protective layers) in cell culture. It also assists with fibroblast function, collagen and elastin formation, and inhibits keloid formation.
In simple terms, Vitamin C helps by:
reducing redness in the skin
inhibiting pigmentation formation
protecting against acne-causing bacteria and boosting skin immunity
smoothing and softening skin texture by lessening the severity of wrinkles and scarring
In even simpler terms, Vitamin C addresses Clarity and Collagen.
You may have heard of 'retinol' before... Retinol, retinal, retinoic acid and retinyl esters are all within the Vitamin A family. Vitamin A (and all of its family members) cannot be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, but there are substitutes such as Bakuchiol Peptides which is gentle and pregnancy safe.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble micronutrient that stimulates cellular turnover, accelerates wound healing, and reduces the formation of cytokines and interleukins that cause inflammation. It is also the gold-standard in anti-ageing products, as it pushes fresh, new skin cells to the surface, resulting in a firmer and more youthful complexion.
Vitamin A is used to treat:
But to make it easier to remember, Vitamin A addresses Acne and Ageing.
THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT ACTIVE SKINCARE:
Similar to taking oral supplements, active skincare needs to be introduced slowly to build up your body's tolerance levels. Going 'too hard, too fast' will have the opposite effect and may result in skin irritation. Always start with a gentle product and only apply it every 3 days (twice per week) for the first two weeks. Provided there is no skin irritation, you can then increase use to every second day for two weeks. Following this, you can progress to using your products daily. If you are consistent with your routine, you can increase the strength of your product with your next purchase - but always check with your skin therapist or dermatologist first.
Vitamin C and Vitamin A don't work together and so you will need to alternate them. We recommend Vitamin C in the morning to act as a protective barrier, and Vitamin A at night to stimulate cell turnover while you sleep.
Active products are not to be used around the eye area - unless they specifically state otherwise. Using actives on delicate skin can cause irritation. There are some active products specifically designed for eyes which are safe to use as directed.
The order in which you apply your skincare products should always be 'THIN TO THICK'. Start with products that you wash off, such as cleansers followed by masks. Then you can progress to serums. Finally you lock in your serums with creams. Where you slot in your active products will depend on what form they are in (serums or creams). SPF is always last and only included in your day routine!
Be mindful of any contraindications when using active products. If you have just had a skin treatment, you will need to avoid active products for 3-5 days and only use your 'post-treatment' cleansers, hydrators, moisturisers and physical SPF. Avoid any areas of broken skin when applying active products, and don't double up if you have two similar products! If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and need to avoid Vitamin A, please speak to your skin therapist about using alternatives.