Retinol & Acid Toners. More is NOT more!

Retinol and Acid Toners are very effective in dealing with skin ageing and acneic skins, as well as to keep all skins glowing healthfully.  However, in recent years there has been a large number of influencers, bloggers, journalists and others, advocating ever higher concentrations of Retinol and Acids, used ever more regularly. Then there are masks, overnight peeling creams, scrubs and exfoliators.  Add to that the advent of mechanical cleansing brushes, needling and other electrical beauty devices and the acceleration makes me shudder, as does the damage that will become apparent in years to come.

Over-doing this has the real possibility of damaging your own skin barrier and undermining the Natural Moisturising Factor of your skin, which makes it more vulnerable to environmental damage and ageing.  Hell, it can even trigger eczema, dermatitis and worsen other skin conditions. On top of this, none of us are using enough SPF on our faces or re-applying SPF during the day, to properly protect your exfoliated-to-the-bone skin.

I have never agreed with treating the skin aggressively unless under the supervision of a dermatologist. Now I am seeing more beauty experts coming off that position and recognising that more is not necessarily more. In fact, evidence will show that a more moderate and consistent approach is best. Remember the tortoise and the hare?  So, here are my tips for a balanced approach to achieving good skin:

  • Do not use aggressive electrical cleansing brushes. Use a manual cleansing brush.
  • Use Retinol at the EU maximum level of 0.3% (unless your dermatologist has prescribed higher). You don't have to use it every night if your skin is sensitive.
  • Use a Retinol product that contains high level anti-inflammatories.
  • Do not buy prescription Retinol and other skin preparations over the counter in other countries, unless you have a dermatologist advising you.
  • Use an Acid Toner in the morning if you are using Retinol at night. Retinol does not exfoliate. It speeds up cell turnover, so exfoliating in the morning will remove dead skin cells and make up will be smoother
  • Use a Vitamin C toner at night. Make sure it is encapsulated Vitamin C so that it is active on contact with the skin. Vitamin C is brilliant for brightening skin.
  • Use a daily SPF moisturiser.
  • Don't worry too much about the differences between AHA's an BHA's and PHA's.  All Acids exfoliate the skin which makes it brighter and more youthful.  AHA's do provide exfoliation to oily and acneic skins and keeping it clog free. Look for BHA's (salicylic acid) particularly in your spot treatment which gets applied to the spot where it needs to take effect.
  • Use an exfoliating peel once or twice a week but don't use an Acid Toner immediately after that. Use an anti-inflammatory serum with highly hydrating ingredients.
  • Just because a blogger or journalist uses 1-2% Retinol, supper aggressive Acids twice a day, peels, masks, overnight acid creams etc. does not mean it is right for you.  Remember it is their 'job' to write reviews and they have to chop and change skincare and 'cram' as many products as possible into their routines to have enough content to write about.
  • If in doubt, please email info@merumaya.com and we can set you up for a telephone consultation with Maleka.

I have included links to MERUMAYA® products in this post and I would love you to try our products, however you can follow this advice even if you chose not to.  I just want you to have great skin, that you are not inadvertently damaging due to poor advice. 

Please add your comments and let me know if this has been useful.

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