It’s been a while since I’ve done a skincare blog post. My skincare routine has stayed the same for a few years until recently when I’ve learned more about how to step things up mainly from taking stroll through “Skincare Twitter” over the summer. By following some licensed estheticians, I’ve learned things about skincare I never thought of. The whole area skincare seemed as foreign as natural hair does right after the big chop. Knowing the ingredients, how to build a regimen, and the COST was like a whole new world for me.
Key tips that have changed the way I think about skincare:
@LaBeautyologist’s 60-second rule and double-cleansing – The 60-second rule is rubbing the cleanser on your face for at least 60 seconds before rinsing off. And double cleansing is using an oil to cleanse your face first and then a regular cleanser. I typically used oil cleansing just to remove my makeup. But noticed that even just for day to day cleansing the environmental factors can cause so much dirt and build up. I love the clean yet moisturized feeling of knowing all of the dirt is removed from my skin each night.
Using SPF EVERY DAY – I first heard of this when I saw a blog post saying this is what Gabrielle Union does and I was like well if that’s her secret to looking 28 at 46 then that’s what I’m gonna do. I often kept this up during the summer but plan to do this even when it’s cold outside which will be…very soon.
Chemical vs Physical Exfoliating – Earlier in the summer I got my first professional facial. The dermatologist answered my questions about the difference between chemical versus physical exfoliating. Basically, physical exfoliating is what we are most commonly exposed to as facial scrubs with the little beads in them. The feeling of scrubbing means you’re getting all of the dead skin off right? Well, apparently those are becoming less favored by the skincare community as the little beads can be too harsh for your face and cause abrasion to the skin. So that leads to the option of chemical exfoliates. The term sounded scary because I was like hmm I don’t know about putting chemicals on my face, isn’t that bad? I did some more research and learned about the two most common ingredients for chemical exfoliates called AHAs and BHAs. AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid. BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid. They are safe to use on the face and much gentler than beads found in most scrubs. Healthline lays out a few benefits of these exfoliant ingredients:
- decrease inflammation, a key marker of acne, rosacea, and other skin concerns
- decrease the appearance of large pores and surface wrinkles
- even out your skin tone
- improve overall skin texture
- remove dead skin cells
- unclog pores to prevent acne
I really wanted to step up my skincare routine, and try out this chemical peel method and went on the hunt to find a trusted brand for such experiments. I quickly learned that really good skincare products are actually quite expensive. You can’t really find products with active ingredients at the drugstore, so you’re looking at the higher end of spending. For me, I was used to spending maybe $5-7 max on a product. There were several brands recommended in these skincare threads on Twitter and online that started in the $20 range and I was like woah I’m not sure about all that for a starter product. Then I saw The Ordinary chemical peel being recommended as an effective and good product that wasn’t too expensive. Still, $14.99 was definitely the most money I’ve spent on a skincare product but I know now that that is still a good deal for a chemical peel that’s great for tour skin. You can also get this product from Target for like $8 but I didn’t feel like going all the way to the store lol. Amazon got me with its convenience yet again. I waited for a few days to try it cuz I was scared it would burn my face and nervous about trying a new type of product.
My main motivation for trying this chemical exfoliation method was getting rid of the dark spot/hyper-pigmentation I have under my eye from a large pimple I had over a month ago when I was in Vegas. I usually don’ t have large breakouts but THIS pimple was the biggest I’d ever had. And it did not go away for like 2 weeks. I was so mad. I tried my usual methods: peppermint oil, tea tree oil, Aztec clay mask, Noxzema, African black soap, sheet masks, all of that! And NONE of them made the pimple go away faster and now that it’s gone, NONE have made the scar lighten up at all. So hopefully using this a few times will help bring my skin in that area back to it’s normal complexion.
Applying the Peel
The directions say to start on a clean face and to make sure your face is dry. I used a Neutrogena makeup wipe to clean any dirt from my face. Then I used a facial toner for more of a cleanse and hydration. I then waited a few minutes to make sure my face wasn’t damp anymore.
I used the applicator tube thing, filled it to the top, and applied to the top of my cheeks, forehead, and chin and gently rubbed in the solution. It looks like a bunch of crushed cherries. I especially used a lot by the dark spot and carefully under my other eye where there was a budding pimple.
I closely watched the clock to make sure I didn’t leave it on for even a second over 10 minutes.
I didn’t feel any burning or itching except on the right side of my face on my cheek. It was just a tad feeling of warmth that let me know something was on my face besides my skin.
I rinsed slowly with cool water and used the corner of a washcloth to rinse under my eyes. I followed with a light application of almond oil.
Honestly, right after using I did think my skin looked a little brighter. It was giving me the type of travel glow when you’re getting some sun and rest, except it was 1am and I was at home. I’m looking forward to seeing my overall results. I’m going to use this once a week for the next for weeks and document nay changes that I notice. But I had a great experience so far!