acne can be caused by cosmetics

Have you found yourself trapped in a cycle of little tiny bumps that look like whiteheads ?

Normally, cosmetic acne lesions are non-inflammatory and although you may not relate cosmetic products to the sudden outbreak of acne, FYI; it may take up to 6 months for acne cosmetica to start showing up on the skin.

Of course, once the acne flares up, more makeup is needed to cover it up and the story begins.

To make things even worse, just foundation is not enough in today’s makeup routine; an arsenal of additional products like primers, concealers, highlighters, bronzers… are part of the new makeup looks with layers upon layers of cosmetics which translate into thousands of chemicals that are applied daily on the skin and among them, many may be comedogenic.

As stated by Dr. James Fulton in his book Acne RX, who I consider the maximum authority in acne : ” Any woman who is genetically acne-prone or who suffered acne as a teenager (even if only a mild case) is almost certain to be affected by comedogenic ingredients in cosmetics.”

By definition comedogenic ingredients are those that can be absorbed into the skin penetrating deep into the follicle causing clogging of the pores.

There is an ample list of comedogenic ingredients which are rated in a scale of 0 to 5 with 5 being the most problematic ones.

They are way too many to mention them all here but  keep in mind the following ones because they are rated high as comedogenic ingredients found commonly in cosmetic formulations :

  • Lanolin : especially its derivatives like acetylated lanolin and ethoxylated lanolin.
  • Isopropyl myristate and its other forms : isopropyl palmitate, decyl oleate, isocetyl stearate, myristyl myristate, butyl stereate, isopropyl isostearate,  octyl palmitate, PPG 2 myristyl proprionate, myristyl lactate, stearyl heptanoate.
  • Lauric acid
  • Cetearyl alcohol and ceteareth 20
  • Laureth -4
  • Laureth -23
  • Oleth-3
  • Cocoa butter
  • Myristic acid
  • Butyl stearate
  • Glyceryl stearate SE
  • Wheat germ Glyceride
  • Coconut butter
  • Mink oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Shark liver oil
  • D & C red #30
  • Stearic acid TEA

A few helpful tips :

√ Keep your makeup simple and use less cosmetic products. With acne less is better.

√ Avoid heavy creams and thick formulations

√ Create a list of those ingredients you want to avoid and  take it with you while shopping for cosmetics.

√ Check labels and avoid products containing comedogenic ingredients to minimize your chances of developing acne cosmetica or worsening your existent acne.

 

Thank you for being here,

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Paramedical Aesthetician and beauty professional.

 

 

References

Fulton, J. (2001) Acne RX. Dutton Press, Inc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Fulton_(dermatologist)

how to have hydrated skin

A hydrated skin is the perfect way to show that you are a healthy person, but for so many reasons sometimes the largest organ of the body does not get the correct hydrating or moisturizing, which are not the same. There are no differences between men and women when you are talking about skin; both will need care and treatments, so today I will show some tips to get hydrated skin.

Difference between hydrating and moisturizing

Both treatments are entirely different; products are called hydrators and moisturizers, hence for them the primary objective is to help the skin, to get the necessary water to avoid the dryness and dehydration. However to reach this goal they use different ways, showing why the skin sometimes needs both treatments.

  • Hydrating: it refers to the water that is contained in the cells, allowing them to show a healthy look on the skin. If the cells reduce the level of water, it is going to start the dehydration process. Hydrators work by giving water to the cells while helping the skin to absorb moisture and nutrients.
  • Moisturizing: the products for moisture have the single job of helping the skin create the protecting barrier by trapping nutrients and moisture. This barrier will prevent water loss and will give a healthy, soft and smooth look to the skin.

Now that you know the difference, you must understand how your skin looks to choose the best treatment or if you will need both of them.

Tips to get a hydrated skin

With the difference clarified, let’s get to the tips on how to maintain a hydrated skin. Are you ready to give your skin a new look?

  • Practice the exfoliation to prepare the skin for better hydration or moisture by removing the dead cells, that way the nutrients and water will be absorbed without problems.
  • Use serums with the correct ingredients to increase the skin hydration such as hyaluronic acid, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, aloe, glycerin, among others.
  • Start to love the moisturizing creams because they seal the serums hydration, thanks to containing lipids like ceramides and fatty acids; just remember to use the right one for your skin type.
  • You can also make use of intensive treatments such as facials; these will give another look to the skin while using natural ingredients.
  • Drink enough water. Many of us don’t drink water in the right way; it isn’t about drinking liquids; you must drink plenty of water to get the correct hydration.
  • Have a balanced diet rich in minerals like omegas, especially omega 3.

As you can see, having a healthy and hydrated skin is not a difficult task; with healthy habits and effort your skin will feel soft, smooth, and most important, hydrated. Give your skin the same care like the rest of your body.

why it is important to have hydrated skin
Moisturizing and hydrating your skin will help you look beautiful, young and perfect.

Instagram: @Dbeautyclick

Twitter: @Dbeautyclick

Facebook: Dora Salazar

facial products you should use

Many women have a beauty routine and the face becomes one of the most precious parts. The products that you would use on it must be made of the best ingredients; however, many of us don’t pay attention to the labels, only to brands. Besides, in many products expensive doesn’t mean better.

So, today I give you seven reasons to check the ingredients on the facial merchandise that you are using or are thinking to buy. Don’t fall into the spell of the big marketing campaigns from the exclusive brands, find the ones according to your style and needs.

Seven reasons to check the ingredients of your beauty products

  • Expiration date: every item will show you a symbol that shows the period after opening (PAO), date to be aware of because it will indicate for how many months you can use it. But there are several ingredients that depending on the climate conditions can degenerate quickly. Expired products are highly dangerous.
  • Sunscreen protection: In the morning routine, sunscreen protection is a must. Checking the ingredients will indicate you the type of sunscreen included in the products. Keep this in mind especially if you live in a sunny place.
  • Natural or synthetic ingredients: many natural alternatives claim to only use ingredients easily found in nature; but in reality, they can contain synthetic options that may  affect your skin in harmful ways. Read carefully the ingredient list.
  • Research: try to do a search the different components that you read on labels, especially those that are unpronounceable. Knowing their names and what they do, will provide an easy background when you are buying new merchandise.
  • You skin condition: because we possess different skin types, you must understand how yours can react to the different products. Besides, some are made specifically for every type, and the ingredients can change.
  • Not falling for fancy-named brands: keep in mind that ingredients are used in all brands, so often the expensive ones don’t offer major  differences, so spending money on these will not guarantee the best care for your face.
  • Artisanal products: when looking for natural ingredients in facial care it would be a good choice to check local stores offering handmade products. They will give you all the information about the components, for your knowledge.

Knowing the ingredients of the facial products can help you to have control of what you apply to your body. So take care of yourself and start to change your beauty routines to have beautiful and healthy skin.

facial products for each skin type
Each person has a type of skin that needs products according to it.

Instagram: @Dbeautyclick

Twitter: @Dbeautyclick

Facebook: Dora Salazar

What you need to know about skin care during pregnancy What you need to know about skin care during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a state where women face so many changes requiring care and precautions to be healthy and allow normal development of the baby. The doctor will give you a long list of do’s and don’ts to follow for the next few months, but most likely, it will be about food, drinks, physical activities, and surroundings. Beauty products haven’t been considered as important, until recent years.

Nowadays, these are being taken into consideration because the composition of some chemicals have tested harmful for the baby and  for you. For your safety, you should avoid products containing any of the following ingredients. Look at them closely and find a substitute.

Ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

This list is created to provide a helpful guide to use when you are looking for beauty products; that way your routines and beauty care won’t be affected during this wonderful time of your life.

  1. Retinoids: these are present in the acne and anti-aging products, under the following names: retinyl palmitate, retinoic acid, isotretinoin, adapalene, retinaldehyde, tazarotene, and tretinoin. Doctors recommend not to get pregnant under the use of those products, or if you are planning to. However, if you got pregnant cut the application immediately.
  1. Phthalates: this is used in products like perfumes and nail polish to increase the effect of other chemicals in their formulas. Products with phthalates are associated with health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and bad fetal development. So next time look for products phthalates-free when you want a new perfume or nail polish.
  1. Formaldehyde: speaking about nail polish, this one can be found in many different brands. Others, like hair straightening treatments and eyelashes glue, also have this in their formulas. You will find the formaldehyde under many labels like quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM), 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol), and others. Buy only formaldehyde-free products for your house.
  1. Ammonia: are you in love with dying your hair? Well, many dye hairs have this ingredient as part of their formulas, that is the reason behind the success of many ammonia-free alternatives. Inclusive, you can find many that are using natural ingredients on their components to bring better protection for the hair.
  1. Dihydroxyacetone: also known as DHA, can be found in spray self-tanners, this one reacts on your skin making it look like a recent tan without getting under the sun. However, the problem is if you inhale the particles; for that reason, forget about the spray tan during the pregnancy.

Source: Mother Nature Network

Skincare products that pregnant women can't use
Your health and baby safety matters.

Instagram: @Dbeautyclick

Twitter: @Dbeautyclick

Facebook: Dora Salazar

Woman showing how to keep skin looking young and healthy

You may be surprised to know that all skin types need the same essentials.

That’s right. Even with great genetics on your side, the skin becomes the result of lifestyle and good care.  And when followed regularly, a good skincare routine will Keep your skin looking young and healthy. So, what are the steps considered the golden rules for optimum skin care?

Either you are dry, oily, combination, normal etc. no matter what skin type you have, these fundamental steps are necessary to achieve a more youthful complexion.

-Cleansing

-Toning

-Exfoliation

-Stimulation

-Nourishment

-Protection

But let’s get to the heart of each of them to define their purpose and the benefits that they provide for the skin.

CLEANSING & EXFOLIATION

 

A woman cleansing her face a gloden rule in skin care

Finding the right cleanser is more important than you think but it can be a very difficult task.

The ideal cleanser helps remove oil, grime and makeup without causing excessive dryness or leaving the skin feeling greasy or sticky. It helps your face recover a more invigorated appearance and prepares it for the next steps of your skin regimen. But how to choose the correct one when they come in all shapes and forms; from creams and oils to soap bars and pads.

—Well, as you can see — this is not a one fits all kind of product.

But here are some good tips to sort out among the crowded options and select one that can benefit your skin.

  • First, look for a cleanser that is formulated for your skin type.
  • Preferably, select sulfate-free cleansers, specially sodium lauryl sulfate.

It is a harsh surfactant that strips the skin of essential lipids leaving it dry and dehydrated.

  • Avoid fragrances including some essential oils, drying alcohols, and mineral oil. These can have negative effects acting as skin sensitizers causing irritation, clogging pores and other problems.

Keep in mind that unless there is a special situation, there is no need to cleanse your skin more than twice a day. Over cleansing the skin can provoke more problems like exacerbating oil production in oily skin or producing flakiness or dry patches on dry skin.

Let’s now talk about exfoliation.

Exfoliating the skin is a must do step when you are looking for radiant skin.  It removes dead skin cells allowing better absorption and efficacy of your skin care. Also encourages the exposure of new cells which perform better and look healthier giving your skin a more youthful glow.

However, it is a skin care step that must be looked at carefully.

The skin contains a protective barrier that serves as a shield to guard it from harmful chemicals, bacteria, environmental factors and to maintain healthy levels of moisture and hydration.

Over-exfoliating the skin can cause many problems, including:

-Skin Sensitivities

-Inflammation

-Breakouts

-Distended blood vessels

-Over production of sebum (Skin natural oils)

-Dehydration

-Excessive Dryness

How often to exfoliate the skin, depends on your skin type. Oily and combination skin do well at exfoliating more often like three or even 4 times a week in some cases. While dry and sensitive skin types do better with just once or twice a week.

TONING

Toners have been considered a staple step in the skincare routine. They were created mainly to finish removing the residue that cleansers used to leave behind on the skin and to re-balance the skin’s pH because cleansers originally were very harsh and some, too heavy and greasy. But since cleansers have come a long way and do a better job at cleansing the skin and many more are found nowadays with a balanced pH; this step is considered many times: optional.

However, I find it to have many skin benefits when you choose the correct one.

Water is a great way to increase penetration and absorption of other ingredients, so toning the skin will better the performance of your other skincare products. However, avoid using toners that contain drying alcohols even when you have acne-prone skin. Those will only cause more harm than good to the skin.

Instead choose toners containing good ingredients. Take advantage of this step in your routine to introduce specific ingredients and target skin issues such as acne, hyperpigmentation, dull skin, sensitive, or dry skin etc.

Here are some examples of well-known ingredients you want to look for in toners, according to the skin concern:

Skin Dullness: Vitamin C, lactic acid, glycolic acid

Hyperpigmentation: Vitamin C, kojic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, mandelic acid

Sensitive skin, Rosacea: aloe, allantoin, rose, calendula, chamomile, comfrey, green tea

Acne: Salicylic acid is best. Glycolic also helps. A combination of both is optimum.

Dry skin: Sodium PCA, Panthenol, aloe, rose, marshmallow, vitamin E

STIMULATION

Stimulation is a golden rule of skin care

If there is a word that describes keeping your skin looking young is this one.

As we age, the skin becomes sluggish and its normal renewal processes slows down considerably. So, stimulating in different ways for example: a facial massage or utilizing technology like LED, Micro-current, rollers etc, increases circulation promoting better oxygenation and nourishment of the tissues and helping to remove toxins. Overall it makes the skin work more efficiently. It’s like a work out to keep it fit and healthy.

NOURISHMENT

 Good skincare with selected ingredients can transform the skin.

A woman applying zkin fix anti-aging serum

In this step, it is important to give the skin all the nutrients that it needs to fight daily challenges and to treat and repair cell damage.

Nourishment can be found in many forms in skincare products.

The common purpose of moisturizers is to hydrate the skin. Hydration is an important element in all skin types and you can provide it to the skin by means of creams, lotions, gels or serums, according to your skin type.

Be aware to find a moisturizer that is compatible with your skin type. Avoid using heavy creams if you have acne prone skin. And if you have dry skin, stay away from products containing drying alcohols or other drying ingredients that can aggravate dehydration.

If you are looking to correct a skin issue, intense nourishment or the most effective way to keep your skin looking young, serums are the way to go, they give you an in-depth form of treatment to achieve more accurate results. They are concentrated formulations aimed to target specific skin concerns such as: anti-aging, acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, flaccid skin, dehydration, dull skin etc.

The main purpose of serums is to deliver active ingredients deep into the skin. They have great absorption power providing fast results, which is why they are a fantastic addition to any anti-aging or corrective skincare routine.

PROTECTION

sun protection a golden rule in skin care

None of the above will make sense if you don’t protect your skin with a good SPF. The sun damages skin cells and speeds up the signs of aging like uneven pigmentation, poor elasticity, distended capillaries and lines and wrinkles needless to say the high risk of skin cancer.

Use a well formulated sunscreen daily rain or shine. This step will help you protect the skin and prevent future damage.

 

***ALWAYS CONSIDER that everyone’s skin is unique and the skin changes constantly, so changes in the skincare routine should also made as the skin shows different needs.

Thank you very much for being here,

Until next time.

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

 

All cosmetic products have an expiration date and at one point they become rancid, have a change in their chemistry or lose their efficacy.

It is very important to avoid using contaminated products which can carry bacteria and cause many skin problems like: rashes, breakouts, dermatitis and infection, to name a few.

I get you, the excitement of a new discovery promising to be the holy grail of healthy, glowing skin is just too hard to ignore.

That’s the story of how most of us end up with an abundance of skincare products from which we only use a few and before we know it, the bathroom cabinet does not have space to fit one more q tip and yet we continue to pile up more skin goodies.

Getting rid of them is a different story though.  I am with you, it feels more like a slow torture. After paying your hard-earned money it makes you cringe just to think that all of it is going right into the garbage can.

But, when is time to toss away those skincare products before they can harm the skin?

As a rule of thumb, once opened most skincare products should be used within six months to a year because oxygen and bacterial exposure will increase the chance of contamination.

A good idea is to mark the product with a pen indicating the date it was opened, that way you don’t end up using the product long after it is still considered safe.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) whom regulates cometics in the U.S. does not require an expiration date on the product label. So, finding out when the expiration date is in cosmetic products sometimes is hard to tell.

Take a look at the full labeling guide on the FDA website for more detailed information.

Some products will clearly describe the expiration date on the label. Others may use phrases like : “best used before the end of”… or similar while many others will not indicate it.

There is also a graphic symbol known as “PAO” used by some Companies, which states for “Period After Opening” identifying the lifetime of the product once it has been opened.

Look for the number after the letter “M” on the label, it indicates the months that the product is safe and stable to be used after opening. For example: M12 (indicates that the product is good to use for 12 months after its opening date).

PAO graphic symbol indicates "period after opening" a product that the product is still safe to be used

In general, unopened skincare products have a useful life longer than opened products because they have not been exposed to bacteria. The life of an unopened product commonly lasts from one to three years depending on the product. A good phrase to go by is “when in doubt, toss it out”.

If you have had a product stored for a while and when you open it, it has a funky smell or an unusual texture, it’s time to get rid of it.

According to Oprah Magazine  in the article called “5 Skincare Products That Expire Faster Than You Think”, cosmetic Chemist Mort Westman says: “ If you’re unsure how old something is, the general rule is to toss anything that has significantly changed in color or odor, or separated, clumped, thickened or thinned.

One very important thing to keep in mind is that packaging can influence how the product decomposes. Jars for example, tend to get contaminated faster than other forms of packaging that don’t come in direct contact with oxygen and hand-dipping.

 

PRODUCT EXPIRATION REFERENCE CHART

*** This is a general informational chart. Lifetime of products are determined by their chemical composition, packaging, storage and handling of the product.

 

 

HOW TO EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS & PREVENT CONTAMINATION

To preserve the life of your products there are some golden rules that need to be followed:

  • Keep your products in a dark place away from sun light when possible.
  • Maintain the lids closed and tight to prevent oxygen exposure and preserve the active ingredients in the product. This is particularly important when the product contains antioxidants which are very sensitive to sun light and oxygen.
  • Use a spatula to swipe the product out of the container instead of your hands.
  • Don’t expose your products to high temperatures. This could change their chemical composition.
  • Throw away products if you have had an infection
  • Disinfect the product’s container or lid if you have dropped it on the floor, sink or other place that has a risk of bacterial contamination.

 

For more useful information on how to make your products last longer take a read at Paula Begoun’s list of “Do’s & Don’ts of making your products last” included in her article “When to Toss Out Beauty Products .

 

Always remember…

Fresh products mean better performance and therefore; better results.

 

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

 

best face serum for aging skin

 

Finding the best face serum for aging skin can become a complicated task.

Zkin Fix was created to offer multiple skin solutions while  simplifying and optimizing your skin care, providing fast outstanding results.

As collagen production decreases volume is lost and shadows, lines and folds form. Normally, many products would be necessary to prevent, correct and rejuvenate the skin. But with Zkin Fix you will target the common signs of aging skin in one easy step. Visible changes are noticible very quickly and you will love the fact that it is simple to use and even easy to take along when you travel.

Video Transcription

  • We are all in the search of good products to look great

Yes, the modern world offers a dynamic lifestyle we want to stay active, feel great but look great too.

Products need to offer solutions and be effective.

  • What makes Zkin Fix different

It helps to optimize your skincare regimen in one step having the benefits of 5 anti-aging serums in 1.

It contains a high concentration of active ingredients considered necessary to support the building blocks for healthy skin

It offers the strength and efficacy of a clinical product in a safe, clean formulation

  • How did you get involved in skincare?

I come from a family with a lot of skin issues:

eczema, acne, dermatitis… and I have suffered them as well. I got frustrated looking for help with no answers. So, I decided to get deep into skin care to help myself and fell in love with the skin. It is fascinating what an incredible organ the skin is.

  • Special benefits of Zkin Fix Age Reversal Serum

It targets all the common signs of aging skin like:

Lines and wrinkles, dehydration, skin dullness, poor elasticity and uneven skin tone

It prevents, corrects and rejuvenates the skin

  • Where can I find Zkin Fix?

You can order it directly from my online store www.dorasalazar.com

And in the offices of skin professional partners

comparison between a serum and a cream

Is your bathroom cabinet full of serums or are you more of a cream fanatic?

I am sure that if you are like most people the answer will probably be “both.”

When it comes to skin care, decisions can be hard. Temptation is as strong as a cup of coffee on a Monday morning. You face magazines giving you the latest beauty buzz, social media bloggers tapping on their must haves and celebrities raving about their favorite skin care products. From exotic facial oil serums to lavishing creams, they all sound incredible and promise quick solutions to every skin problem.

To choose correctly it is important to step back and take a closer look at the pros and con of each product and see which one fits your individual needs best.

If you are looking to correct a skin issue or for intense nourishment, serums also known as “boosters”, will give you an in-depth form of treatment to achieve accurate results. They have a light consistency and are well known for being concentrated formulations aimed to target specific skin concerns such as: anti-aging, acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, flaccid skin, dehydration, dull skin etc.

For example, one of the most popular types of serum in the market is vitamin C because of its many skin benefits. It can help brighten up the skin, support collagen production improving elasticity and lightening up hyperpigmentation helping to even out skin tone.

The main purpose of serums is to deliver active ingredients deep into the skin. They have great absorption power and generally contain a higher concentration of active ingredients providing fast results, which is why they are a fantastic addition to any anti-aging or corrective skincare routine.

The best way to select the right serum is to first identify the skin concerns and then select a serum with specific ingredients to target those concerns. They often can be layered since they don’t feel greasy on the skin and penetrate rapidly.

The combination of active ingredients in serums normally does not allow the inclusion of an SPF.  Therefore, it is important to add a sunscreen to your day time skin care regimen.

Although, there is not a norm as to when is the right age to start using serums, early 30’s is a good age to begin a preventative skin program since the skin begins to experience some changes at that age. Mature skin likewise, can benefit from the use of serums to help restore and maintain better skin functioning and to combat the common signs of aging skin.

What is applied first, the serum or the cream?

Because of their light texture and ability of absorption, serums are applied first. Moisturizing creams second and if used separately from the cream, sunscreen should be applied last.

TIP:

—If you are using several serums, begin layering them with the one that has the lightest texture. Always “from thin to thick”. This is a good way to remember the order of use.

What are facial creams?

Facial creams include a broad range of textures and purposes for the skin, from plain hydration to sun protection and everything in between.

Active ingredients can also be contained within the formulation, but they are generally present in lower concentrations when compared to serums.

Creams have a heavier consistency which implies the addition of more fillers, emulsifiers and occluding (sealing) ingredients, making the formulation less aggressive.

Gel-creams and lotions are frequently thought as creams, these have a lighter texture and are more suitable for combination and oily skin types while heavier creams are more appropriate for dry skin.

There are also day and night creams. Day time creams typically contain antioxidants to counteract the effects of free radical damage, accentuated with the exposure to environmental elements during day hours and many of them already have SPF protection included within the formula.

Night time creams on the other hand, are rich in regenerative ingredients like retinoids, growth factors or stem cells among others, to support the skin’s ability to repair itself. One common characteristic of creams is to occlude hydration within the skin to prevent trans epidermal water loss.

Should I use both, serum and cream?

Both products are good depending on the skin type.

Oily skin does not need as much moisturization as dry skin, since the skin produces sufficient sebum. Thus, a serum can be more than enough, of course not forgetting the addition of sun protection during day time.

Someone with dry skin though, might find that the serum alone does not provide enough moisture and will need the additional lipids that moisturizing creams provide.

Be aware to find a moisturizer that is compatible with your skin type. Avoid using heavy creams if you have acne prone skin. And if you have dry skin, stay away from products containing drying alcohols or other drying ingredients that can aggravate dehydration.

When selected correctly, both serum and cream, can complement each other very well. The serum, delivering active ingredients deep into the skin and the cream, sealing those ingredients in and maintaining normal moisturization levels.

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

 

“Natural” does not always mean “gentle.”

Lately, I have seen a lot of information recommending to apply lemon juice on your face. It is important to know the risks and if you apply it how to do it correctly to avoid negative side effects, including burns or hyperpigmentation.
The fame of lemon as a skin brightener comes from lemon juice containing vitamin C (ascorbic acid), well known for making the skin look more radiant.
However, lemon juice also contains citric acid and malic acid. With a low pH ranging between  2 to 3, it is way more acidic than your skin normal pH which about 5.5. creating an exfoliating action.
Acids need to be treated with care because they can cause a lot of damage to the skin if you don’t handle them properly. Although a few drops in a mask can be helpful for its astringent and clarifying properties, I am not an advocate of using pure lemon juice directly on the skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. It can cause rashes and irritation and the skin becomes more vulnerable and sensitive to the sun.
Also, it’s not a good idea to apply lemon juice on your face in the morning, you will run a huge risk of getting hyperpigmentation when your face gets exposed to daily sun light. Another important thing to know is that citric acid is an alpha hydroxy acid; therefore, it needs to be neutralized. So, if you use lemon juice make sure to rinse it off with water thoroughly to bring the pH back to normal and stop the exfoliating effect. I have seen cases where people had been drinking beer or tequila shots with lemon by the pool or the beach and the lemon touching the hands or the mouth when left on the skin and in contact with the sun caused terrible burns.
If you decide to use it, treat it as an acid and always use a well formulated sunscreen with an spf 30 or higher to protect the skin.
However; keep in mind, that daily use can cause too much exfoliation and eventually incur in hypersensitivity and irritation creating post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
If your concern is dark spots or dull skin, there are many effective skin brighteners, — yes, including vitamin C,—  but blended into skincare formulations like serums or moisturizers for example, that are safer to use and better tolerated than  pure lemon juice. These are known as tyrosinase inhibitors, tyrosinase being an enzyme that is fundamental in the production of melanin. So, by controlling the production of this enzyme the melanin or pigment of the skin becomes lighter.

Some of the best tyrosinase inhibitors are :

  • Kojic Acid
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Arbutin
  • Licorice Extract
  • Mulberry Extract
  • N-Acetyl Glucosamine

Always keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different and what worked for someone else might not be the best for you. Another thing to consider is that not all natural ingredients are gentle, it is important to do some research before applying something new on your skin, and if in doubt, do a patch test first on the side of your neck and wait 24 to 48 hours to determine if it is suitable for your skin.

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Med. Aesthetician

Disclaimer:

The article above represents my personal opinion and it is intended for educational purpose only.

Although the acid revolution in skin care made a strong appearance in the early 90’s, the use of certain acids date from ancient times. We all have heard of Cleopatra taking baths in sour milk and other cultures using wine to rejuvenate their skin.

The reason why we are still talking about them today? They work.

Sour milk is rich in lactic acid and wine contains tartaric acid.

Exfoliating acids break down dead skin cells and remove them from the skin surface improving the appearance of skin wrinkling and promoting a brighter, softer, smoother complexion.

There are many acid exfoliants and combinations. However; for this article, I would like to mention some very popular ones that are broadly used in home use skincare products and share guidance on their natural characteristics and how they can benefit different skin concerns.

Let me start by saying, “more is not always better”, especially when if it relates to acids. For an acid to exfoliate, it must have a lower pH then 5.5 which is the normal acidity level of the skin.

The lower the pH, the more it will exfoliate, which also comes with the high risk of more irritation, inflammation and even desquamation, commonly known as “peeling” of the skin.

Many times, this is the action that is aimed for, like in the case of chemical peels. But stronger procedures like chemical peels are not performed daily. So, a safe way to use acid exfoliants regularly is to do it in moderation and to listen to your skin carefully. It will tell you if you are causing over-exfoliation which will bring along many not so pleasant side effects such as: dryness, itchiness, redness, sensitized skin, inflammation and even breakouts.

On the other hand, if the pH of the product is not lower than your skin’s pH, it will not exfoliate good enough or give you the full benefits of a well formulated product.

Acid exfoliants are largely found in cleansers, toners, pads, gels, serums, home peels, masks and moisturizers. Careful attention should be paid to the product’s instructions, since there are many formulations that should be rinsed off or removed after a few minutes while others give you directions to leave them on the skin.

Here is a short guide on popular acids and how they help specific skin concerns:

GLYCOLIC ACID: An AHA alpha hydroxy acid, from sugar cane. It works very well to soften lines and wrinkles and to improve the look of sun damaged skin. It brightens the skin and increases radiance and stimulates collagen.

TIP: Glycolic acid contains a very small molecular structure, this leads to a quick penetration and absorption of the acid which must be handled correctly to prevent irritation.

SALICYLIC ACID: A BHA beta hydroxy acid containing very therapeutic characteristics for acne prone skin because it is attracted to oil and offers an anti-inflammatory effect. It penetrates the hair follicle helping to clear the accumulated dead skin cells within the follicular wall improving clogged pores and preventing the formation of new acneic lesions. It is likewise used in conjunction with other acid compounds to improve hyperpigmentation and aging skin.

LACTIC ACID: An alpha hydroxy acid from sour milk. Fantastic for dry, aged, hyperpigmented skin but also suitable for most skin types because it is composed of a larger molecular structure than glycolic acid; which means that it penetrates slower making it more tolerable, even for more sensitive complexions. It increases hydration and has brightening capabilities, leaving the skin luminous, supple and soft.

AZELAIC ACID: It is a saturated dicarboxylic acid holding antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, keratolytic, comedolytic, and anti-oxidant activity. Very effective in treating diverse skin conditions such as: acne, rosacea and hyperpigmentation.

MANDELIC ACID: Extracted from bitter almonds, this AHA alpha hydroxy acid contains a larger molecular structure than glycolic and lactic acid, making it less irritating to the skin. It offers great results when treating conditions such as: hyperpigmentation, photo-damaged skin and acne. This is one of my favorite acids in my professional treatments to treat acne and hyperpigmentation, especially PIH (Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) residual pigment left after a skin injury that caused an inflammatory response like a burn, a pimple etc.

CITRIC, MALIC AND TARTARIC ACID: Belong to the alpha hydroxy acid family, extracted from citrus fruits, apples, berries and grapes. They contain wonderful anti-oxidant qualities, increase radiance, support collagen production, suppleness and elasticity. Regularly found in acid cocktails helping boost the action of other acids such as glycolic, salicylic and/or azelaic etc.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP I CAN GIVE YOU WHEN USING ACID EXFOLIANTS ON THE SKIN IS:

TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN WITH A GOOD SUNSCREEN.


When you use acid exfoliants regularly, you are accelerating cell turn over, constantly removing dead skin cells and exposing newer cells to the skin surface. The new cells are more vulnerable to sun burn and sun damage, so if you don’t use appropriate protection, you will be doing more bad than good and promoting accelerated aging of the skin and even taking the risk of getting hyperpigmentation.

Also, if you notice that your skin becomes dry or irritated, it is important to suspend the acids for a few days to allow the skin to replenish its essential components and restore balance.

How often should I exfoliate with acids?

It is your skin that will tell you that answer. In general, there are certain skin conditions that improve with more regular acid use, such as: acne for instance. However, it is the level of sensitivity of your skin that will guide you into how often you should use acids to exfoliate. Like I previously mentioned above, over exfoliation incites very negative effects. Each skin is unique, and it is only when you find balance that your skin will be the healthiest.

Until next time,

Thank you very much for being here.

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare 

 

Disclaimmer:

This article represents my personal opinion and is intended for eductional purposes only.

 

 

Page 1 of 31 2 3