Peel, exfoliate, treat, hydrate, control, pH balanced. Does this sound like your brain when dealing with your skin? The struggle to balance skin no matter your age can be daunting. The goal is to improve tone, texture, firmness, softness and hydration. So, what is pH balanced skin and why is it so important?
The skin has a very thin protective layer on the surface called the acid mantel. This layer is comprised of sebum from sebaceous glands and lactic acid and amino acids (from our body’s sweat). The ideal ‘balanced’ level is around 5.5, slightly on the acidic side. So how do we ensure proper balance? Correct products and ingredients, paying attention to your climate and listening to your skin’s signals.
Exfoliation + Cleansing
Cleansing or washing the face should happen at least once a day if not twice. Upon waking, washing the face will remove the residue from applied night treatments and regimen. If you choose to cleanse in the AM, make sure to use a cleanser that won’t strip or dry the skin. Cleansing the skin at night is crucial! No exceptions. The skin is exposed to many pollutants from just stepping foot outside your home. Soot, car exhaust, sun, second hand smoke and many other pollutants wreak havoc on the skin leaving a layer of dirt and free radicals. Makeup also needs to be removed no matter what. Sleeping in makeup is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Clogged pores will lead to break outs and or rashes. By cleansing at night the skin is ready to receive and absorb any applied serums and creams.
When we talk about ‘cleansing’ we need to include exfoliation. Everyone should exfoliate their skin two to three times a week, unless they suffer from rosacea or eczema, in which case use an enzymatic exfoliator. Depending on the season and climate, exfoliation can be increased or decreased. Both manual and chemical exfoliation is recommended and dependent on results desired.
Listen To Your Skin
Over cleansing is never recommended as it strips the skin of natural oils which can cause an over production of oil/sebum and thus a breakout. However, this is highly dependent on what type of cleanser (ingredients) being used and skin type. If you are oily and using a gentle gel based natural cleanser, like our ‘Pure Start cleanser’, you can’t really over cleanse. If you are typically dry or sensitive you have to be careful what types of ingredients you choose. Stay away from astringents, acids, sodium lauryl sulfate and alcohol. If your skin starts to feel dry or stripped, gets irritated or flaky, listen to the signs. Over cleansing and under cleansing can both cause-unbalanced skin.
Climate + Environment
Balanced skin can also be a result of the climate and environment lived in. For example if you live in a cold climate, exfoliation should decrease during cold, dry months. Likewise, cleansing and antioxidant protection should increase in urban settings to battle pollution and free radicals.
Dr. G tip:
Pollution releases microscopic particles or free radicals that can go deep into the skin and cause damage to otherwise healthy cells. The outcome is loss of elasticity (wrinkles and sagging) and Hyperpigmentation (dark spots).
The Balancing Ingredients
Balancing the skin is a dance between the right amounts of exfoliation/cleansing as mentioned above and the ingredients, which deliver the soothing, nourishing hydration and softness back to the skin. Dr. G has created an all in one mask, The Skin Balancing Mask for this exact reason. A botanical-rich treatment mask which features a multi-peptide and enzyme blend that refines pores and helps to improve skin elasticity and increase collagen production. Ginseng, Honey, Flower Extracts, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E infuse moisture, vitality and nourishment back into the skin.