Skin Care April 4, 2016

2 Weeks to Picture-Ready Skin

Woman looking in the mirror

For many, properly caring for the skin may seem a daunting task. From breakouts and blackheads to wrinkles and crows feet, obstacles come and go as they wish, along the path to a better complexion. While serums, scrubs, peels, and lasers are unfit for the faint of heart, there are many alternative steps those tried individuals may take to achieve clear, glowing skin.

Two weeks to better skin may sound unattainable for individuals with severely troubled complexions, but the best place to start is from within. Skin is the body’s largest organ— 64% of which is made up of water— and this often goes ignored. Individuals with problematic skin should approach their issues from the inside out, rinsing and hydrating their systems with filtered water, and plenty of it. Staying hydrated is one of the more surface-level methods to reinvigorating the appearance of one’s complexion, but often the results are shocking. The skin displays dehydration just as the body grows lethargic from lack of fluids, so counteracting, even overcompensating these malpractices adds an appealing look of firmness and clarity.

facial masks

Masks are a quick but effective treatment for a wide range of skin concerns. They come in many forms such as peel-off, mud, clay, gel, sheet and overnight. Charcoal masks have gained recent popularity and work to draw impurities from the pores, while collagen masks firm and tighten the skin as they dry. Korean skin care has exploded throughout the beauty market worldwide, popularizing the sheet mask and overnight creams or gels known as sleeping packs. Sheet masks are most effective when used for 30-45 minutes, and leave the skin plump, hydrated, and aglow. Designed for long-term absorption, sleeping packs penetrate the skin, softening the surface and adding maximum hydration. No matter the form, masks deliver targeted ingredients for concern-specific results.

Alpha hydroxy acids are naturally occurring acids found in foods such as citrus fruits, sugar cane, apples, and grapes. When used topically in moisturizers and serums, AHA’s exfoliate and remove the top layers of dead skin while leaving deeper layers thicker and firmer. AHA’s are widely recommended because they have the potential to remedy a range of issues including acne, dry or scaly skin, and discoloration. While AHA’s alone improve texture and tone, they must be used alongsidea vitamin C. Aestheticians and dermatologists typically recommend using an AHA at night and a Vitamin C in the morning to maintain a balanced complexion, and initial results are typically seen within 1-2 weeks.

Regardless of what treatments one chooses to use, it is important for individuals to avoid products containing comedogenic ingredients— meaning ingredients that clog the skin’s pores. Ideally, a product will be free of congesting elements, but it is recommended to simply stray from products that contain a comedogenic ingredient within the first 7 items on its ingredient list. There is no single solution for troublesome skin, but these at-home treatments and proactive practices are simple and effective ways to jumpstart one’s skincare routine.

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