Hello Amber Babies!
The cold winter months can leave your skin feeling dry and looking dull. Cold temperatures and low humidity in the air can draw moisture away from the skin. Staying indoors with the heater on can also cause your skin to dry out.
But there are changes you can make to your skincare routine to keep it looking its best—no matter how cold the weather. Adding a heavier moisturizer during the cold months can protect your skin from the elements. Consider adding a hyaluronic acid serum to help your skin retain more moisture. For more hydration, consider adding a rosewater hydrating spray.
Another way to keep skin healthy-looking year-round is to exfoliate. Exfoliation is a necessary step in every skincare routine to eliminate dry, flaky skin cells that build up over time. As we age, our skin is not able to turn over skin cells as frequently as when we are younger. Exfoliation helps rid of the dead cells that build up, clog up pores, and contribute to dry looking skin.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) are two types of acids that exfoliate the skin. They have been around for many years and are found in a range of products, including cleansers, toners, moisturizers, peels, and masks.
AHAs and BHAs are known to help decrease inflammation, reduce the appearance of large pores and wrinkles, improve overall skin texture, and prevent acne by removing dead skin cells that can build up in pores.
Another benefit of these acids is that they are hydrating. Both are humectants that attract water to your skin and help it maintain moisture, which is a plus during the wintertime.
AHA and BHAs fall into two categories of exfoliants: chemical and physical. Chemical exfoliants like AHAs break the bonds that hold skin cells together, making it easy to slough away dead skin.
Physical exfoliants involve using various tools or abrasive substances to physically remove the outermost layer of the skin. There are a variety of products on the market like sponges, brushes, and scrubs that offer this type of exfoliation.
What is the difference between AHAs and BHAs? AHAs are water-soluble, and many are derived from sugary fruits. They help peel away the surface of your skin, allowing new skin cells to take their place. AHAs make the skin smoother and help even out your skin tone.
The different types of AHAs:
- Glycolic acid
- Lactic acid
- Mandelic acid
- Malic acid
- Tartaric acid
- Citric acid
Unlike AHAs, BHAs are oil-soluble and exfoliate the skin's surface. Because BHAs dissolve oil, they can go deep into the pores to remove excess sebum that can lead to acne. BHAs include:
- Salicylic acid
- Betaine salicylate
- Salix alba or willow bark extract
Which should you use? AHAs are often used to improve skin tone and mild areas of discoloration. BHAs are ideal for oily or acne-prone skin because they are more effective at unclogging pores that cause acne.
Many people prefer chemical exfoliators because they provide uniform exfoliation to the skin and can help minimize signs of aging. Chemical exfoliators are also convenient. Stay away from harsh scrubs and beauty tools that can cause small tears in the skin. Proper exfoliation tools and techniques do not damage the skin.
Remember: exfoliating isn't just for your face. If you want smoother glowing skin all over, exfoliate your skin regularly, especially areas that tend to get dry, such as feet, knees, and elbows.
Gin Amber Beauty offers a Natural Exfoliating Cleanser with the benefits of both acids. It contains glycolic acid, salicylic acid, hibiscus petals, and jojoba beads to gently slough off dead skin cells and helps reduce pore size. The cleanser is made with only natural ingredients and is formulated to help tighten and brighten skin without stripping essential oils. It is also made to be gentle enough for all skin types.
Remember to moisturize after exfoliating. In addition to a moisturizing cream, wear sun protection. If you are planning to be in the sun, exfoliate at night. Acids can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
New to AHAs and BHAs? Start slowly and observe how your skin reacts. Many products on the market promise great results, which may be tempting to try. Some of these products may have high concentrations of acids that can be more harmful than good. Take your time to find the product and strength that are right for you.
Once you start using acids, observe your skin. If you experience any redness, give your skin a break. If your skin is responding well, increase the frequency and strength over time.
Check out my nighttime skincare routine if you want to learn about how I incorporate acids into my skin.
Taking care of your skin shouldn't be expensive or time-consuming. A little extra TLC—especially during the winter months—can go a long way to helping your skin look its best.