Beyond the Basics
Masques (masks) can be done at home. They are intensive treatments
which you apply for a certain amount of time and then remove. You can
fit one in in the evening or in the morning before your shower. They can
be for most any skin condition, such as dehydration, dryness, redness,
drawing out oils and toxins. Masques can be customized with a serum or
You can use an exfoliant to remove the outer layers of dead skin
cells, revealing the softer, younger (by a few days) layers underneath
and stimulating the germinating layer to germinate faster and speed up
the turnover time of your skin cycle. Most people can do with at least
some exfoliation. It gets rid of the cell buildup that makes your face
seem dry or flaky. Especially consider exfoliation if you know you have
oily skin but it is dry (dehydrated) on the surface. The dead-cell
buildup needs to go so you can find your fresh skin underneath. A
professional facial would make a good start with exfoliation, or you
could simply use a home product.
Exfoliants that you use daily (or nightly) at home are usually alpha
hydroxy acids, alone, or in combination. These are fruit acids, and they
will gently dissolve the chemical bonds holding the outermost dead
cells together. This is a gentle resurfacing which will help to minimize
the small wrinkles, fine lines and roughness of sun-damaged skin.
Exfoliation can also be done with enzymes which digest the dead skin
cells, but only Jan Marini has come up with enzyme exfoliation you can
use at home.
Glycolic acid is the most popular for home use and serious salon
peels, as it has the smallest molecular structure and is therefore the
most effective at getting in there and loosening the cells. Hydroxy
acids and enzymes also keep the pores clean by preventing retention
hyperkeratosis or the buildup of dead cells at the mouth of the pores,
blocking them and creating an environment friendly to acne-causing
bacteria. For acne treatments, however, the therapeutic powers of
salicylic acid are also appreciated.
Wash the palms of your hands after applying glycolic, and deal with your contacts first!
Serious skin resurfacing and most of what comes hereafter tends to
fall to the pharmaceutical (or cosmaceutical) companies rather than to
the traditional European "natural" lines. But both Yon-Ka and Sothys have hydroxy products for a gentle approach in line with their philosophy.RETURN: Skin Care