Purchasing skincare products can be overwhelming. There is a vast sea of products out there, each claiming major miracles. These seas are rough to navigate on your own so I’ll share my top two products for maintaining beautiful skin at home. The first is Vitamin C and the second is Retinol. Now please know these are in addition to cleanser and sunscreen. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which protects skin from collagen and elastin breakdown caused by pollution in the air (this task is very important as collagen and elastin keep skin firm and taut). Vitamin C also has the added benefits on uneven skin tone, preserving the integrity of the skin barrier, enhancing the efficacy of your SPF. It is also anti-inflammatory. I suggest applying the vitamin C (specifically l-ascorbic acid) serum under your moisturizer daily. Lastly, make sure it is packaged in an opaque container to protect it from oxidizing in light.
You can choose to use a the prescription form of Retin-A (tretinoin) or an over the counter version of retinol. I prefer to use a natural version of retinol as I find it works just as effectively over time but does not cause the sensitization and flakiness that the prescription form does. Retinol will increase cell turn over, fade fine lines and wrinkles and effectively communicate with your skin cells, suggesting they behave like the younger, healthier cells they once were. The ingredient is very potent and overuse can upset the skin leading to redness and flakiness. Let your skin get used to Vitamin A by starting off applying just three times a week on non-consecutive days i.e. Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a few weeks. If your skin feels okay, then you can choose to use them more. Despite this compelling evidence for their use, more is not better. Both are Retin-A and retinol are damaged by UV rays and therefore should only be used at night. This also means any product you buy containing them should be in a sealed container.
Do you have a favorite Vitamin C or retinol? Would love for you to add your questions and comments below.