Skincare Spotlight: Glycolic Acid + My DIY Brightening Facial
August 30, 2018
*I am not a licensed doctor or dermatologist. Please talk with your health care professional before trying glycolic acid or doing your own at home facial *
Hello gals! I've been thinking about doing this post for awhile now as I think glycolic acid has completely transformed my skin. To be 100% transparent with y'all (as I always am), I've never had terrible skin. If anything, my skin has a pretty clean track record. But like anybody, I get clogged pores, a tired and rough complexion, and even cystic acne - THE WORST! But about two years ago, I was introduced to the magic of glycolic acid and for me, it has really lightened my skincare load as certain glycolic acid products can act as multiple steps which HELLO- who doesn't love a short but so very sweet skincare routine? But before we get into product shopping, I want to give those who are not so familiar with this magical stuff a little 411 on the basics of glycolic acid and what they do.
- Glycolic acid belongs to the AHA group of acids- aka, the Alpha Hydroxy Acids. Some other AHAs include citric and lactic acids.
- It is most popularly used as an exfoliant. This product is a slam dunk for those who have sensitive/fragile skin that doesn't react well to harsh scrubs.
- The word "acid" sounds really intimidating, scarring, and dare I say...expensive? But it doesn't have to be. Like I said in the above bullet point, glycolic acid is a gentle exfoliant that comes in all different price ranges that you can use from the comfort of your home and can be super easy to incorporate into your daily routine in the form of cleansers, gels, serums, or toners.
- Aside from removing dead skin and build up in your pores, glycolic acid has shown to improve scarring, fine lines, and helps to plump your skin as it aids in the production of collagen in the skin.
- The acid dissolves the layers of sebum on your face when it comes in contact with the first layer of your skin. I have dry dry dryyyy skin and I can use this and not feel dry at all, unlike when I use scrubs and other exfoliants.
Okay, so now that you know a bit more about what to expect from glycolic acids, let's get into application and the different products out there. Currently, I am using Mario Badescu's Glycolic Acid toner after I cleanse and before I moisturize. When using this toner, I make sure not to use a foaming cleanser or anything that could dry out my skin because like I said, I already have a very dehydrated complexion and even though glycolic toner doesn't dry out my skin, a harsh cleanser mixed with this toner absolutely can. I tend to use a milky or cream based cleanser such as Cetaphil or even Noxzema during those winter months (hello heater, my old friend), apply the toner with a cotton pad and let it dry, then apply my all time favorite serum - shop it here.
But on the other hand, I do love a glycolic cleanser, my favorite is also from Mario Badescu. I really only use this when I feel like my skin needs a major refresh or I've royally fucked up my skincare routine (tequila shots + no make up wipes - 4 hours of sleep = a very sad complexion). I'll even take it one step further and use my Clarisonic Mia to really suck out any nasty stuff out of my astronomically enlarged pores (seriously, the pores on my nose are so effing big, an esthetician once told me there was nothing she could do. FML to the highest degree. Okay, anyways back to our regularly scheduled programming), I'll skip the toner step because I just don't feel like it is always necessary for me, and go straight into a killer moisturizer. Some days I prefer the toner, some days I prefer the cleanser. Both are highly effective, it just depends what your skin is asking of you.
The first time I used an acid on my face, I remember my skin being a whole new level of soft. It gently removes that first layer of dull skin - but be careful! If you apply too much pressure for too long while applying, you can end up peeling a bit. Don't worry, I treat mine as a sunburn and my skin is smooth as can be in a few days.
Shop my skin care favorites
Okay moving right along to my favorite DIY brightening facial! As much as I love my current esthetician, (shoutout to my girl Leslie) getting regular facials drains my wallet. Luckily, she has been an incredible teacher and has taught me so much about the facial process and what I can do to keep my complexion as squeaky clean as possible. Let's dive right in, shall we?
What you'll need:
- A bowl of really hot water water and a wash cloth or a facial steamer- my choice linked below.
- Blemish extraction kit - my choice linked below
- Cleanser of your choice - my choice linked below
- Face mask of your choice - my choice linked below
- Toner of your choice - my choice linked below
- Moisturizer of your choice- my choice linked below
SHOP MY FACIAL KIT
1- Remove all makeup with a gentle wipe or warm wash cloth.
2- If you are using the bowl of hot water, place your wash cloth in the water, ring excess out, and place over face to open pores and soften skin. Repeat for 5 minutes or until water is room temp. If using steamer, steam face until pores are soft and open. Dab excess oils and sweat away with wash cloth.
3- Wash face with warm water and desired cleanser.
4- Begin extractions. Please be careful and talk with your dermatologist or doctor about proper extraction methods. A lot of derms and estheticians will tell you to not extract and to ride out the blemish. A good one will show you the proper way so you minimize redness and chance of infection. DO NOT USE YOUR HANDS. Please spend the $12 on a good extraction kit and make sure it is sterilized before every use. If the extraction draws blood, stop immediately.
5- Rinse face with warm wash cloth and pat dry. Apply face mask. Follow instructions on packaging but listen to your skin. If it feels too tight, irritated, or any sign of burning, wash off immediately with cool water. Avoid bleeding skin and under eyes.
6- Once your face mask is completely washed off, you can go ahead and apply your toner. For me, this is where I use my glycolic acid during my facial. Maybe you used yours in the cleanser or the mask! But I like using this right before I moisturize to maximize plumpness of the skin.
7- Moisturize! Don't forget to pay special attention to your lips, under eyes, and neck.
Well kiddies, that's all for now! I hope you enjoyed this little educational post on my fave skin care tool as well as my mini DIY facial! DM me on Insta or tweet at me with any Qs!