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SPRING CLEAN - What this actually means to your skin?

Spring is here. Morning dew, sun rays and birds chirping. Spring is a magical time when everything comes to live and blossom. It is also time for new skincare regimen. Do you often think: "How do I change my skincare routine?" All your questions will be answered today.

Have you noticed any changes

on your skin

after winter season?

Often times cold temperature, wind, central heating or simply dry air at home will cause skin dehydration. I see on many occasions where oily skin flakes due to low hydration levels.

Our skin have (or at least should have) a protective layer called protective hydrolipid layer, build of water as well as fat (sebum). The main point of protective layer is protection from external irritants like bacteria, viruses, fungal. Also it prevents our skin from water loss and works as occlusive layer.

Skin is our biggest organ

It has many functions, but mainly protects and regulates our body temperature. Skin has numbers of layers, the most outer is epidermis where melanin is created, responsible for colour of our hair and skin.

The second layer is called dermis, this is the layer where our collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid being produced (the most exiting layer).

Collagen and elastin are proteins responsible for skin elasticity and structure. Unfortunately due to ageing process the levels of collagen and elastin degrades and the main culprit here is the UV light.

Hyaluronic Acid is a molecule from glycosaminoglycan family and has highly hydrating properties. Its natural consistency is gel like structure. The largest amounts of HA can be found in skin, joints and eye ball. Sadly everyday we loose about 30% of hyaluronic acid which leads to skin dehydration and that feeling of skin tightening.

To understand their role in our skin lets imagine cornflakes with milk that are often consumed for breakfast. Cornflakes are our hyaluronic acid and milk will play the role of collagen and elastin, which floats around flakes our HA. After some time cornflakes will soak in most of the milk and became to expand, that is how hyaluronic acid works. One cell of HA is able to shift 1000 times its weight of water. Therefore, drinking 2 litres of water daily is a major practice in skin hydration.

Unfortunately, epidermis lacks of HA, for that reason it is very important to hydrate the skin from the outer side. The best beauty product design to do just that is serum based on HA. It will not just hydrate but also fill in those little skin lines and wrinkles.

Occlusion and importance of

skin protection layer

When applying HA serum, we have to remember to create occlusion, a protective layer. Why? Only because HA likes to deliver moisture from lower skin levels, so to protect from moisture and HA evaporation it is best to apply a layer of cream on top of serum. Tip to remember: first serum, second cream.

We talked a lot about skin moisture, which is also responsible for many skin conditions for example traditional acne, sensitivity. To keep your skin balanced it is crucial to keep it clean.

Now I would like to take you

for a chemistry lesson

Do you remember pH scale? The pH scale is used to rank solutions in terms of acidity or alkalinity between 0 and 14. Balanced skin's pH varies from 4.5 to 6, roughly middle of the scale. The closer to 0 the more acidic and closer to 14 the more alkaline (dry).

The most popular spring facial - the professional Chemical Peel is based on acids AHA or BHA. This is when we lower skin pH to give skin a boost through exfoliation.

But what happens when our skin is taken higher over pH 6.0? It then enters alkaline environment. Good example would be wrong cleansing habits, like using bar of soap or cleansing gels that are highly alkaline damaging protective layer. No matter how good cream used, if wrong cleanser applied, our skin will take longer to bring its natural skin balance.

When selecting range of cleansers always go for skin pH balanced and use toners after morning/evening cleansing.

Make up removal is a key aspect

Remember, when cleansing skin with micellar water always end cleansing with toner or clean water. Try not to let the micelles seat on skin for prolonged time.

Key roles of micellar water are loosening make up and clearing up traces of pollution, if micellar water is left on the skin for to long it will start to "eat up" through skin's protective layer and cause irritation. Best option is to use two different products to double cleanse, first oil based to clean make up and second matched to your skin needs. If only micellar water used it is best to cleanse it with pH balanced toner.

Also, say big NO to cleansing wipes or make up removing wipes. Firstly, they do not take off make up, they rather smudge dirt all over face. Secondly, they contain chemicals unsuitable to your skin like alcohol - the main skin irritant causing dryness specially with sensitive, acne rosacea condition.

Next step after cleanse and tone would be serum and cream application.

Take care of your skin during spring season

Spring is a great time to plan professional cleansing for example Chemical Peel, it gives your skin fresh look and glow. With medium depth peels always make sure to prepare your skin at least two weeks prior to treatment.

During winter we protect our skin with thicker occlusive products like Shea butter, but during spring choose lighter moisturisers half occlusive half humectant.

Last but not least, and I always stress this to my clients - use UV protection. Broad-spectrum UV filter is a secret to beautiful, fresh looking skin, but only if used everyday all year round. Go for separate SPF30-50 filters as make up containing UV filters with Spf10-15 will not be enough to protect your skin.

There are few UV radiation levels:

- UVC, stopped by ozone layer (as long as we still have it)

- UVB, responsible for skin burning, stopped by clouds

- UVA, reaches deepest layer all the way through our organs, degrade collagen and elastin. It is strong enough to break through the clouds, cars windscreen or even our home windows

- UV wavelength used in sun-beds

UV radiation degrades our organs and skin.

It is main aggressor of cuperouse skin and acne rosacea. When selecting SPF moisturiser make sure it is broad spectrum protecting from UVA/UVB and preferably IR infrared.

Once your skincare routine is in place and planned accordingly to your skin needs it will protect you from skin conditions and diseases giving you radiant glow and fresh look.

Bonus tip:

-double cleanse

-tonic water (pH balanced)


-eye cream

-moisturiser (according to skin type)

-SPF every morning

Aggie Singh cosmetologist at "The Skin Clinic"

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