Initially introduced in the 90's, acids in skin care in the form of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (glycolics, lactics & salicylics), worked brilliantly as anti-ageing products, decreasing pigments and improving acne prone skins. They were commonly found in chemical peels and also used in (and still are) cleansers, moisturisers and serums. And the results were and are very quick!
However, in time, we found that they actually changed the way the skin worked at a very deep level and didn't allow for it to work naturally (it's kind of like being told what to do every second of the day!)
For oily/acne prone skin, acids interfere with the oil production on the skin. From a scientific level, the outside of all of our cells are OIL BASED - which means that acids also interfere with the way the cells actually work. Natural oils found on the skin are one of the skins ONLY protective mechanisms against dehydration, bacteria and microbes and to strip this - which is what actives do - leaves the skin vulnerable to attack and water loss.
For ageing skin, actives are there to help eliminate wrinkles and lines and literally burn off pigmentation. Pigmentation, in this case, occurs for 2 reasons (there are other reasons, but that's for another day!) - 1. As a protector to new raw skin cells; it builds up in the form of a tan and 2. As a response to burn. So, by using actives long term you are taking away protection from the new skin cells AND because actives technically burn pigment off your skin, you can actually leave yourself open to even MORE pigment showing up.
Here's the long-term problem, use of acids WILL change the way your skin works - there is no doubt about this. What ends up happening is that you become more and more reliant on them, and you will need to use much stronger product the longer you use them to get the results you want.
The moment you stop using them, your skin WILL react:
- Your skin will break out because it's trying to purge TOXINS and chemicals from its cells.
- Your skin will become very dry because it no longer has artificial hydrators to do the job for it.
- Your skin will become extremely oily because oil glands will start to work again and over-produce after being told not to for so long.
- You will age quicker. Yep, sorry.
Vitamin A & Vitamin C, when labelled as such on products are actually artificially derived, they do not occur in nature as Vitamin A & C; they are created. So, they too fall under this category of chemical actives and excessive use can have the exact same results as those above.
Both Krystle & I feel so so strongly about this topic; as if you can't feel the passion in this blog!
In the past, we had been regular users of actives without really thinking about it; Krystle when she was in her early 20's with moderate acne and also myself in my teens where I had severe acne. It's fair to say, we had to do a lot to bring our skin back to normality - in the form of good quality, naturally-active products.
I know what your next question is going to be - what 'actives' do we use in our products to make them get the results they do so quickly..?
They are and always will be naturally-derived. For example, Quandong has 3 times more naturally occurring Vitamin C than an orange - this is why we use this ingredient; it is not created in a lab but can be found in a plant. Naturally occurring vitamins have a different structure that can be readily absorbed and used by skin cells, long term & safely without fear of consequence if you decide to stop using it. They simply work better too!
That's the difference. And this goes for all of our products - we don't develop unless what we are creating will help your skin, as skin works best when it controls itself.
Do they produce the same result as actives..? YES!
Do they work as quickly as actives..? YES!
Can they help with wrinkles, pigments & acne..? YES!
So, , I suppose the first thing you need to ask yourself is what type of relationship do you want to have with your skin, your skin care and your long-term routine..?
A harmonious one where you both give each other what you need in a positive and happy way..? You provide a nutritious and safe environment for it to flourish and it, in return, is luminous, healthy, strong, smooth and all the other adjectives you can use to explain gorgeous skin..?
Or a toxic one where you are forcing it to work a certain way for you, out of fear of ageing, breakouts and pigments..?