Each time a client returns for a facial, I'll ask…”How’s your skin feeling today?” Your perception of your skin is one of my guideposts in deciding how I will treat your skin that visit. When the temperature drops and and you turn on your heater you might start noticing drier skin. Now that we are experiencing lowered temperatures (here in Southern California, that means the overnight lows are in the high 40’s - don’t laugh!), some of you may be turning on your home heaters. Hot air, lower temperatures - all lead to a lower ambient humidity which results in drier skin. You may start noticing flakiness or the feeling that you can’t moisturize your skin enough. That's when a lactic acid peel is a great option for you.
Lactic Acid Peel
Lactic Acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid: AHA) is a humectant - it attracts moisture to itself. Actually, all AHA’s are humectants but lactic acid is the most hydrating and attracts water molecules to your skin. It also lifts dead skin cells and improves your skin’s barrier function by increasing levels of ceramides.
Our skin already produces ceramides and it’s a good thing - they play a vital role in sustaining a protective barrier against outside pollutants and keeping the skin’s moisture intact. What are they?
Ceramides are lipids - fat molecules - that behave like a glue. This binds skin cells together to create smoother skin and helps to retain moisture. Ceramides make up nearly 50% of the outer layer of our skin (our epidermis.)
From Katie, the educator I’m often in touch with at Advanced Rejuvenating Concepts skin care:
"There are specific ceramide ingredients which are listed usually as “ceramide” on the label (synthetic or bovine). Lanolin has ceramides and is also a sheep-derived ingredient. There are also phyto-ceramides that are a component of plant-based ingredients and which are precursors to ceramides, so they promote the body’s natural ceramide production. The cool thing about plant-based fats—they have a blend of ceramides, omegas and lipids.”
As we age, our natural ceramides levels go way down. That’s why lactic acid peels are good for your skin - they help to replenish your ceramide levels.
A Facial is Just One Important Part of Your Skincare
You’ll want to add ceramide-rich moisturizers at home during the colder months to maintain the skin-changing benefits of your treatments, and definitely - if you already have dry or aging/changing skin. But which products would be best for adding ceramides to your daily routine?
These are a few of my favorite ceramide rich products: