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Peel, exfoliate, treat, hydrate, control, pH balanced. Does this sound like your brain when dealing with your skin? The struggle to balance skin no matter your age can be daunting. The goal is to improve tone, texture, firmness, softness and hydration. So, what is pH balanced skin and why is it so important?

The skin has a very thin protective layer on the surface called the acid mantel. This layer is comprised of sebum from sebaceous glands and lactic acid and amino acids (from our body’s sweat). The ideal ‘balanced’ level is around 5.5, slightly on the acidic side. So how do we ensure proper balance? Correct products and ingredients, paying attention to your climate and listening to your skin’s signals.

Exfoliation + Cleansing

Cleansing or washing the face should happen at least once a day if not twice. Upon waking, washing the face will remove the residue from applied night treatments and regimen. If you choose to cleanse in the AM, make sure to use a cleanser that won’t strip or dry the skin. Cleansing the skin at night is crucial! No exceptions. The skin is exposed to many pollutants from just stepping foot outside your home. Soot, car exhaust, sun, second hand smoke and many other pollutants wreak havoc on the skin leaving a layer of dirt and free radicals. Makeup also needs to be removed no matter what. Sleeping in makeup is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Clogged pores will lead to break outs and or rashes. By cleansing at night the skin is ready to receive and absorb any applied serums and creams.

When we talk about ‘cleansing’ we need to include exfoliation. Everyone should exfoliate their skin two to three times a week, unless they suffer from rosacea or eczema, in which case use an enzymatic exfoliator. Depending on the season and climate, exfoliation can be increased or decreased. Both manual and chemical exfoliation is recommended and dependent on results desired.

Listen To Your Skin

Over cleansing is never recommended as it strips the skin of natural oils which can cause an over production of oil/sebum and thus a breakout. However, this is highly dependent on what type of cleanser (ingredients) being used and skin type. If you are oily and using a gentle gel based natural cleanser, like our ‘Pure Start cleanser’, you can’t really over cleanse. If you are typically dry or sensitive you have to be careful what types of ingredients you choose. Stay away from astringents, acids, sodium lauryl sulfate and alcohol. If your skin starts to feel dry or stripped, gets irritated or flaky, listen to the signs. Over cleansing and under cleansing can both cause-unbalanced skin.

Climate + Environment

Balanced skin can also be a result of the climate and environment lived in. For example if you live in a cold climate, exfoliation should decrease during cold, dry months. Likewise, cleansing and antioxidant protection should increase in urban settings to battle pollution and free radicals.

Dr. G tip:

Pollution releases microscopic particles or free radicals that can go deep into the skin and cause damage to otherwise healthy cells. The outcome is loss of elasticity (wrinkles and sagging) and Hyperpigmentation (dark spots).

The Balancing Ingredients

Balancing the skin is a dance between the right amounts of exfoliation/cleansing as mentioned above and the ingredients, which deliver the soothing, nourishing hydration and softness back to the skin. Dr. G has created an all in one mask, The Skin Balancing Mask for this exact reason. A botanical-rich treatment mask which features a multi-peptide and enzyme blend that refines pores and helps to improve skin elasticity and increase collagen production. Ginseng, Honey, Flower Extracts, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E infuse moisture, vitality and nourishment back into the skin.

 

We all know the common skin culprits when it comes to breakouts what the causes including,  bacteria and oil, hormones, and certain foods or medications. Have you ever thought about where we live to be some of the main contributing factors to some of our skin woe’s?

Big City Skin – The Issues:

Pollution

According to Dr. Goldfaden, pollution and smog in big cities can clog pores, but also lead to dryness in the winter. Additionally, the free radicals in the ozone layer of smog can cause premature aging, such as wrinkles and loss of elasticity, and those who live in highly polluted urban areas are at higher risk of developing eczema and rashes, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Vitamin D absorption

Atmospheric pollution has been shown to block the absorption of UVB needed by skin to make the Vitamin D so crucial for our overall skin health and proper functioning. “This is where vitamin D comes in: rates of cell division and differentiation are triggered by growth factors and other molecules that are controlled by the presence of vitamin D” say’s Dr. G. If adequate amounts of vitamin D are not available, your epidermal cells won’t differentiate optimally. As a result, the outer layer of your skin may become thinner and more fragile.

The Solutions:

Imagine all the pollution, dirt and bacteria that cover the face after a day outside in a city. Free radicals are attacking form every angle breaking down skin cells causing loss of elastin and collagen in the skin. Detoxifying products are crucial to ward off free-radical damage on the skin and keep skin looking flawless, bright and blemish-free. A detox cleanser is imperative. Look for an acid based cleanser to eradicate surface layer bacteria, dirt and oil. The use of a  bi-weekly pore-clarifying mask can be helpful as well to keep pores free of gunk, dirt, oil and bacteria which lead to breakouts.

Protect + Repair: Dr. Goldfaden’s advanced brightening and antioxidant serum helps to protect against photo-aging and free radical damage, while leaving skin hydrated and radiant.

Smoggy and polluted climates also call for serums and moisturizers that target environmental damage and almost shield the skin. Look for powerhouse Vitamin D as an ingredient! A great option to try is our Vital Boost moisturizer, a daily skin-boosting and antioxidant-infused moisturizer with a powerful dose of Vitamin D.

 

Very little of the vitamin C you take in orally (either through vitamins or food) ever makes it to your skin cells. Essentially, the only effective method for replenishing the vitamin C in your skin is to go straight to the source and apply it topically. Vitamin C-based products are the goto products of choice when it comes to preserving youthful, even skin tone throughout the summer months as it has been known to increase collagen levels, reduce melanin production, brighten skin + repair the effects of UV exposure.

Dr. G’s Vitamin C tips:

  • Once Vitamin C is topically applied and absorbed into your skin, it can’t be washed or rubbed off. Significant amounts of it continue to remain active in your skin for up to three days.
  • Vitamin C and Retinol or Vitamin A can be combined as a powerhouse treatment that works to brighten overall skin tone, reduce the appearance of discoloration and increase radiance
  • Vitamin C + Ferulic Acid is wonderful for sensitive skin and supports firm and youthful skin by boosting collagen synthesis, decreasing photodamage, and exerting anti-inflammatory activity
  • Vitamin C comes in many percentages (Dr. G recommends 9% up)
  • Look for ingredient that contain high levels of Vitamin C (Baobab, Mongogo, Kalahari oils + cherry extract)