Hello all! Long time reader, first time poster — Receptionist Rav here to present to you my first blog post!
Before we get started, I will briefly introduce myself. As some of you may know, I am one of the front desk receptionists here at Brio. I have been a part of the Brio team for four years now, and I am currently in progress of completing my bachelor’s degree to become a naturopathic doctor myself!
Now, onto the good stuff…
As the spring blesses us with the blooming of flowers, it is also known to be the season of dry, itchy, puffy skin. Today I will be discussing how to care for the largest organ in our bodies. More specifically, I will be sharing some basic topical skin care ingredients to consider in your routine for beautiful skin all year long!
I am learning that naturopathic philosophy primarily focuses on the root levels of healing, and any skin issues that manifest may be related to an imbalance within our bodies. As we attend to the inner world with a naturopathic approach, we cannot neglect the external. What we apply to our skin topically, makes a vast difference in improving our overall health and skin texture.
Our skin is composed of 3 layers, beginning with the thinnest layer, the epidermis. The epidermis is responsible for protecting our skin from environmental toxins (pollution, metals, chemicals), the deeper layers, such as the dermis and subcutis function to maintain elasticity, and conserve body heat. Today’s post is focused on nourishing the epidermis layer.
1. Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
AHA’s are chemical exfoliants that break down dead skin cells and promote generation of new skin cells. Glycolic or lactic acid are the most common AHA’s sold in the market. Promoting new skin cells allows your body to dispose of dead, dry skin that suffocates pores.
Glycolic or lactic acid toners are applied after washing your face. Gently pat a few drops on the face and let air dry before following with serums.
2. Hyaluronic Acid
Naturally produced in our bodies, hyaluronic acid in skin care functions to absorb moisture from the air and seal it on your skin preventing dryness. It also helps improve elasticity. It is generally sold as a serum and applied after toner. Follow with a water-based moisturizer.
3. Retinol (Vitamin A derivative)
My personal favorite ingredient! Retinol is an excellent anti-aging agent. By inhibiting the breakdown of the protein collagen, it helps improve skin tone, fine lines, puffiness, and stimulates the production of new blood vessels.
Retinol has an oily consistency and comes in dropper-form. It is used as the last step of your skin care routine after all water-based serums and moisturizers have been applied (preferably at night).
*Important* Retinol application MUST be followed with sunscreen if applied in the morning. It makes the skin more susceptible to UV rays and can be very damaging. Applying it at night is strongly advised. Never skip out on sunscreen in general! It is important all year round. 80% of the harmful rays emitted by the sun are absorbed by the sun even on a cloudy day.
Optimal Skin Care Steps/Routine
1. Wash face using a sensitive facial cleanser
2. Apply toner – glycolic or lactic acid (AHA step)
3. Apply water-based serums/moisturizers – (hyaluronic acid step)
4a. morning: sunscreen! Always!
– or –
4b. evening: oil-based serum – (retinol step)
Thank you for tuning in and I hope you learned something! Keep an eye out for my next post in the series: harmful skincare ingredients to avoid! If you have any questions or would like any clarification, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Attention: Rav”.