As you know, I’m a retinol junkie and use a high strength serum pretty much every second day. Still, there’s another star anti-ageing ingredient that most people can benefit from and that’s an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). Essentially an exfoliating acid, you get several different types that differ in terms of what they’re derived from and how they work. One of the big boys, however, is glycolic acid. As it’s a small molecule, it penetrates quickly and deeply making it one of the most effective, but also one of the most irritating if you don’t use it properly. More on that later.
So, why do you want Mr GA, or any potent AHA in your life? First up, they exfoliate like a boss and this is important. Removing the dead, outer layer of skin allows all your other ingredients to better penetrate and gives your complexion a real glow. (An uneven skin surface cluttered with dead skin can’t reflect light, but a smooth, ‘polished’ one does.) Another plus of speeding up your skin’s cellular turnover is that the old mark-riddled skin up top gets shifted away faster to bring up the new, better-looking skin at the bottom. Great news for anyone dealing with pigmentation or struggling with a mark left behind from a monster pimple.
There are numerous great AHA treatments on the shelves – you’ll know I love Environ’s AHA gel and cream (R220 – incredible value!) but I’ve recently discovered and adore Dermaceutic Light Ceutic Skin Toning Night Cream (R500, find stockists here).
When it comes to concentration, Light Ceutic doesn’t stuff around. It boasts a whopping 8% glycolic acid and oh baby do you feel it so use it cleverly. Don’t give your face a scrub with an exfoliating powder, torture it with a 1% retinol serum the day before and then slap this on and expect it not to sting. (This is something I may or may not have done, despite knowing better, because more often than not I’m applying my face products while drunk on launch booze.) You need to go in gradually by applying it every other night and then ramping up to every night if you can tolerate it. Or maybe just stick to using it 3 or 4 nights a week. You’ll soon figure out what you can tolerate. Either way, this is a glycolic hammer so use it with caution and only ever at night. AHA products will always make your skin more sun sensitive so it’s a ‘bed time friend’, not a ‘slap it on and hit the beach’ product as you’ll burn in your moer and ironically cause even more pigmentation. You’ll also want to invest in a high SPF and wear that every time you set foot out doors if this baby’s in your artillery. Hell chica, you should be doing that anyway!
Anyway, aside from glycolic acid, Light Ceutic’s formula also boasts phytic acid and vitamin C. Both are great antioxidants with skin lightening properties so the more the merrier, right?
I’ve been using Light Ceutic for six weeks now and it’s done a nice job of blitzing the mild pigmentation that appears on my cheeks whenever I come back from Thailand. I also love it’s texture – a light lotion that absorbs fast and doesn’t leave me feeling sticky in the least. For me, this is a product I’d happily buy with my own hard earned cash and that’s high praise from a spoiled, jaded beauty blogger currently receiving more products than she could ever use.