Sunday, 23 July 2017

Bravura London: 10% Lactic Acid

 30ml | £9.59 from here

I cringe thinking back to when I used to slather St. Ives Apricot Scrub onto my face and scrub like my life depending on it. All those micro-tears I imposed upon my poor, defenceless face *weeps internally*. Gone are the days of physical exfoliators. These days, I have been using gentle chemical exfoliators to achieve smooth, radiant skin.

Got milk?
Lactic acid is an alpha hydoxy acid (AHA), a type of natural acid found in foods. This particular acid comes from sour milk and is the OG of AHAs. Ever heard of stories where Cleopatra was bathing in milk to beautify her skin? She knew exactly what she was doing. AHAs are used to topically exfoliate dead skin cells in order to improve the texture (acne, dryness) and appearance (hyperpigmentation, sun damage and fine lines) of the skin.

Lactic acid is a mild chemical exfoliator and also a humectant meaning that it is ideal for those with dry or dehydrated skin as it helps the skin to preserve moisture.

How does it work? 
Lactic acid works at the base of the skin’s stratum corneum (outermost layer of the skin), dissolving the hardened keratin that holds dead skin cells together. Because this increases cell turnover, skin becomes smoother, more elastic and more even in tone and texture. In addition, it also stimulates your skin to produce more collagen which is the main structural protein of the skin. Collagen keeps everything firm and smooth so when this starts to disintegrate, skin begins to droop and wrinkle.

What I do
The product comes with a set of instructions so ensure that you follow them to the T. Although the concentration is at a low, safe percentage,  you don't want to be mindlessly playing around acids.

After cleansing my face, I don't pat my skin dry. Instead, I let it air dry as I find that it has helped to reduce dryness. Afterwards, I wait 30 minutes before commencing with exfoliation. This is because after cleansing, the skin needs to return to its normal pH level for optimal results.

I dispense 7-10 drops of the watery solution out of the pipette onto the palm of my hand and use my fingers to apply the product onto my face and neck. You could use a synthetic hair brush for more precise application but effort. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards!

For the first application, you should keep the product on for 5 minutes, making sure that you're accurately timing it. Thereafter, you can increase the amount of time the exfoliator sits on the face in increments of 1 minute but only if you feel comfortable in doing so. You know your skin the best so act accordingly.

It's normal to feel a mild stinging/burning sensation during use. I find that it's more painful in the areas I'm trying to treat e.g., the hyperpigmentation on my forehead and cheeks. Don't worry though, once you have splashed some warm water all over your face to neutralize the acid, the uncomfortable sensation should subside. Personally, I don't experience redness after however it is quite normal if you do and should fade after a while. Allow 20 minutes before applying any lotions or potions to the face and neck area.

I use this product during my night time skin routine as it can be quite time-consuming. Ain't nobody got time for a one hour skincare routine before work. Unless you do.

Please, please, please ensure that you patch test before use. Even if you have used chemical exfoliators before, you don't know how your skin will react to a new product. Apply the product on the inside of your wrist as you would on your face by following the instructions and wait 48 hours. If no irritation has occurred, you're in the clear to use it on your face.

Do not use this product if your are pregnant/breastfeeding, undergoing intense beauty treatments such as microdermabrasion, laser therapy, chemical peels, etc. People who are prone to cold sores may find that chemical exfoliants can cause an outbreak. Do not apply to broken veins/capillaries or active cold sores.

Only use every other night e.g., Mon/Wed/Fri or else you run the risk of over0exfoliating the skin and destroying your skin's moisture barrier.

AHAs increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and increases the risk sunburn. You have to use a sunscreen everyday and try to limit strong sun exposure. Also, do not use sunbeds while using products containing AHAs.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Rose Floral Water, Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Citrate