OK – so you have your daily skincare routine down … you’ve studied every inch of your face (and body for that matter!). You’ve scrutinized every single area the needs improvement and have tried lots of things to address things like breakouts, wrinkles, discoloration, large pores, dry skin, dark under-eye circles… you name it! As you have studied your skin, you notice pore size, skin color, and blotchiness (too much fun in the sun!) lines and wrinkles and dark circles, right? But what about the one thing that is common to all these issues that you never read about in beauty magazines? TEXTURE!

The texture might be an issue you didn’t even know existed, let alone something you might currently be experiencing. I am not talking about skin TONE here, that refers to skin color and the pigmentation of your skin – I am talking about skin TEXTURE – the feel or smoothness of your overall complexion. I believe that the reason uneven texture isn’t as “buzzy” in beauty media comes down to the ability to treat it. Texture is a big mission for me because I see it in my clinic ALL THE TIME – on almost every person, to one degree or another.

The outermost layers of epidermal skin cells can build up and cause the skin to become dull and coarse, leaving the skin feeling rough and sometimes even scaly. Sun damage can escalate this process, and the skin becomes thicker and pores become enlarged because the skin’s natural oils get trapped under this layer of hard, dead skin cells.  Breakouts and problem skin then get worse. This issue is not limited to the face – hands, arms, and the backs of the arms can form little hard bumps (keratosis pilaris) – again, a buildup of dead cells. When harsh physical exfoliation products are used (abrasive skin scrubs, etc.) this can cause micro-tears in the skin due to the jagged edges of the physical exfoliants used in many OTC skin scrubs. The use of harsh products to exfoliate the skin can lead to the overproduction of oil that exacerbates skin texture issues, and this can create a revolving door of trial and error (again) with inflammatory conditions and dull, coarse skin.

So what’s the solution? Surprisingly, there are several ways to refine skin texture without damaging the skin AND improve the skin’s hydration levels. My ingredient of choice is malic acid, derived from apples. This fruit extract is also a humectant and helps with moisture retention to help your skin stay hydrated. I chose this specific AHA as the foundation of our Cleanse and Clear specifically to create an effective texture refining cleanser. Malic acid also helps balance the pH of the formula making this gentle and not highly acidic on the skin. If your skin’s pH level is balanced, then your skin’s protective barrier will not be damaged and will be less prone to breakouts and acne. If your skin is acne-prone, the skin’s pores get clogged with too many dead skin cells and the skin’s natural oil (sebum), blackheads can form. Bacterial infections can also develop and cause breakouts.

Malic acid breaks down the “glue” (sebum) that holds the dead skin cells together on the outer layer of the skin, leading to a buildup and coarse texture. When you sweep away the dead skin cells, your skin natural glow begins to return. As you decongest your pores, it helps reduce the formation of acne bumps and the discoloration that’s often associated with acne and helps brighten skin discoloration, making Cleanse and Clear an essential part of the correction of aging and sun-damaged skin.

Ingredient of the Week:

Malic Acid

Features and Benefits:

  • Natural Skin Exfoliant
  • Improves Hydration
  • Lightens Skin Discoloration
  • Refines Skin Texture