11/27/2006

Clear Pores and Smooth Skin...No Waiting

I had the good fortune of receiving a sample of Paula's Choice 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Gel, and I must say I am impressed.

My first use was pre-bedtime; during the day I will definitely follow with a sunscreen (I recommend the same for you, too). Immediately after cleansing (using Korres Milk Proteins with a few drops Murad facial cleanser mixed in), I applied this clear gel. Expecting the usual stinging associated with AHAs, I was a little surprised that it went on with no incidence...no redness, no burning...it actually added moisture, too, which was very nice. I followed the gel with my usual battery of serums and my moisturizer.

When I woke the next morning, my skin was so smooth. It didn't necessarily feel softer, but it was definitely clearer. I had started seeing some red bumps on my right cheek (uh-oh, Thanksgiving stress side effects--my cheeks are the first place I break out) and when I woke up, the blemishes were much smaller and much calmer. And my pores were tighter and smaller.

Now, I am used to using AHAs--by the buckets, mind you, "if it doesn't sting, it's not working," is my motto--so I really thought this measly 2% BHA gel would simply make my skin point and laugh. But after doing some research I found that 2% BHA is a high concentration for a BHA leave-on treatment and that BHAs can be used at much lower concentrations than AHAs (typically between 5-10% in a leave-on treatment). I also found out there is a typical "drop off" for all AHAs and BHAs, which means they will exfoliate (usually more effectively than mechanical exfoliators!) until they reach new skin and then will stop. Of course, another feature of AHAs and BHAs (like retinoids, aka Retin-A and Differin) is that once you stop using them, your skin reverts to its previous bad behavior. So all that wonderful smoothness, tightness and clear skin lasts only as long as you implement the use of these wonderful skin-surface improving actives!

What all this means is, I am going to keep using Paula's Choice 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Gel to keep my skin smooth and clear...without pain and without waiting.