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Super-sensitive skin? It may be time to drop acid.

In the 30 years that I’ve been an esthetician, skin care products have changed dramatically. “Hope in a jar” has given way to the brave new world of cosmeceuticals, which deliver far more than hope. No ingredient family has produced more results than alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, beginning with the glycolic acid craze of the 1990’s. Now we have a stunning array of acids to choose from, from lactic acid to alpha lipoic acid to l ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)…and beyond.

Advanced products contain cocktails of different acids, each designed to produce a slightly different benefit for the skin. Acid, acid everywhere!

Here’s the problem. For some sensitive skins, (not everyone!) acids don’t always keep on delivering benefits. Signs that you’ve overdosed on acid include chronic redness, sensitivity, bumpiness, and flaking. Many clients find that if they develop acid sensitivity, any cosmeceutical acid produces this same reactivity. And I’m a card-carrying member of this disappointed club. (Is it possible that I pushed the envelope too hard with heavy-duty active ingredients? Of course! I’m an esthetician. We’re our own guinea pigs. If a 10% glycolic was good, a 15% was better! Bring it on!)

This is not to disparage the incredible cosmeceuticals out there, and we carry one of the best cosmeceutical collections ever created, from Cosmedix. For the right skin, they are the right choice and they are the fastest way to get results for brown spots, lines, etc. Their peels are mind-blowing. We love, love, love them.

But by age 50, I’d realized that my once-beloved acids and I would need to part ways. In doing so, I discovered something fascinating.

In our zeal to get the strongest, most intense active ingredients, cosmetic chemists have changed plant extracts’ natural balance. Nature has an

organicures product trio

amazing pharmacopia. But much like nutrients in food require an enzyme to ensure that your body can properly make use of the nutrition, for sensitive skins, extracting the highly active substances and using them “out of context” on the body just doesn’t work. It triggers an immune response instead. Your body says, “Whoa! Too much” and inflammation results. And we know that inflammation is the root of all aging evil.

But, my Sensitive Skin tribe, it’s possible to find the precursors to these active ingredients, in their whole-plant form, and still derive many of the benefits. I learned this by accident when I talked to Mariah Giunta of AcquaCures about a product I was using for hydration,Face and Body SeaPlant Elixir. If you’re a client of our spa, chances are this product is one of your faves. It enables the skin to bind more water and it’s fantastic for dehydrated skin, which is to say, everyone.

“Why do I have the feeling that this product is doing something…more?” I asked. “I feel like it’s doing what my glycolic used to do.”

“It is,” she said. “The laminaria seaweed extract actually contains naturally-occurring glycolic acid. We just don’t promote it for that.”

Bingo. The mission of the BotaniCures and OrganiCures products that AcquaCures creates is to deliver whole-plant benefits, which are naturally balanced. So instead of yelling “Hey! Glycolic Acid over here!” they’re quietly giving you a rich, concentrated extract of the plant, but in its natural form, which delivers the anti-aging benefits of glycolic acid, without freaking out your acid-sensitive face.

The same philosophy is at work in their serums, which I cocktail together depending on what my skin needs at the moment. My natural anti-aging arsenal now includes the Silk Serum as well as Rescue Tend.

Mariah collaborated with Preston Wynne to create the new OrganiCures Facial, which includes a non-acid coconut buffing enzyme peel that’s simply amazing, and a plant-derived hyaluronic acid masque for a massive dose of hydration. This facial is gives you that rare blend of sensory luxury (two words: coconut buffing!) and outstanding results. Skin feels velvety and simply amazing afterward.

My skin feels a lot better now that I’ve dropped acid. Yours may, too.


Want to find out if you should drop acid? Schedule a dermal analysis with one of our expert estheticians.

Call us at (408) 741-5525 to reserve your time.



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