Rotating Treatments: One at a Time

In my late 20s I noticed scratches and blemish marks took longer to fade, and as a pimple-picker this was not good news.  A few of my girlfriends also started to comment on their new fines lines and this made me notice my own eleven lines (the lines that form in the middle of your eyebrows)!  It was time I started getting serious about using skincare treatments.

I chose to start my journey using three categories of treatments: alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), and retinoids.

Like so many others I was initially addicted to the instant results that AHAs and BHA can deliver; smoother, brighter, and glowing skin!  Then I started using acids morning and evening daily, which eventually broke down my skin barrier.  What this looked like on me is pink skin (not a rosy undertone, but light pink) with small pink blemishes that mimic rashes-not cute.


After discovering esthetician Jordan Samuel and hisYouTube channel (watch all his videos, he’s incredibly knowledgeable), I realized that I had over exfoliated my skin, giving no opportunity for any new skin cells to strengthen.  I stopped using acids for about a week and decided to reintroduce them into my routine only 2-3 times per week.  This gave me the glow I desired without the sensitized skin. My favorite acid is the cult classic Biologique Recherche Lotion P50V, which contains both lactic acid as well as Salicylic Acid.  (If you are curious about which P50 is best for you, I would highly suggest consulting with your Biologique Recherche retailer prior to purchasing Lotion P50 so they can guide you to the formula that is best for your skin!)

Once I had a good rhythm with my acids, I added retinoids into my routines.  I was timid about using this powerhouse of an ingredient on my skin, because of the potential for more irritation.  I had learned my lesson from my acid-fiasco, so I sought a low percentage formula.  Even when I try other retinoid products, I always long for the Jordan Samuel Skin étoile with Retinol Treatment Oil.  It is a 0.2% retinol housed within a blend of fatty oils that doubles as a great moisturizer.  I usually top off with a cream though, because I enjoy the texture of cream over oil.  Just like with acid products, I rotate retinoids 2-3 times per week.

While using acids and retinoids are fantastic at refreshing my skin, it’s equally important for me to take a break from them.  On “No Active” nights I like to treat my skin with humectants or a mask.  If I choose to focus on hydration I’ll use the Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator or the NIOD Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist, layer on Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Facial Serum, and top off with a moisturizer that is full of ceramides to help rebuild my skin barrier, such as the Replenix Restorative Nighttime Bio-Therapy cream.  If I have some extra time and can squeeze a mask in, my current obsession is the May Lindstrom The Honey Mud, but I also enjoy the Papa Recipe Bombee Honey and the Peach&Lily Chubby Cheeks sheet masks.

Having this structure and variety make my evenings really enjoyable and stress relieving.  Using primarily one treatment per routine, I have my rotation as: acid to exfoliate old cells, retinoid to accelerate new cell production, a pampering session to rejuvenate, repeat.  I’m not rigid with this rotation and some products I use are a blend of AHAs and retinoid, but overall this has treated me very well.

It was a learning process that took me months before I settled on and fine tuned this rotation, but I hope my experience will help you incorporate acids and retinoids into your evening routines.  Until next month, I’ll keep #workingonmyglow

- Jasmine