Sunday, April 10, 2011

Learn: Dealing with Congested Skin

Especially as the weather warms up, many congested, oily, and/or acne-prone skins begin to dread the upcoming heat waves and cloying humidity, as they signal undoubted trouble spots, oil slicks, and other facial hazards are ahead.

But never fear! There's a number of options at your fingertips to handle these hazards and nip them in the bud.

I recently went for my second facial at Massage Envy Naperville South, and my esthetician noticed I was heavily congested. She suggested some acne treatments, but also, noted a need for chemical exfoliants to help break down the top layer of dried skin that was preventing the skin underneath from shining through (and taking a breath or two!).

As a result of the treatment, which included some serums with anti-aging exfoliants and vitamin C, my skin was a little red and has been feeling a little scaly or flakey. Just a natural effect of the deep exfoliation effects of the products used.

I am very eager to get rid of the top layer, it's really blocking the healthier skin underneath, and causing lots of congested areas that look thick and unattractive. Moisturizer and other serums have a much better chance to penetrate through the skin once this top layer is removed.

She recommended I continue with my t-zone pore refining gel for the day, but also use a new product that combines glycolic and AHAs to fight aging and thickening skin. It's called night reform treatment. Basically, we're doing a slow-mo peel via a night product--making this treatment/approach much more gentle than an immediate results technique which may further shock the skin into overreacting.

This two-pronged attack, plus periodical facials with special vit C and glycolic serums, will help with some of the age/sun damage spots on my face, the congestion, breakouts, and post-breakout dark spots--like it wasn't enough to be congested! Right?

I immediately follow application of the t-zone gel or the night reform treatment with plenty of oil-free moisturizer with SPF, that's massaged well into the skin until it penetrates and the skin is oxygenated due to the massaging motion.

Since AHAs can leave some skins a little red and sensitive while the treatment does its magic, it's not a bad idea to use intermittently an oil-free moisturizing masque, such as PeterThomasRoth's Cucumber Gel Masque--a trusted product for post-peel skin that needs some TLC. You can apply it and then rinse it off later, or just apply it at night and sleep with it on top of your moisturizer for an added protective layer to keep moisture in the skin.

I'm hoping I can see results soon. Meanwhile, I'm still using my Clarisonic MIA in order to help remove some of the top layer flakiness via mechanical, but gentle, exfoliation.
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