It's no secret that I am on a lifelong mission for young, healthy looking skin. Although I'm only in my twenties, one and a half children (plus Mr. G) has taken it's toll on my skin, and I permanently feel older than my years. I am determined to combat fine lines and prevent new ones appearing in the long term, which I believe is the main reason to use cosmetics. Short term gains, like deep tans, will never outweigh a lifetime of good skin in my book.
So, I've been trying out some new products recently, in order to pass on the absolute best to all of you (and, I can't lie, it's quite good fun!), and feel I have stumbled across a wonderful ingredient. Lactic acid, the stuff that is in milk, is used in cosmetics as an exfoliator, moisturiser, stimulates collagen production and helps to prevent premature ageing and sun damage. It's in the family of AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids, the most famous of these being glycolic acid), but is much more gentle than glycolic and other acids, suitable for sensitive skin (although do proceed with caution if you react easily, acids are pretty strong!). If you are not convinced already, make up guru, and my general go to for all types of make up and beauty advice, Lisa Eldridge, also swears by the stuff. And check out her amazing skin....
If you are on a budget, I'm sure a Cleopatra style milk bath would be very good for your skin, but the thought of cleaning the bath afterwards would make me weep (my two cats would be beside themselves with excitement), so I've found a couple of products that contain lactic acid and are really working on my skin.
First up is Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser. I've been a loyal fan of Dermalogica's Special Cleansing Gel for years, so the idea of trying something new scared me a little, but how wrong I was! The Skin Resurfacing Cleanser is a creamy face wash (it doesn't really foam, it's more like a traditional cleanser, but you use it like a face wash), that you massage into you face for 30 seconds and rinse off. Super easy, and within a week, my skin was noticeable clearer (fewer blemishes) and the fine lines and open pores on my forehead and nose were much better. My skin also felt softer and looked a bit brighter. I have only been using it once a day, as I don't use face wash or cleanser in the morning (warm water is enough for my skin), and am very impressed.
Next up is another product from Dermalogica, but called Gentle Cream Exfoliant. This is a non abrasive, creamy exfoliator, which you rub in, leave for about ten minutes and just wash off. Unlike harsh face scrubs, it uses lactic and salicyclic acids to really improve skin texture and clarity. Salicyclic acid is a wonder ingredient if you get spots (although no great to use in pregnancy without medical advice, I have spoken to a dermatologist, but don't use products containing it if you are pregnant without proper advice) as it gets into the follicles, unlike most spot treatments (which sit on the surface), and actually clears out the debris. When combined with lactic acid, your skin gets a mega, yet gentle, dose of exfoliation, leaving it positively glowing, but without having been scrubbed and stripped. This product really is brilliant, I adore it!
Finally, a brilliant American company called Priori use lactic acid in most of their products. I have only tried an eye cream, called Smoothing Eye Serum, which I was sent to test a while ago, but thought it was wonderful. It really smoothed and depuffed the eye area. However, I haven't tried any other products in this range, so would hate to recommend them, but I will be investigating in the near future!
So, if you are looking for an exfoliating, anti ageing solution, give lactic acid a try. It really is working on my slightly blemish prone, prematurely ageing skin! If your skin is at all sensitive, I'd recommend getting a tester before buying, Dermalogica are great at giving them out with no obligation!
Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser, from £8.35 for 30ml. I use the Jersey Beauty Company, an online Dermalogica supplier who are very generous with their samples and discounts, but it is available from all Dermalogica stockists.
Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliator, £27.50, details the same as above.
Priori advanced AHA Smoothing Eye Serum, £38.99. Available online.