While many skin trends come and go, one that is currently making the rounds is the idea that real skin has texture. I welcome this move. We have been inundated with poreless "glass" skin images for too long and have been using Photoshop, FaceTune, and filters to fulfill this unattainable ideal. Of course, we all want smoother, more supple skin, but at what cost to our skin's health and our well-being?
As our largest organ, our skin has quite a few vital functions, none more so than protecting us from the elements. Pollution, the sun, daily wear-and-tear––all of these can take a toll on the skin, and it may stretch, pigment, scar, and wrinkle in the process. Rather than understanding that our skin is a living, breathing ecosystem and it's OK to have some pores and fine lines, the response has been to strip and polish. Physical exfoliants and chemical exfoliators with alpha hydroxy acids like lactic or glycolic and beta hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid come highly recommended by skin care experts. In fact, they will weaken your skin's barrier, create more inflammation and irritation and make it much more susceptible to sun damage which will exacerbate the signs of aging.
So what can we do if we want to achieve our best skin? All skin has texture, but by protecting it and not stripping it, your skin can better take care of itself. Exfoliate sparingly, as your skin needs time to recover in between having its barrier disturbed. I recommend no more than once a week for your face and body. When it comes to face products, opt for a gentle exfoliating cleanser such as enzyme cleanser or very mild AHA or BHA cleanser based on your skin type. And instead of reaching for that body lotion with chemical exfoliants, look for the one with SPF or hyaluronic acid (preferably both) that will protect you from the sun and lock moisture into your skin. Physical blockers of sunlight also work well, so always keep sunglasses and a hat on hand and a jacket in your car to protect that driving arm from the sun's rays.
Let's also strive towards achieving skin acceptance and not skin perfection. Let's begin to understand that the skin is literally an organ, and it's OK to have pores on our cheeks and lines around our eyes. Texture is perfectly normal, and we need to stop beating our skin into submission. Healthy skin, not perfect skin, is the benchmark of KAIKA™, my proprietary facial sculpting and meditational massage that prioritizes the health of your skin (and mind) above all else.