Your Advantage? Your Skin's Memory!
Yes, our skin has a memory! So let's use it to our advantage and let's reach our skin goals.
Our skin is the biggest organ of our body, it accounts for about 15% of our body weight. But it has a memory? Well based on a Harvard article and I quote "They say we can't escape our past—no matter how much we change, we still have the memory of what came before. The same can be said of our cells...such as skin or blood cells." Research has shown that "by enhancing responsiveness to inflammation, these memories help the skin maintiain it's integrity...". We all know that the immune system keeps a record of inflammatory incidents so that our body will be prepared for next time i.e. 'building our immune system". Now the same can be said about our skin. Meaning that our skin cells have "cellular memory". That's the logic there. I'll elaborate this further by going through my personal experience about 'skin's memory' while I was trying to achieve my skin goals.
What are my goals?
My goal at first was to get rid of all the spots on my forehead and to restore my skin's texture. But not only to restore it but to make it tighter and naturally more radiant. Don't believe that I had spots on my forehead? Check out this video; it is a link to my "Forehead" story highlight, that I shared a while back on my instagram account. How did that happen? For two-three years, I was going through a very tough period and literally did nothing with my skin and I mean nothing! Before that I always used to mask (at least 3-4 times a week). Now, in order to be able to restore my skin, I started using products that my skin was already familiar with. First, let me ask you a question. Have you ever started using a new product but didn't wait long enough for your skin to register it (i.e. over 2-3 month period) and then just went back to using the old product cause it 'worked better'? Well that is skin memory, of course sometimes the new product just doesn't work but I always recommend using a product for 6 weeks minimum, unless it causes irritation or new skin problems.
Anyways, back to what I was saying about restoring my skin and what I did. I first started using the Purifying Mask from Shiseido. I had used that product for over 12 years and when I started using it again, it was as if it triggered my skin's memory and I started seeing a difference again within a week. The spots were definitely less inflamed and some hyperpigmentation spots were getting lighter. Along side that product, I also used the Deep Cleansing Mask from Omorovicza, which I have also used for 8 years. I always used to use this once a week or as an overnight spot treatment. As my skin was accustomed to those products, I saw results faster than when I first started with them.
Of course, given the fact that I had other skin problems, I also needed to introduce some new product that would address those concerns further. Another goal that I had was to get rid of dead skin cells and to improve the overall texture. I thoroughly did some research to find a product that I could use consistently and patiently with the right ingredients to remedy those problems. So I found the Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate from Kiehls. I used this every evening and it was exactly what I wanted my skin to get used to: to be able to 'accelerate surface skin cell turnover for fresh, radiant skin'. After 6 months of consistently using the product, I decided to give my skin a break as I had already reached my goals. Now, I only use it when I start to see some rough textures again but this time around the results come in much quicker and to be honest, overtime, my skin doesn't need it as much. It's been fed well! If I see that the texture is getting tough again, I will go back to using it cause I know my skin will remember the affects and will give me results much quicker.
Personally, I don't use many acid on my face other than Lactic Acid and Salicylic Acid (once in a while). Mainly because I don't want to make my skin too sensitive. But regardless, I will share a list of skin goals that you may have and ingredients you should try! Remember to be consistent with the same product for 3-6 months as the goal is to register it in your skin's memory!
Here is a list of ingredients:
To fight wrinkles: Retinol or natural Vitamin A, Carrot Oil (Rich in Vitamin A), Hazelnut Extract, Black Tea Extract, Green Tea Extract, Co Enzyme Q10, Collagen, Oxygen, etc
To fight rigid or loose skin: Ginseng Extract, Rosemary Oil, Beta Glucan, Collagen, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Peptides, Grape Seed Extract, Algae Extract, Oxygen, Vitamin E, Caffeine, Papaya Enzymes, Pineapple Enzymes, Sea Buckthorn Extract, etc
To fight dehydration: Hyaluronic Acid all the way! That's the answer for dehydration (hydrating and moisturising are two different things). You could also look for ingredients such as Cucumber Extract, Vitamin B5, Glycerin, etc.
To fight dryness: Chamomile Oil, Aloe Vera, Almond Oil, Avocado Extract or Oil. Shea Butter, Glycerin, Sugars, Coconut Oil, Oat Extract, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Squalane, Essential Oils, Vitamin E, Rosemary Oil, Lavender Oil, etc.
To fight redness and skin sensitivity: Reishi Mushroom, Cordyceps Mushroom, Chamomile Oil, Aloe Vera, Lavender Oil, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Rosewater, Azelaic Acid, Ceramides, Cucumber Extract, etc.
To fight hyperpigmentation: Vitamin C, Hexylresorcinol (boosts the effectiveness of Vitamin C), Lactic Acid, Citrus Oils, AHA's, BHA's, Zinc, Rice Extract, Turmeric, Red Clay, Alpha-Bisabolol, Barbary Fig Extract, Rhubarb Extract, Red Vine, Kaoline Clay, Papaya Enzymes, Pineapple Enzymes, etc.
To fight blemish or enlarged pores: Salicylic Acid, Rosemary Oil, Thyme Oil, Geranium Oil, Kaoline Clay, Bentonite Clay, Moor Mud (Hungarian), Primrose Extract, Honey, Colloidal Silver, Mastic Extract, Persian Silk Tree, Charcoal, etc.
I just want to say one more thing: when it comes to Skin's Memory, the idea is to be consistent with your product (the same product), but this doesn't mean that we should use it for too long either especially when it comes down to acids i.e. not over 6-9 months depending on your skin's needs. That may result to an over stimulation. So it is important to give your skin a break and let it use what you have programmed it to do and if some issues start to come back (natural that they do) then when you use that product the result will be seen quicker as your skin has a memory of how it was when that product was used! Give your skin a good memory and feed it! After all, we need to take care of it, it is the body's first line of defense!
P.S. The products I mentioned are some of the products I used and used those as examples to explain! They are some of the products that I really do enjoy!