MAR­IAN KEYES Sud­den Wild En­thu­si­asms

LixirSkin’s Night Switch

The Irish Times Magazine - - FASHION STYLE -

Now and again I’m asked about the things I like do­ing in my spare time. Nat­u­rally I lie, mak­ing vague noises about, “theatre, hill- walk­ing, catch­ing the lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion in Kil­main­ham”. The truth is that I like ly­ing down, watch­ing telly and – one of my great­est plea­sures – ex­fo­li­at­ing my face.

Clean­ing my pores and ban­ish­ing the top layer of scaly, dead skin, re­veal­ing the fresh, perky der­mis be­neath, gives me a ro­bust sense of con­trol over my life. In ad­di­tion, ex­fo­li­at­ing makes spendy serums and such- like more ef­fec­tive, be­cause they’re reach­ing the skin that can ac­tu­ally utilise them. Be­cause not even the most turbo- charged of serums can bring dead skin back to life.

In the olden days I used “phys­i­cal’” ex­fo­lia­tors – scrubs con­tain­ing fruit pits or beads. Some of these were good, some less so, caus­ing tiny tears in the skin. But we need not con­cern our­selves with these to­day, be­cause I am far more in­ter­ested in the mod­ern, lazy- arse op­tion: the chem­i­cal ex­fo­lia­tor.

It comes in liq­uid form and gen­er­ally works by splash­ing a swig on to a cot­ton wool pad, then sweep­ing it over the skin. No wash­ing, no wip­ing, that’s it. Done. Takes a mat­ter of sec­onds and if you do it two or three times a week, your skin will look cleaner, clearer and brighter. ( Big scary warn­ing: once you start us­ing these, you’ll be need­ing an SPF.)

How­ever, not all liq­uid ex­fo­lia­tors are cre­ated equal. Stand by for a quick chem­istry les­son.

You’ve heard of AHAs, yes? Alpha- hy­droxy acids? They hy­drate the skin, they re­move the “glue” that holds dead cells to­gether and can fade age spots.

Now, BHAs? Beta- hy­droxy acids. They’ve anti- bac­te­rial prop­er­ties. If you’re a mar­tyr to acne, spots, black­heads and all the other woes that ac­com­pany oily skin, this is the boyo for you.

An­other warn­ing: Both AHAs and BHAs be­long to the GFE cat­e­gory of prod­ucts ( so go easy). They can cause tin­gling, sting­ing and, some­times, a burn­ing sen­sa­tion. I en­joy the tin­gling or sting­ing. That shows it’s work­ing. The burn­ing feel­ing, though, not so much.

These prop­er­ties mean peo­ple with sen­si­tive skin or con­di­tions such as rosacea, der­mati­tis and pso­ri­a­sis haven’t been able for these acids. But now there’s a new chem­i­cal ex­fo­lia­tor: all hail poly­hy­droxy acid. The mol­e­cules are larger than those in AHAs or BHAs, so they pen­e­trate the skin at a slower rate, caus­ing far less ir­ri­ta­tion.

For the past month I’ve been us­ing LixirSkin’s Night Switch PHA/ AHA 10% and lov­ing its work. A blend of three acids, you add one drop to your nightcream. ( Note. Ap­par­ently it should be added to LixirSkin’s Universal Emul­sion but I was so ex­cited mak­ing my pur­chase that I didn’t no­tice. So I used my or­di­nary nightcream with “no ill ef­fects”.) There’s been feck- all tin­gling but the same fresh- faced clar­ity that I’ve come to love.

Avail­able from net- a- porter, ¤ 24. ( The Universal Emul­sion costs ¤ 36 if you’re in­ter­ested.)

Ex­fo­li­at­ing makes spendy serums and such­like more ef­fec­tive, be­cause they’re reach­ing the skin that can ac­tu­ally utilise them

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